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hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
51,560 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2003 Toyota Tacoma Owner Comments

problem #4

Dec 272012

Tacoma 4WD 6-cyl

  • 143,000 miles


Toyota has recalled my truck due to a rusted out frame. The Toyota dealership has elected to replace my frame with a new frame. This large procedure has left me insecure about the outcome. This truck is now 10 years old and as soon as the start wrenching on all the system components to disassemble and re assemble my truck I am afraid that they shorten the life of existing components due to added wear and tear. The dealer will need to remove and reinstall brake lines and gas lines that have been set in place and have extensive corrosion this will lead to premature failure and unsafe operation. Most mechanic know that a rusted and set bolt that has not been moved for 10 years has a 50% chance of removal. In order to remove such a "stuck" bolt they will need to apply heat and impact and may weaken the existing parts, steel, and bolts to lower levels out of tolerance that the vehicle as designed originally. Additionally, this service is completed in a location with out the controls, quality assurance and testing that is in place in a factory where new vehicles are built. There is uncertainty that this vehicle will be assembled, tested, and inspected according the manufacturer's guidelines for a factory produced vehicle. This leads to uncertainty that the vehicle will not operate within the intended manufactures guidelines for safety, roll over protection, and crash performance. I propose that a total frame recall and replacement (or any large integral part that will impacted the vehicle operation) on any vehicle shall not be allowed given the uncertainty described. The consumer stated there appeared to be an oil leak coming from the front differential boot that was not apparent prior to the frame replacement procedure.

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #3

Jun 212005

Tacoma 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles
At 21,000 miles heard loud noise for differential, and bad glunk when leaving stop light, Toyota never put in gear lube to cover up the bad welds on right end of differential (that would have leaked if they did put in gear lube), no reply from E-mails, phone calls, talking to cust. Rep, (requested arbitration forms by phone and E-mail 6 times, never received them even though Toyota lied and said they will send them.).

- Columbia Heights, MN, USA

problem #2

Aug 152005

Tacoma 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,242 miles
Differential made a bad noise at 21,221 miles checked gear lube only to find it empty. Took it to Toyota city where they said it was fine. Took it to independent repair shop, said obvious leak on pass. Side end of diff, axle. I had 15,000 mile service done at Toyota city ($165), they never checked the diff, gear lube even though the owners maintenance book says to inspect diff, gear lube. (no repairs were even attempted at Toyota city). Brought the missed diff. Fluid check to cust. Service reps attention, said she will talk to service department, a month later, and still no reply.

- Columbia Heights, MN, USA

problem #1

Jul 242005

Tacoma 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles
Truck always pulled to the left since new, took it in to Toyota dealer 4 times, they said nothing is wrong with it. At 21,000 miles I heard a bad noise coming from the differential, I pulled over and removed the fill plug only to find no oil in I put in 4 oz. Short of a quart of 80W90 gear oil. (pulled to left because a wheel bearing wasn't getting and lubrication). Returned to dealer, they said we can't find a leak, 50 miles later I pulled the fill plug and found the oil to be black as can be with metal in it. Dealers answer is to come back when it breaks. So now I am stuck with a 2003 Tacoma with a 200,000 mile differential. (what a shame).

- Columbia Heights, MN, USA

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