The following message was posted a week ago at Edmunds:
Owners of 2001 – 2004 Tacomas have begun to receive letters informing them of a Customer Support Program for frame perforation caused by rust. This warranty extension will be offered for a period of 15 years, five times the original coverage, with no mileage limitation from the vehicle's in-service date, for this specific condition; some conditions apply and these are explained in the Owner Letters.
I can assure you we have gone to great lengths to fortify the integrity of this extraordinary program. Here are some details of the program and what we have done to prepare for this event.
Based on our experience with the 1995 – 2000 Tacoma, we were able to determine that greater than 97% of the perforated frames came from twenty specific Mid-Western and North-Eastern states where road salt use is prevalent.
Owners in the twenty states will have until October 31, 2010 to visit their local dealer for an inspection and application of a corrosion-resistant treatment process in order for the extended warranty to be applied to their vehicle. Toyota is currently preparing the dealerships in these specific twenty states to apply the corrosion-resistant treatment. Customers will receive a letter from us when dealer preparations are complete. Further details and limitations will be provided in the owner letter. Owners in the other thirty states do not need to take action for the extended warranty to be applied.
We encourage owners to wait until they receive their letters to ensure the dealer has ample time to spend with their vehicle.
If the frame is confirmed by the dealer to be perforated, it will be repaired. Obviously, this new program is different compared to the earlier model Tacoma and here’s why.
When we announced the 1995 – 2000 Tacoma program, frame repair was not an option for us or our customers. At the time, we no longer manufactured frames for many variations of these vehicles. In the case of 2001 – 2004 Tacoma, replacement frames are still in production.
To develop this new program, engineers here in Los Angeles, working with Toyota engineers from Japan, created a more comprehensive and less intrusive disassembly and reassembly process with built-in quality. In doing so, they identified all of the major and ancillary parts needed to complete the repair.
Along with a frame, dealers will receive kits that include all the necessary nuts, bolts, washers, clips, mounts, etc. Additionally, they will replace specific major components like leaf springs and lower control arms as necessary. They won’t replace mufflers, brakes and other wear items as part of the program. However, if the owner wants these parts replaced, we provide the opportunity to take advantage of labor savings.
We have allocated a generous amount time for dealers to complete the work and to address the unique challenges specific to each vehicle.
We are confident with the unprecedented steps taken with both programs to minimize the inconvenience of our customers and to protect the value of their vehicles. It is our intention to deliver on the “total ownership experience” and to maintain loyal Toyota customers.
We sincerely appreciate the feedback we receive from sites such as Edmunds.com. If you have any concerns with your Tacoma or other Toyota vehicle, please call our toll-free help number at 1-800-331-4331. Thank you.
Brian R. Lyons
Safety and Quality Communications
Toyota Motor Sales USA