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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
162,706 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Toyota 4Runner body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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1998 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments

problem #17

Sep 012015


  • miles


1998 Toyota 4-runner. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle frame rust issues.

- Charleston, WV, USA

problem #16

May 152015


  • 161,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Toyota 4runner. While the vehicle was parked, the contact observed corroded pieces of metal that dropped from the undercarriage. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 161,000.

- Freeport, NY, USA

problem #15

Apr 182015

4Runner 6-cyl

  • miles
Purchased this Toyota 4 runner from a dealership only to find out last week the frame is rusted with holes. I believe the dealership knew this and should not have sold the vehicle under such dangerous conditions that it's in.

- Royal Oak, MI, USA

problem #14

Apr 012009


  • 198,000 miles


Frame rust. Lots of areas of frame beginning to fall. Car swaying. Afraid of getting into accident.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #13

Jan 152015


  • 235,000 miles
I was informed of and shown excessive frame rotting/rusting through from a mechanic. The frame looked relatively normal roughly 6 months ago. I am aware that some of their other trucks have recalls due to the same issue, and I am seeing instances of this on the internet for this vehicle.

- Menomonee Falls, WI, USA

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problem #12

Dec 152010


  • 135,555 miles
The frame was poorly designed from the factory. With the hollow style frame as thin as it is, does not have proper drainage. This design from Toyota causes premature oxidization of the frame/under carriage, because moisture from normal driving conditions is failed to be evacuated from the frame even after being kept in a dry warm place for storage. This problem is widely documented online in forums dedicated specifically to these vehicles. The frame rust is so bad on mine, I can no longer drive it. I am recently unemployed, and have not nearly enough savings for a new vehicle. This will become a national safety hazard soon as higher mileage 4runners of this frame design are commonly coming down in price on the used market and are often sought after as good "starter car" for new drivers and teens. Toyota should do the honorable thing, which they demonstrated and saved lives with the recall of Tacoma model frames. I am now car-less in a rural area, which makes me pretty much unemployable. Thanks Toyota, if the frame I bought was half as well built as the body and engine of the auto I purchased, I would not be in the situation, and the highways would not be at risk, which they are now.

- Jay, ME, USA

problem #11

Feb 022014


  • 234,000 miles


Frame has rust perforation where the rear control arm bracket mounts to frame.....apparently this is a known issue with 1996-2002 4 runners and Toyota has refused to do anything about it.

- North Scituate, RI, USA

problem #10

Dec 302013


  • 193,000 miles
Vehicle started a clunking sound and began to sway from side to side. Mechanic inspected and found frame had rusted on drivers side near rear sway bar.

- New Boston, PA, USA

problem #9

Oct 242013

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 345,600 miles
During normal service and inspection, my Toyota dealer service rep. Reported frame rust, including perforation of the frame. Service rep recommended that vehicle not be driven, and taken out of service. I have owned this vehicle for 13 years. Toyota dealerships have done the service and repairs on this vehicle, and never reported this problem previously. This was the first time I have even heard of frame rust. Now, I have a vehicle that is almost worthless. I reported this problem to Toyota, but they did not offer any suggestions or help.

- Marengo, IA, USA

problem #8

Jul 312013


  • 333,849 miles
While driving on a busy road the rear lower control arm frame mount broke due to frame rot. The vehicle started to sway back and forth violently and I was able limp it to the repair shop. The frame and mount for the control arm are rotted through and the vehicle is not safe to drive, this is my main daily driver vehicle. There is no fix for this besides replacing the frame. I know there is alot of miles on this truck but mechanically there is nothing wrong with it and it runs great.

- Salem, WI, USA

problem #7

Jun 062013


  • 240,000 miles


I was driving and suddenly it felt like the rear driver side tire fell off. Further inspection showed that the driver side rear control arm bracket was rotted out of the frame. There is no way I can drive my truck anymore. I had someone look at the frame and was told its completely rotted and the truck is a total loss. I do not understand why there is not a recall for the 4runners when the frame is similar to the Tacoma. The Tacoma did have a recall for rotting of the frame. There should be a recall for the frame on the 4runners since this is a serious safety hazard. The axle of the 4runner could fall out and could cause a fatal accident.

- Chester, CT, USA

problem #6

Sep 152010


  • 170,000 miles
I got the 4runner in like 2006 or 2007 at a used dealership in great condition. Didn't look good at the underneath at the time. Around 6-7 years later, the vehicle started swaying when I would drive on the main road. Got it checked out and the frame was rusted so bad that I was lucky to not have the entire bottom fall out when driving down the road. Got some welded to last awhile longer and a year later, the other side broke from rust. It is a shame because the body and interior, exterior, engine, etc. Is in great condition! even the back bumper and hitch is rusted out bad now. I think since the Tacoma has a recall for the rust on frame, the 4runner should as well because I am losing money from my 4runner & just letting it go to scraps. It would cost more to find an entire newer frame than to just find another vehicle. Something needs to change because it is very dangerous for people to drive these models when the rust is soo bad!

- Coeburn , VA, USA

problem #5

Nov 012012

4Runner 4WD 6-cyl

  • miles
1998 Toyota 4-runner. Consumer writes in regards to frame rust. The consumer stated the rear support bracket snapped off the main frame of the vehicle.

- Stamford, CT, USA

problem #4

Oct 092012


  • 170,000 miles
Frame is rusted out around rear control arm brackets. Numerous rust holes in frame. This vehicle is unsafe to drive in this condition and Toyota does not want to do anything about it. I have seen hundreds of the same model vehicle online with this same issue. This needs to be a recall, just like the Tacoma frames. Vehicle is in excellent condition and has been well maintained. It is a shame this 4runner is unsafe to drive. Beautiful truck, unsafe frame.

- Martinsburg, WV, USA

problem #3

Dec 202011

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 190,000 miles
I found a 10" long X1" wide section of frame perforated on the passenger side at the cross member. There are several other places on the passenger side that are perforated as well. The drivers side seems ok. I am now worried about the safety of this vehicle.

- Versailles, KY, USA

problem #2

Dec 012011


  • 160,000 miles
The frame on my 1998 Toyota 4runner SR5 has completely rusted through on the rear and has broken in half. The vehicle is no longer safe to drive. The Toyota Tacoma pickup (same model year time-frame) has the same issue and has been recalled, but the 4runner has not. The 4runner should also be recalled and a 15 year extended frame rust though warranty applied.

- Dublin , OH, USA

problem #1

Feb 082010

4Runner 6-cyl

  • miles
The frame of the vehicle is rusting out I have one or two holes in my frame and I see that is a safety problem. I work for a Toyota dealership and we replacing alot of Tacoma frames due to rust. The 4runner frame is the same as the Tacoma so I don't see why 4runner frames are not involved in the recall. Thanks.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

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