Toyota is working on a remedy to the situation and will notify owners when it is ready. The release below from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has more information, including all of the cold-weather states in which affected trucks are registered, and indicates that the recall should begin next month.
NHTSA Campaign ID number: 12V542000
Vehicle Model Year(s) Make / Model: 2001-2004 TOYOTA / TACOMA
Manufacturer: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing
Report Receipt Date: NOV 23, 2012
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 12V542000
Component: TIRES:TEMPORARY/EMERGENCY SPARE TIRE
Potential Number of Units Affected: 150,000
Toyota is recalling certain model year 2001 through 2004 Tacoma light trucks manufactured from August 28, 2000, through August 27, 2004, and originally sold, or currently registered, in the following cold climate states with high road salt usage: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. The spare tire in the subject vehicles is located underneath the rear of the vehicle and held by a spare tire carrier. A lift plate on the carrier is used to help raise, lower and retain the tire. During its manufacture, the lift plate may not have been sufficiently coated with anti-corrosion materials. If the plate is insufficiently coated and the vehicle is operated in cold climate regions where road salts are frequently used, road spray can reach the carrier assembly and corrode the lift plate.
Corrosion of the plate could cause it to break, which could result in detachment of the spare tire from the vehicle. Detachment of the spare tire could result in a road hazard which may increase the risk of a vehicle crash.
A remedy for this defect is currently being developed. Toyota will notify owners when a remedy plan has been finalized. The recall is expected to begin during December 2012. Owners may contact their Toyota dealer or the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.