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10.0

really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
136,196 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 Tacoma suspension problems

suspension problem

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2002 Toyota Tacoma Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #33

Oct 062016

Tacoma

  • 165,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The rust on the rear end assembly is so severe that the brakes are compromised, and the back up emergency brake system has failed. The rust on the differential housing is so severe that the fluid has leaked out and the gears are at risk for catastrophic failure. The spring mounts to the axles are also rusting severely, creating a risk of lost control should either side break away. It takes great effort when braking, and the vehicle pulls severely due to rust causing the loss of integrity of the braking system. The brakes, once applied, do not release evenly, creating uneven brake wear, shuddering and shaking, resulting in poor control, excessive and uneven tire wear, I.e., tires locked and dragging, scalloping. On wet, and I fear, icey, surfaces, the truck has slid sideways due to one or more wheels not releasing.

- Stephentown, NY, USA

problem #32

Aug 242016

Tacoma

  • 174,454 miles
I was informed by Toyota case worker that the rusty frame recall expired and it is my problem now. I didn't receive any frame recall notice but received a spare tire lift plate recall (which doesn't expire) due to rust and severe corrosion. I was informed by dealership my truck was unsafe to even put on the lift to address current recall, of course they let me drive it home which is a 35-40 minute drive for me. I was forced to scrap my truck with a perfectly good motor because how unsafe it was and the expense to fix it on my own. I didn't realize the severity of the problem until I crawled under my truck and was beside myself! I had huge holes in the frame, the leaf springs were shot, all this was under the "undercoating" that was done at time of purchase to protect frame from rust! I paid extra for that! even my seat mounts on the interior back seat were rusted! I suspect the quality of metal used is on the lower side... I used my truck as a truck, hauled small amounts of mulch, soul for my garden, it moved me 5X! I didn't go muddling in it, park it in a pond, or live in a flood area. I just used it... how is there an expiration date for the ongoing problem that can ultimately jeapardize a persons safety as well as others on the road?! please hold Toyota responsible...

- Centerburg, OH, USA

problem #31

Jun 102016

Tacoma

  • 131,000 miles
Frame rot from inside out. Suspension mounting to frame rotted out. Totoya refuses to deal with this and claims the safety recall is expired. How can a recall be expired. Case #1606101548. Toyota representative very rude and demeaning.

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #30

Jun 092016

Tacoma

  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Excessive unsafe frame rot from inside out. Toyota safety 'recall' offer to fix 'expired'.

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #29

May 052016

Tacoma

  • 86,039 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Tacoma. While backing out of the driveway at a very low rate of speed, the rear driver side spring shackle suddenly fractured and rendered the vehicle undrivable. The vehicle was examined by an independent mechanic who diagnosed that the failure was caused by severe rusting of the vehicle's frame. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 86,039.....updated 07/11/16

- Charleroi, PA, USA

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problem #28

Mar 212016

Tacoma

  • 92,000 miles
Rusting frame.I brought my 2002 Toyota Tacoma truck to dealer for the corrosion resistant spraying to prevent further rusting of frame.spraying completed on 03/25/03.rust on frame continues.spraying did not work.Toyota said they only spray truck once.rust warranty extended for 15 years expiring on 10/01/16.Toyota should extend rust warranty with no expiration date as truck will have to be sprayed every two years.earlier years rust warranty covered replacing frame or vehicle buyback.Toyota should cover same warranty for later year Tacoma as rust problem persists in every year. Leaf springs and hardware are rusted as are muffler brackets leading to potentional safety hazard if items fail while driving.Toyota admitted rust proofing not done properly by subcontractor.please hold Toyota accountable for their negligence in properly protecting frames, springs.and suspension systems with corrosion resistant materials.Toyota is just buying time until warranties expire.after that time the owners will have no recourse with Toyota.

- Glastonbury, CT, USA

problem #27

Nov 202015

Tacoma

  • 169,175 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Tacoma. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken to the dealer to be repaired under NHTSA campaign number: 12V542000 (tires) however, the contact was informed by the service technician that there was excessive corrosion to the subframe of the vehicle. The contact stated that the corrosion traveled from the front driver side suspension to the rear driver side suspension. The contact was informed that the vehicle was unsafe and could not be repaired. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 169,175.

