Recall Alert: Toyota Tundra

Posted: November 25, 2009

Toyota has issued a recall order for about 110,000 Tundra pickups from model years 2000 through 2003, currently registered or originally sold in 20 cold weather states and the District of Columbia. The new order is an expansion of an earlier recall, and concerns reports of excessive frame rust that could contribute to structural problems with the vehicle.

In a recall notice filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the automaker explains, “For vehicles operated in the cold climate regions of the united states where road salts are frequently used, excessive corrosion of the rear cross member may cause the separation of the spare tire stowed under the truck bed. Eventually, excessive corrosion of the rear cross member may also affect the functionality of the rear brake line at the proportioning valve.”  In theory, excessive corrosion might lead to “separation of the spare tire and rear brake failure.”

The frame rust problem has become an ongoing source of embarrassment for the company.  Several model years of the Tundra and Tacoma pickups have been recalled over the same issue, which Toyota blames on a steel supplier.

The recall affects vehicles originally sold or currently registered in 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.

Toyota is asking owners to remove the spare tire from under the vehicle before driving. “Toyota will inspect the rear cross member including the surrounding components such as, the brake line at the proportioning valve (which is mounted on the rear cross member assembly) will be also inspected and replaced if necessary.”  All repairs will be performed free of charge.

Owners should receive a recall notice in the mail next month, but those who wish to make their own repair arrangements may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.

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