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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
133,391 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.

2002 Toyota 4Runner body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2002 Toyota 4Runner Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Jul 152016


  • 162,000 miles


My 2002 4runner's frame is rusted through in many places. This is very unsafe and Toyota should fix this problem. They have yet to recall the 4runners but, have recalled the Tacoma and sequoia. I do not have the money to do this repair. I am buried in debt from a heart transplant and this is just unacceptable. I think people will die from this problem. Please respond so I have some information please. Thanks, robert matteo 614-581-7904 columbus, Ohio

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #23

Jul 052016


  • 800,000 miles
Frame is badly rusted out. Vehicle only has 80,000 miles

- Harwich, MA, USA

problem #22

Jan 152016


  • 215,000 miles
Frame cracked/rusted dealership reported that the frame (right rear) was cracked.... car is unsafe to drive.

- North Olmsted, OH, USA

problem #21

Mar 202016


  • 175,000 miles


My 2002 Toyota 4runner has a couple quarter sized rust hole on the rear right side of the frame. Located on the inside next to the exhaust muffler. The entire rest of the frame is in very good condition, it's weird to me that just this particular spot is completely rusted through, this is a huge safety hazard and I know Toyota should step up and do something about this. I read online most people have this same problem in the same exact spot. Seems like a defect in the frame. I'm hoping to have Toyota cover this incident. Thanks for reading. Brandon

- Massillon, OH, USA

problem #20

Jan 282015


  • 100,000 miles
Fame deteriorating prematurely, skid plate that protects fuel tank showed signs of rust. After inspecting found rotting from inside out.when replacing in may of 2014, found that strap that holds fuel tank rusted completely away, two bolts from the rusted skid plate only thing holding fuel tank in place.same conditions exist over entire frame, rust falls off in sheets when frame is tapped on with hammer.brought my concerns to dealership in Jan.of 2015 of rust issue, they informed me nothing would be done.

- Sandusky, OH, USA

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problem #19

Jan 272016


  • miles
The frame of the vehicle is rotting out with rust. The 4runner has never been in snow and has been taken well care of and the frame is still eroding away with rust at an unnatural rate. This issue must be addressed for the sake of so many unaware owners!

- Savannah, GA, USA

problem #18

Jan 092016


  • 145,450 miles


I visited a Toyota dealership for routine maintenance (oil change) and inspection of 4 wheel drive system. After the vehicle was raised on the lift, the service advisor asked me to join him and the shop mechanic in the service bay where I was shown that the frame / chassis of the vehicle has rusted the point where in their opinion it was no longer safe to operate. After close inspection, I had agreed with their assessment. An online search for a recall notice was performed, but none was found. Otherwise, this vehicle is in meticulous condition with no body damage or rust or any mechanical problems.

- Chicago, IL, USA

problem #17

Jan 032016


  • miles
Frame is rusted through on right side from middle of the frame to just over the rear axel. There are large holes and rusted slots that are over 10 inches long damage starts before the rear suspenshion support and continues to the other side and the side where the rust has caused holes and long slots the whole frame can be squeezed easily with your hand.

- Waretown, NJ, USA

problem #16

Oct 162013


  • 200,000 miles
Frame rusted through. There is a hole in frame because of rust.

- Randallstown, MD, USA

problem #15

Sep 302015


  • 182,489 miles
Vehicle was stationary. While replacing exhaust system components. Found what appeared to be minor rust on the passenger (right) side rear suspension mount. Further investigation uncovered a larger area of rust along the 3 welds on the inner frame rail. Cut / ground the metal back to good metal and am in the process of patching for my yearly Maine vehicle inspection. Either Toyota has built an inferior frame or the newer chemicals being used to keep the roads clear in the winter to be the cause of this rust which could cause the rear suspension to fail at this point in the frame and cause a accident.

- Turner, ME, USA

problem #14

Sep 092015


  • miles


Frame rusted under 4 runner and on bumper told by person working on sway bar links. Stated excessive rust on frame and rear axle.

- Georgetown, KY, USA

problem #13

Sep 032015


  • 180,000 miles
Frame has excessive rust and has holes in parts of it. The rest of the body and interior are in great condition. Engine runs well and there are otherwise no major mechanical issues. Upon having a minor repair done, inspection showed that the vehicle was unsafe to drive with the frame in that condition as it is about to crack in half. This seems to be prematurely failing compared to the rest of the vehicle.

- Highland Heights, KY, USA

problem #12

Apr 022015


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota 4runner. The contact inspected the vehicle and discovered that the entire rear end of the frame completely rusted. In addition, the rack and pinion was faulty and replaced by an independent mechanic. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failrue mileage was 120,000.