- Newport News, VA, USA

problem #26

Oct 222015

Tacoma

  • 240,000 miles
Hello, I own a 2002 Toyota Tacoma and I brought it to a local Toyota dealership where a service advisor came out to the parking lot, got under the vehicle and noticed that the frame has rusted through (he stuck his hand through the rust hole) near where the leaf springs attach to the frame. It is a known safety issue and Toyota has repaired/replaced many Tacoma's due to this safety issue. I did some research, and found out that Toyota knows their frames are unsafe, and have extended the warranty to 15 years from the date of new car delivery. I tried to get mine replaced since its still well within time-frame, but they are stating that the original owner refused a frame inspection/application anticorrosion spray so now they will not honor the unsafe frame. I have vehicle service history showing other recalls (front ball-joint) were done, and other repairs to the car, so its likely that the original dealership did not offer the application anticorrosion spray, otherwise the owner would have had this free service completed (the customer serviced it regularly and kept it in great shape) and the frame would not be unsafe. Original new car delivery date was October of 2002, meaning the 15 year frame recall safety issue is covered until October of 2016 (a year from now). I spoke with Toyota customer service and they are unwilling to do anything about this known safety issue. In any case, since Toyota knows its a safety issue, and its well within the 15 year recall frame time-frame, why should Toyota expect me to just drive around an unsafe vehicle?

- Shawnee, KS, USA

problem #25

Aug 072015

Tacoma

  • 152,000 miles
I drive a 2002 Toyota Tacoma. Heard a clunking noise I thought was a loose pick up bed (shortly after driving on the highway at legal but high speed coming home from work). Stopped and noted my truck frame had broken in two places over the rear axel and gas tank area. The broken side of the frame was just sitting loosely on the L rear leaf springs. Luckily I stopped to check the pickup bed. I could have been involved in a serious accident or even killed or what's worse could have lost control and hurt someone else. I know Toyota has had significant frame quality control issues with these model Tacoma in the past. I did have a frame check in Dec. 2010 on a recall notice and it was fine. Was told by the dealership no further action was needed. Now I find after talking to Toyota corporate, the frame should have been undercoated at that time. (they claim to have sent 5 letters advising me of this….none of which I received, and I am the original owner at the same address for the past 16 years). Looking at the internet forms concerning Tacoma, I am not the only one to have been given this cock and bull story. Why would I have not taken the truck in for protective undercoating if informed by Toyota after all ready responding to a recall inspection only a few weeks earlier?. this is a potentially dangerous situation and could cause catastrophic problems. I think Toyota Corp is directly responsible for this situation by originally installing defective frames then not following through on recalls or service bulletins properly and actually stone walling owners calling with complaints about the defective frames with an extended 15 year warranty.

- Russell, PA, USA

problem #24

Jun 122015

Tacoma

  • 387,383 miles
2002 Toyota Tacoma was taken into the shop for an oil change, tire rotation and brake inspection when the shop service technician called to report the frame of the vehicle contains pinholes and is noticeably rusting, presenting a safety issue. The shop technician recommended contacting Toyota directly as he thought any recall had since expired. Post researching recall information, we did verify that the "recall" period had expired. However, this vehicle was purchased new as a corporate asset and remains in our possession. We absolutely did not receive any recall notifications for the frame issues nor a request for inspection!

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #23

Jan 182010

Tacoma 4-cyl

  • 61,507 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Had a recall on my Tacoma. I had bought from father, he bought new from spartan Toyota in lansing mi. It was for a possible frame rust recall. I have the records of taking it in for that purpose. It was cleared by service department. Apparently, they were supposed to spray a protective coat on the frame at no cost to me, which would include a 15 year warranty on frame. They did not do this. I sold truck to my son, approximately July 2014. He took it in for muffler work and they wouldn't put on hoist because frame is weak from rust. Everyone from the dealer and Toyota national has said it should have been sprayed, but because it wasn't they sorry but can't do anything. I feel that solution to the service departments mistake is not adequate. Do I have any other recourse to help my son? [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Laingsburg, MI, USA

problem #22

Jan 162013

Tacoma 4WD 6-cyl

  • 96,000 miles
I bought a used 2002 Tacoma from a good friend. He took very good care of the truck, it was mint. After I bought the truck I asked about the frame recall, but he said when he took it in that they couldn't do it and he had forgotten to take it back. No negligence, just didn't see rust and didn't take it in for the under coating. I tried to get it done but Toyota would not stand behind the warranty. Two years later and I have a some pretty bad frame rust. This is a safety issue and I really cannot afford another payment. There needs to be a recall for this problem.

- Wytheville, VA, USA

problem #21

Apr 032015

Tacoma

  • 165,000 miles
Frame is rusted through in multiple locations and has been treated with corrosion resistant coatings. The coatings are obviously visible but did not prevent the frame from rusting to an unsafe condition. The previous owner brought the truck in for other recalls that are recorded in its history. This one for the frame is not recorded however you can see the coating has been applied. The warranty extension is listed for 15 years. The truck is 13 years old but, a person representing Toyota says it's expired with no explanation of how that is. So far she put me on hold for 20 minutes without being able to find the information to explain to me.

