• Nov 23, 2009
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began a preliminary evaluation last month of rusting Tundra frames from the 2000 and 2001 model years. Around 200 complaints had been registered before the NHTSA commenced its investigation, with upwards of seventy more complaints coming in since then.

As with the rusting Tacoma frames, the Tundra members in question were made by Dana. Importantly, though, the Tundra examination is focused only on "the cross member that supports the spare tire -- not the entire frame." Still, that area has been blamed by consumers for the spare tire coming loose, and for brake system failures due to corrosion at the brake line mounting points.

Toyota ended up buying back Tacomas or extending warranties to settle the rust issue, but Tundra frames were built at different Dana plants and to different specifications, so the Tundra issue is not assumed to be the same as the Tacoma issue. Toyota had until last week to submit its information on the frames, now the NHTSA will need to decide what to do next.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 40 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Long time lurker, new poster- I had to chime in since this happens to be something I know a bit about (in a once-removed sort of way).

      I manage contract vendors in a different industry. We set specs, and we test the vendor's product. I am certain that a company like Toyota does the same. So if Dana cheated, as vendors sometimes will, Toyota would have known about it through independent testing. The possibilities I see are:
      1. Toyota spec'd improperly, and got burned (poor quality decision)
      2. Dana cheated, and Toyota discovered it and let it go (poor quality decision)
      3. Dana cheated, and Toyota did not discover it (poor quality systems)

      I am not saying that Dana could be free of blame, but the end product is the responsibility of the final product mfr, end of story. I am in a regulated industry, and if a vendor's input material is substandard and it causes us quality problems, the feds' attitude is that that's our problem, and we need to take it up with our vendors. But the recall, bad press, and potential government action is entirely ours, and we know this.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Not exactly making the case here for buying American when even the Japanese can't get them to make good products.
        • 5 Years Ago
        tankd0g - That's ridiculous. It is Toyota's responsibility to see to it that they put a quality component on their vehicles. Toyota sets the spec, Toyota monitors the process and Toyota checks the quality. This is Toyota's fault.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "It seems kind of strange to farm out production of a component as vital as the frame! I guess I should not be*suprised*.

      Sorry for the omitted word!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ok, what does this mean for Dana? what was the cause of the fault? did Dana use sub standard steel for that year or was there a change in production? Funny how no one is talking about Dana , who built the frames, and everyone is talking about Toyota,
        • 5 Years Ago
        Did Dana build bad frames, or did they build them just like Toyota wanted? Probably a little bit of both and a whole lot of marketing BS about the greatest company in the world making the best stuff they could possibly make... in the end, all that matters to these guys are the revenues.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It is bad for Dana, as it will probably meen the end of their relationship with Toyota - however, most of the time the press puts it all on the manufacturer of the whole product when it comes time to light torches and storm the castle. But we are talking Toyota here, they'll probably catch a break and more and more Americans will come to realize that car components mostly made by suppliers and not the name brand.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Folks, let me share with you what I wrote when this Tundra frame rust thing first broke:

      I live literally within eyesight of the Dana plant that built the frames for the Tundra (and still does, for the Sequoia). All day, every day, I see frames loaded on open tractor-trailers headed to the Toyota plant 60 miles away in Princeton, Indiana. This goes on all year, in any and all weather conditions.

      Kentucky and Indiana are known for heavily salting roads in the winter if there's even a hint of snow coming. I can guarantee that these frames are picking up large quantities of salt-impregnated road grit just on that 60-mile road trip before they ever get put under a truck.

