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Feds probe Toyota Tundras

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Link to original story can be found HERE

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Feds probe Toyota Tundras

2000-01 models face inquiry into corrosion, brake, spare tire issues

David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Tuesday opened a preliminary investigation into corrosion on 218,000 Toyota Tundra pickups -- the latest safety issue to dog the Japanese automaker.

In a notice on its Web site, NHTSA said its Office of Defects Investigation had opened a preliminary probe into corrosion linked to spare tires and brake lines on 2000 and 2001 model year Tundras.

The government said it has "received 20 reports on the subject vehicles that relate to spare tire separation and brake system failures as a result of severe frame corrosion."

NHTSA said 15 reports allege the underbody-mounted spare tire "separated from the rear crossmember" and five reports alleged brake lines broke on the driver's side of the "rear crossmember at upper shock mount."

Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons said the company is aware of the NHTSA investigation, and was conducting its own evaluation of the issue.

"We're at the preliminary evaluation stage," he said, adding that the company hasn't communicated with its dealers about the issue.

NHTSA said it had not identified any accidents or injuries as a result of the complaints.

This isn't the first trouble Toyota has had with corrosion on pickups.

Last year, Toyota offered to buy back 1995-2000 model year Tacoma pickups whose frames were rusted beyond repair. The buyback -- 1.5 times the Kelley Blue Book price -- applied to pickups in 20 cold weather states.

Toyota also agreed to apply supplemental corrosion treatment and inspect and replace frames if necessary on 2001-04 Tacomas in cold weather states, but not to buy them back.

In total, Toyota extended the warranty to 15 years and unlimited miles on more than 1.4 million 1995-2004 Tacoma trucks.

Toyota said the 2000-01 Tundras under investigation by NHTSA "had a similar frame design" and were built by the same Toyota supplier, but were manufactured at a different North American plant, Lyons said. He said Toyota hadn't decided to take any similar steps for the Tundras.

Sean Kane, president of Massachusetts-based Safety Research & Strategies, said that when rust developed on some Toyota pickups "the bottom can collapse."

"This is just more bad news for Toyota at a time when they are getting hit on all sides," Kane said.

The new NHTSA investigation came just one day after Toyota formally agreed to recall 3.8 million 2004-09 model year vehicles over reports of sudden acceleration that may have been linked to jammed accelerator pedals under floor mats.

The company's president issued an apology Friday after four people died in an Aug. 28 California crash whose cause is suspected of being linked to a jammed floor mat.

That recall is the company's largest ever in the United States -- surpassing a 900,000 vehicle recall in 2005.

Toyota and the Transportation Department urged owners of the affected vehicles to immediately remove the floor mats until Toyota comes up with a "vehicle" fix -- something that will go beyond simply a new floor mat.

I'll give them the benefit of the doubt since the model years in question fall within the range that they were having problems with Tacoma's but you sure as hell hope they've learned their lesson about how to properly treat steel for corrosion resistance by now! I also love how the PR spin machine makes sure to mention how a SUPPLIER provided these frames. I'm sure the supplier was allowed to build them to their own engineering specs! :lol:

Edited by 2QuickZ's
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As a manufacturer and a buyer of manufactured items - you order something and it is supplied to YOUR SPECIFICATIONS...if it is delivered to your factory outside of your specs, you refuse them. It is a simple step in the manufacturing process.

If I am to believe Toyota, then I am to believe that they did not inspect a delivered FRAME to their factory 218,000 times in the instance of the Tundra.

Anybody else find that hard to believe?

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It's amazing to me that people would buy a tundra when there are such superior choices from GM, Ford, and Chrysler. They have definately sold the crap out of those tundras. I see them everywhere and it amazes me that people are so ignorant. We'll never see how bad they suck on the evening news. But we'll hear about GM and Chrysler's troubles everyday!!

Nothing about this story is a surprise to me, at all.

Edited by GMman
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I'm seeing less new tundras and titans then I did before. I live in CA's truck country (central valley) and it appears the NEW factor has worn off and the old standbys are selling again. Of course though, Fresno has always been a Chevy/GMC truck town.

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Thankfully here in Ohio the Titan and Tundra have been something of a rolling joke.

I've seen like one Titan on the road in the last three months, and I would bet Domestics outnumber Tundras at least 10-1 or 15-1 around here.

Thankfully, CFC took quite a few Tacomas and Tundras off of the road around here. One local Saturn dealer hasn't had all of their CFC cars hauled off yet and I'll bet there were a dozen Toyotas back there, easy, along with a Land Rover, quite a few Rodeos, Passports, and Quest minivans.

Maybe we'll get lucky and the DOT will require Toyota to buy back every last truck they've sold in the US and crush it?

Chris

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I actually took a look at a truck in the HD lot the other day- saw it from the front fender side & didn't recognize it initially- thought it was new. It was a titan- never see them anymore, not sure where they all went... or if it's just my visual filters saving me the pain.

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Tundra has been a substandard POS from day one - I nominate it as the worst product Toyota has ever released.

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It would have a long way to go to equal all of the rusting crapboxes of the 70's, 80's, 90's, 2000's, and now 2010's.

Maybe a new Toyota Slogan is in order-Toyota

"Best Ever Collection of Used Iron Oxide by the Roadside"

Chris

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Tundra has been a substandard POS from day one - I nominate it as the worst product Toyota has ever released.

You've obviously forgotten about this:

2002.toyota.echo.10254-396x249.jpg

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Won't the problem rust away anyway? :smilewide:

Seriuosly - Glad the probes are ongoing. The fuel tank thing with GM's pickup trucks a long time ago had some ressonance, this will too. Detroit 3 should take advantage of this.

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It was a titan- never see them anymore, not sure where they all went... or if it's just my visual filters saving me the pain.

Now thats funny.

As bad as the titan is, I can't say i think it's the worst. The tundra IS the ugliest truck, inside and out, on the road today. toyota never had a good orginal idea of their own. the design of that truck is a good example of how cock-eyed those people are.

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You've obviously forgotten about this:

2002.toyota.echo.10254-396x249.jpg

I don't know about that.

With that thing, they set out to build a cheap little turd - so on that level it was a success. With the Tundra, they set out to build a class-leading fullsize pickup - and failed miserably three times.

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