- Worthington, MA, USA

problem #11

Nov 282014

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 99,000 miles
2002 Toyota 4 runner SR5, 98,000 miles. Always dealer serviced. This will be my last state nys inspection as I will be unable to have the truck inspected in 2015 due to body frame rot, need to incur costs to replace body frame. Truck is in excellent condition with the exception of frame rot. Have also replaced the bumper, the gas tank shield and have been told front oil pan shield needs replacing as dealer can not perform oil change, due to this problem. I have contacted Toyota waiting for a reply.

- Mahopac, NY, USA

problem #10

Nov 102014


  • 167,000 miles
Extensive rust thru on drivers side of frame, rear suspension link rusted to the point where complete failure in coming soon. Last two feet of frame completely gone. Doubt it will pass another safety inspection without significant repair. Rear differential rusted to the point gear oil leaks. This is common on all 4 runners and should be recalled just like the Tacoma.

- Bowdoinham, ME, USA

problem #9

Sep 052014

4Runner 4WD 6-cyl

  • 139,000 miles
My 2002 4runner was purchased brand new from Toyota in November of 2001. I live in New York so it does snow 2 or 3 months out of the year. It has been used as a second vehicle to pick up supplies and the like, otherwise it is rarely used. At this time it has approx. 139000 miles. The truck would not start and I took it to a mechanic. I was told there is an extreme amount of rust under the vehicle, the undercarriage, the frame, the gas tank, etc. The problem is the fuel pump but because of so much rust, removing the gas tank to change the fuel pump may cause damage to the components connecting the tank to the frame of the vehicle. It is a shame that Toyota sells a vehicle that may need to be junked due to the amount of rust it has. I understand that many other owners have the same problem with the 4runner and something should be done. I bought a 1999 Camry brand new prior to the 4runner and I had it for 12 years before giving it to a friend who still drives it to this day and it has no rust. The 4runner runs great all of the years I have owned it but I am being told by my mechanic that it is possible the body of my truck could fall from the frame. At 139000 miles this should not be happening. Toyota should offer some kind of repair to these issues. My truck looks almost brand new except for some rust on the front and rear bumpers and now I may have to junk it.

- Putnam Valley, NY, USA

problem #8

May 282014

4Runner 6-cyl

  • miles
There is excessive rust on the frame rails which support the body of the vehicle thus weakening the critical supportive components. This creates a possible dangerous situation which may go unnoticed until failure occurs. This has been a common problem with other Toyota vehicles and should be addressed for the 4runners.

- Matthews, NC, USA

problem #7

Jan 032011

4Runner 6-cyl Diesel

  • 138,000 miles
Vehicle frame, front & rear bumpers and undercarriage have excessive / unsafe rust corrosion.

- Bellvale , NY, USA

problem #6

Oct 012013


  • 110,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota 4runner. The contact stated that the frame and undercarriage was severely corroded. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 110,000 and the current mileage was 110,500.

- North Berwick, ME, USA

problem #5

Sep 262013

4Runner 6-cyl

  • 113,000 miles
(there was no category offered for frame). During a recent automotive service for brakes on 9-26-13 for my 2002 Toyota 4runner, I was notified of a rust perforation in the frame body near a rear support mount for the axle making it unsafe for operation. This is a situation where rust forms in the interior of the frame and works its way out destroying the structural integrity of the vehicle. It seems the service technician used to work at a Toyota dealership and knew exactly where to look from his prior experience with other 4runner failures. The Toyota dealer informed that this would not be covered. My ?02 4runner is from the same generation (3rd) and of similar design to the Tacoma that was recalled for this the dealer instructed me to contact the torrance, ca Toyota customer service as his dealership would be unable to assist in anyway. It was clear they had encountered this before. Through discussion with Toyota ca they have no intention of providing any means of relief for a known and well documented safety problem. One rep did comment that the Tundra and sequoia had been recently added to the recall but the 4runner was "not yet? on the recall list. It seems Toyota views the products to be different due to the body style differences or us vs Japanese built products. They also clearly have no intention to escalate internally. I was instructed to file a complaint with NHTSA and ntsb. Research on line shows that there is a very widespread issue that Toyota is clearly choosing to ignore. Web information suggests that cold climate and the axle bracket in close proximity to the exhaust, are primary factors. How can you recall one model for a rusted frame due to safety but not another" personal photos available. Huge numbers of photos and reports available online - search " rusted frame 4runner" or similar.

- West Lebanon, NH, USA

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