In some cases, corrosion and stress could cause one of the three or four leaves in the rear suspension's leaf springs to fracture. While the trucks can still be driven with a broken leaf, Toyota is concerned that it could move out of position and impact other components in the rear of the truck, with a particular focus on the fuel tank. Needless to say, but a piece of metal continuously impacting anything, let alone the fuel tank, is cause for concern.
As of this writing, there have been no reports of crashes, injuries, fires or deaths due to this problem, although that won't stop Toyota from informing all affected customers of the issue. Those 690,000 owners will need to report in to dealers for inspections and, if necessary, repairs.
Scroll down for the press release from Toyota.
TORRANCE, Calif., September 29, 2014 – Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., today announced that it has advised the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of plans to conduct a voluntary safety recall of approximately 690,000 Model Year 2005-2011 Tacoma 4x4 and Tacoma Pre-Runner pickup trucks.
The involved vehicles' rear suspension system contains leaf springs that are constructed of either three or four leaves. There is a possibility that a leaf could fracture due to stress and corrosion. If this occurs and the vehicle continues to be operated, the broken leaf could move out of position and contact surrounding components, including the fuel tank. If the broken leaf contacts the fuel tank repeatedly, it could puncture the tank and cause a fuel leak. In the presence of an ignition source, this could result in a fire.
Toyota is not aware of any fires, crashes, injuries or fatalities associated with this condition.
Owners of the vehicles involved in this recall will receive a notification by first class mail. Toyota dealers will remedy the condition at no cost to the owner.
Detailed information is available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall and by calling the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.