Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
121,901 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 brakes problems

brakes problem

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2003 Toyota Tacoma Owner Comments

problem #7

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 #6

Jun 152010

Tacoma 4-cyl

  • miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 25 mph, the brake pedal was depressed but the vehicle did not stop. As a result, the front driver's side of the vehicle crashed into the rear passenger side of another vehicle. The air bags did not deploy. A police report was not filed and there were no injuries reported. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown. Updated 09/10/15

- Canoga Park, CA, USA

problem #5

Mar 312014


  • 145,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. The contact stated that while driving at approximately 40 mph, the driver side front tire stoped spinning forcing the vehicle to veer to the left to a complete stop. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where the failure was unable to be duplicated. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The VIN was not available. The approximate failure mileage was 145,000.

- San Bernardino, CA, USA

problem #4

Dec 092014


  • 122,000 miles


So in December I took my Tacoma to the dealership for a regular frame inspection after learning upon the issue. The truck is in almost perfect condition, spotless inside and out. The frame failed inspection, and I was unable to drive the vehicle home. First off, a service rep at the dealership tried to send me off to a friend of his who could "patch" up the frame so that it would pass inspection (great idea, right?). Toyota has provided me with a rental, but the only rental they would give me is a corolla. I live in the mountains, and bought the truck so that I would be able to handle the rough winter weather. I have already had to call out of work as a result of being unable to drive through the snow. I am looking at a date of mid March at the earliest (most likely longer) until I am able to have my truck back, depleting the whole purpose of me having a truck. I have tried getting Toyota to buy the truck back. I love my truck, and I plan on continuing to drive Toyota due to the well-known reliability of these vehicles. I understand that this is a sort of bad luck incident, but considering that rust spreads, I already know that I am going to have to put more money into the vehicle to combat the rust corrosion that has already begun due to a faulty frame. This is obviously already occurring, considering that it is not just the frame that is corroded, but also the brake lines. I am not looking in any way to cheat Toyota, I am just attempting to have a safe vehicle to drive, and I worry that since this corrosion has already started, replacing the frame is only putting off the issue until it becomes noticeable on the rest of the vehicle. If anyone has been able to successfully have Toyota buy back a 2001-2004 model Tacoma, I would love to know how they accomplished this.

- Harrisonburg, VA, USA

problem #3

Sep 232014

Tacoma 4WD 4-cyl

  • 217,000 miles
The back brakes on my Tacoma froze up causing the vehicle to spin out of control. I could of been killed or seriously hurt. The brakes froze up causing the skid and the parking brake cable snapped. There was a new frame put on under a recall along with the cable less than 2 years ago. I notified Toyota of a possible defect cause I don't want anyone hurt but they have not responded back.

- Ransomville, NY, USA

problem #2

May 162012


  • 47,600 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tacoma. The contact indicated that while having the emissions inspection performed, the technician noticed that there was extensive rust on the underbody, shields, welding, lower frame, upper frame and the sub-frame of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an independent repair shop who indicated that the plate by the brakes was rusted. The technician welded the frames as an interim fix and suggested that the manufacturer needed to remove the corroded frames and components and rebuild the frame or it may potentially fracture. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure and refused to provide any assistance since the vehicle was no longer under warranty. In addition, the contact indicated that the brake pedal was stuck and adjustments had to be made in order to release the pedal. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 47,600.

- Monroe, CT, USA

problem #1

Jul 292013

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 188,707 miles
Coming to a stop approx 2 mph the engine suddenly revved very loudly and the truck show forward. The brakes did not stop the truck. I swerved to avoid the campsite we were at and hit a tree very hard. The engine however continued to rev loudly and I shifted to park. With the engine still very loud and the wheels spinning I had to shut the engine by removing the key.

- East Islip, NY, USA

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