- Lansdale, PA, USA

problem #20

Apr 012015

Tacoma 4WD 6-cyl

  • 165,000 miles
I purchased a Tacoma truck December 2014 with an undercoated frame, and was unaware the frames in these trucks rot out, it is now April I look under the truck and see the frame is completely rotten out to the point where there is holes every where and you can poke your fingers holes will develop, I contacted Toyota they don't want to even touch the truck, I feel very unsafe driving the truck.

- Webster , NY, USA

problem #19

Mar 052015

Tacoma 4WD 6-cyl

  • 120,000 miles
Purchased this truck 4 months ago for $10,900. Found no evidence of recalls on this truck on carfax and Toyota recall website. It is a great truck in pristine condition. However, after talking to a friend who has a 2004 Tacoma he informed me that there was a recall and that his frame was sprayed to prevent corrosion. I called up Toyota to see if it had been done on mine and they said no. I asked why they were spraying them and they said it was because the frame will corrode. I asked if it could be done to mine and they said that they stopped doing it at the end of 2011. I had joseph Toyota inspect it yesterday and they informed me that the frame has a hole in it and would only have 2 years left. I asked Toyota if they would repair the frame or buy the truck back as I have heard they do and they said no. So now I can either pass the problem onto someone else or wait until the frame fails.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #18

Feb 142015

Tacoma

  • 76,560 miles
Vehicle has low miles yet the frame has rust holes in it. Toyota won't do anything about it even though it has frame inspections in it's recent service history. The first inspection occurred in 2010, less than 7K miles ago. They indicated to me on the phone that due to an agreement with NHTSA that they could not do anything to help me. They would not take ownership for not inspecting the frame properly. This is a major problem with Tacoma's, Tundra's, sequoia's and 4runner's of this vintage in cold climate states. Toyota acknowledged the frames were of poor manufacturing even suing the frame manufacturer, yet some get new frames, others like myself with a low mile truck are told they could do absolutely nothing even though the vehicle was traded in less than 1600 miles ago at a Toyota dealership in pa. Toyota needs to own up to this major safety issue and address it instead of skirting the issue without a proper recall. I have seen videos of Tacoma's which have literally broken in half due to this problem. Never did I think Toyota wouldn't stand behind this potentially fatal flaw in frame manufacturing and corrosion resistance. My frame has a large 1"X6.5" hole above the right front leaf spring mount - a key attachment point for the rear suspension.

- Elk Grove, CA, USA

problem #17

Jul 312014

Tacoma 4WD 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles
Part of the frame suddenly broke from the frame rail under the driver's side of the vehicle, resulting in a significant portion of material loosing all structural integrity. This was due, it seems, to a manufacturing defect in the frame quality leading to excessive rot and rust. The vehicle is now structurally unsound and thus unable to be driven safely.

- East Hampton, NY, USA

problem #16

Jul 212014

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 254,609 miles
The sway bar arm bracket on the passenger side of the vehicle pulled out of the frame due to corrosion. The vehicle was found to have corrosion perforations in multiple areas of the frame. Frame has excessive corrosion and I have been advised vehicle is not safe to operate. Manufacturer refuses to do anything.

- Washington, PA, USA

problem #15

May 012014

Tacoma 4-cyl

  • 157,500 miles
I recently took my 2002 Toyota Tacoma into the local dealer, dch in wappingers falls NY, because of leak in the rack and pinion steering. Upon looking at the vehicle, they observed a cracked and rusted frame. We took the car down and I went to my local repair shop for a second opinion. That repair shop had said there was a frame recall for that year. I called Toyota in California and they confirmed there was a recall for that year and that they sent out a notice, but it had to be brought by the end of 2012. I told them I never received the notice. There have been 2 other recalls for the vehicle which I did receive notices. They checked with their compliance office and said they did send it to me. I asked how many notices went out and they said one and they do not send them certified mail. When I stated that I never received the notice, they told there was a department that may still be able to assist me. After opening up a case with Toyota, they came to the conclusion, there was nothing they can do about it because I failed to bring the car in by their deadline. I told them again that I never received the notice and that I don't feel safe driving the vehicle with a rusted and cracked frame. This seems to be problem with a good deal of Toyota. I was hoping for some kind of help, since they've admitted the problem and I never received the notice and we, at this point have only their word that they sent me a notice. Thank you. Toyota case# 1405131065. Updated 07/03/14

- Wappingers Falls, NY, USA

problem #14

May 052014

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 125,000 miles
While driving home from picking up my daughter from school. I hit a pot hole my truck became very loose and hard to handle. I got home and inspected the truck. I found that the rear leaf spring mounts on both sides pulled/ ripped the frame! my back axel also slid back about 2"! I'm glad we didn't get hurt, but I can't believe that this is acceptable. I only wonder what would have happened if the axel would have came totally disconnected from the truck.

- Seymour, IN, USA

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