really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
1 / 0
Average Mileage:
63,310 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.

2003 Toyota Tacoma body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Toyota Tacoma Owner Comments

problem #16

Jun 052016


  • 133,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. While driving approximately 75 mph, the brake pedal was depressed; however, the vehicle failed to slow down. The parking brake was engaged and the vehicle came to a stop. The vehicle was maneuvered to the side of the road where it was discovered that the brake fluid reservoir was empty. The contact dispensed the brake fluid. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The mechanic stated that the entire frame and brake positioning valve exhibited excessive corrosion. The manufacturer issued a customer satisfaction program related to the frame, which expired. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 133,000.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #15

Oct 092015

Tacoma 4WD 4-cyl

  • 210,000 miles
Both sides of my frame are rusted in front of the rear wheels. The left side has a large rusted crack where the leaf springs connect to the frame. The right side has a roasted whole large enough that I can put my hand inside. I contacted Toyota corporate and they told me they were very sorry but all their campaigns were expired and they had to tell thousands of other people the same thing. Vehicle is unsafe to drive and could cause me or someone else harm at any time. If Toyota has talked to thousands of other people about the same problem, it seems to me they should be responsible for their faulty equipment. Updated 11/19/15.

- Poca, WV, USA

problem #14

Sep 262014

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
Frame rust cracked Suburban Toyota has impounded the truck stated unsafe to drive.

- Bloomfield Hills, MI, USA

problem #13

May 112014

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 60,000 miles


Vehicle has gone through 2 recalls, frame and spare tire holder. Back bumper is corroding.

- Altamont, NY, USA

problem #12

Aug 252013

Tacoma 4WD 6-cyl

  • 163,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. The contact stated the frame was corroded. The vehicle was inspected by an independent mechanic. The mechanic stated the frame would had to be replaced. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 163,000. Updated 11/21/13

- Chester, NJ, USA

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problem #11

Aug 152012

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
This is a follow from a recent call with the Toyota customer experience center (May 2, 2013). I called to get a status update on the claim referenced in case # [xxx] and was informed the claim was denied because the invoice from the dealer stated the spare tire was stolen. I never received notification that the claim was denied although the customer service agent suggested a letter has been mailed. I was instructed to return to the deal and get the "stolen? comments removed from the invoice. The original invoice suggested the spare tire was stolen because the service department and parts person at the dealer suggested the cable would not break and the conclusion was the cable must have been cut and the tire stolen. This was in August of 2012 prior to the recall notification. There is no evidence to support that the tire was stolen. I returned to the dealer and attached is an updated invoice with ?stolen" removed. To say I am frustrated by the response from Toyota is an understatement. The facts are the spare tire and assembly were missing. The dealer concluded they must have been stolen and wrote that on the original invoice. It is obvious from the recall that the cable broke and the tire and assembly were lost as a result of the this malfunction. Again denied.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

problem #10

Aug 132012


  • 110,567 miles


After getting off the highway, as I was pulling away at the end of the exit ramp I noticed the spare tire had fallen from the truck and was in the middle of the road. I was able to quickly back up and load the spare onto the back of the truck. I noticed part of the carrier was rusted to the spare, but the middle of the carrier had rusted through. I had participated in Toyota's frame recall a little over a year ago and believe they should have seen how bad the situation was at that time, and done something to rectify the problem. I had just spent a half-hour driving home on the highway. I can't imagine the damage that could have been caused had the tire dropped at highway speeds during rush hour rather than at 10 mph!! in searching the internet, this is an all too common occurrence for older Tacoma. I don't understand why this isn't considered a safety issue and subject to recall.

- North Andover, MA, USA

problem #9

Aug 012011


  • miles
Letter to the secretary from re complaint regarding the safety of the 2003 Toyota Tacoma the consumer stated while driving, another vehicle slid into his vehicle and he hit the passenger front tire of the other vehicle at 40 mph. The air bags failed to deploy. The consumer also stated the tires and front fender ratio had a design defect. The consumer was injured in the accident...updated 01/31/12..updated 11/19/13

- Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #8

Apr 062011


  • 85,036 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. While driving approximately 10 mph the contact felt a bump and noticed the spare tire detached from under the vehicle onto the ground. The vehicle was pulled over and the contact noticed the chain which held the spare tire under the vehicle was severely corroded. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The failure and current mileages were 85,036.

- Gloucester, RI, USA

problem #7

Jun 022010


  • 29,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. The vehicle was taken to the dealership where the it with a sprayed with a rust compound, however 3 months after the repair the contact stated that the compound would not dry. The vehicle was not diagnosed and there were no prior warnings. The current mileage was 30000 and the failure mileage was 29000.

- Taducah, KY, USA

problem #6

Aug 182010


  • miles


Gas tank fell off, till it was 2 to 3 inches off ground.

- Bennington, VT, USA

problem #5

Jul 012009

Tacoma 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 36,461 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. There were 14 miles on the vehicle at the time of purchase. The contact stated that the paint was chipping on the vehicle. He filed a complaint with the manufacturer and they declined any liability for the failure. The current and failure mileages were less than 36,461. The vehicle also had frame rust. Updated 09/09/09.

- Fairfield, CA, USA

problem #4

Jun 272003

Tacoma 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
Passenger side air bag vibration when motor is running. Returned to local dealership due to loud rattle in dash board. Dealer inspected and reported that a majority of the clips holding the passenger side airbag in place were not there. Dealer ordered replacement clips and dashboard bolts and repair was made. In October 2003 rattle returned and a bolt appeared on the passenger floor board. Returned vehicle to dealership where inspection took place. Mechanic suggested that someone had hit the dashboard to loosen bolts, not the case, yet no attempt to repair or tighten equipment was made.

- San Pablo, CA, USA

problem #3

Sep 012003

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
I purchased a 2003 Toyota Tacoma and found a water leak on my floor mat in the passenger side of the truck. Apparently this has been happening every time I take the truck to the car wash. It seems to be coming from under the dash; maybe the front window. I took my truck to Toyota but after a couple of attempts to find the leak with their water hose the leak could not be found. I have noticed there have been others complaining of the same problem.

- South Burlington, VT, USA

problem #2

Oct 012004

Tacoma 4WD 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 15,900 miles
Water is leaking into the passenger compartment. The dealership replaced a body seal pursuant to a tsb (they said), but problem is still occurring. I would like this repaired or for the vehicle to be replaced.

- Locust, NJ, USA

problem #1

Aug 132003

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
While driving in the rain, the vehicle splashed water from the front tires over the hood onto the windshield, causing consumer to lose visibility. The consumer stated water should splash to the side of vehicle not over the hood of vehicle. Toyota was aware of the problem.

- Santa Rosa Beach, FL, USA

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