      There has to be a correlation.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Frank, check the site, Chrysler has had more problem than this over just about any 6 month period.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Once again Toyotas quality proves its not all its cracked up to be...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Tankdog, I suggest you find a link on google to Silverado frames "literally rusting in half" I can find hundreds of them for the Toyota Tundra and the Tacoma complete with gory pictures of massive holes and vehicles folded in half.
        • 5 Years Ago
        All the more reason to buy domestic right? Because they are so much more dependable. Always looking for a reason to support your fanboy status. My father just traded in him POS 03 Silverado because of front end failure, brake issues every 15K, and so on. What did he buy? A 08 Tacoma that will last light years beyond the sled he dumped money into with only 40K on the clock. He knows GM, he retired from them 5 years ago.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You can buy a frame because frames get damaged in accidents all the time. I know of no epidmic of frame rust on any domestic truck - ever. I have seen trucks in Michigan that have been through 20 full winters of salt and driven on dirt roads covered with calcium chloride and they are still solid and the frames are in better shape than the frame in a 5 year old Toyota. You fail at proof and on the internet, everyone has always owned what they say they owned.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Since it was in the early 90s just what do you expect to find on the internet? I suppose you can buy a replacement rear ladder frame because they never rusted out? You might have guessed by now I had one of these wonderful trucks.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Toyota's reputation for quality seems to be taking quite a hit these days.
        • 5 Years Ago
        When they can't do truck frames, and can't make non-sludging engines, what's the point?

        Those are basic things to get right!
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Luis,Ducatinova & RemusRM: The article is stating rusting Tundra frames and Tacoma frames. Yes there are still many Camrys and Corollas still running but the subject of the article is Toyota cutting costs and this has affected their Tundra and Tacoma trucks. It is rather surprising that this is happening to Toyota.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Toyota is the #1 automaker in the world, which makes it a large target for criticism, much like GM used to be. Consider other "top dogs" that are sources of criticism: McDonalds (nobody ever complains about the Burger-King-ization of America), Wal-Mart, Microsoft, Haliburton, California, NYC, AT&T, Harley-Davidson... the list goes on.

        Americans love an underdog. Our country was, after all, founded by underdogs who stood no realistic chance of defeating the greatest military power on earth. It's in our blood. Notice that the Found-On-Road-Dead jokes have disappeared as of late? Ford is seen as having paid its pennance, and is on the rise as the new American underdog. Toyota has risen to the top and the honeymoon is over.

        (I still don't like GM at all, but that's more from my experience owning one a few years back than anything else. You shouldn't have MULTIPLE warranty issues before 20,000 miles, period!)

        Anyway, that's my take on it. Back to your regularly scheduled autoblogging.

        • 5 Years Ago
        I know a person that still drives a 1986 Corolla, In St.Louis no less. It's brown and still shines.
        • 5 Years Ago
        hasn't toyota always had a poor reputation for rust and trucks?
      • 5 Years Ago
      It seems kind of strange to farm out production of a component as vital as the frame! I guess I should not be. Anyway, I had a 2005 Tundra and did not have any type of corrosion over 5 yr and 80K while being kept outside in a salt happy state. As much as the Tundra is derided on AB, you would think I could not get over 50% of the original sticker when I unloaded it to buy the wife a new vehicle. I am going to miss it, the most trouble free vehicle I ever owned.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It is true that frames are often outsourced. I do know that Ford and General Motors do this and I would assume that Chrysler does it as well. The thing is, it doesn't matter who is responsible for the issue, Toyota is ultimately responsible because Toyota built and sold the crappy truck to the consumer. Toyota must resolve the issue with their victims.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The problem isn't so much the frame as it is the fact that they weren't undercoated during assembly to prevent rust.
        • 5 Years Ago
        dana made frames for toyota and they rust to hell. dana made frames for the F-150 and they were fine. do the math. it's toyota being cheap and asking them to build crappy frames.
      • 5 Years Ago
      dave1w41 - Exactly! Those of us who actually live in the rust belt know full well how poorly those old Japanese pieces of crap used to rust. Then I have to listen to this f***ing GARBAGE on the internet, how the Japanese have built better cars for DECADES which is a complete farce. It wasn't until the 80's that the Japanese began to be seen as high quality autos. And at this point, domestics have for the most part caught up with Japanese quality. So they had a good 10-15 years of so-called "vastly superior quality". No more. Toyota's day has come and the issues are coming one after another.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I guess quality wise the Titan is better than the Tundra and the best full size import truck.
      • 5 Years Ago
      looks great on them. let's hope they don't kill anyone in the process here. not that this will stop lemmings from buying blindly or the mainstream press from apologizing for them.
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