Notes: A dependable pickup option that does have a slight history of frame corrosion. Even though mud looks cool on a truck, it's best if you run this through the car wash every now and again.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
69,291 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 Tundra body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2003 Toyota Tundra Owner Comments

problem #17

Oct 252016


  • miles


Purchased a 2003 Toyota Tundra July 2016. Frame was undercoated by Toyota and did not seem to be any issues at the time of purchase. After a few months of ownership, I have been conducting some of my own maintenance under the vehicle. While under, I noticed large areas had the crc treatment chipping and pealing off. I called my local Toyota dealer (priority Toyota chesapeake, va) the service manager said the corrosion protection has expired and there was nothing further they could do. While attempting to grease my propeller shaft, I was on my creaper trying to pull myself under the vehicle. I grabbed part of the frame, in front of the leaf spring perch. While grabbing this section of frame and pulling myself under the truck, the frame crumbled in to my hand. There were a lot of rust flakes, large and small, I collected as much of the rust and flakes as I could and stored them in a zip lock bag. The size of the deterioration was about 7" long and perforated about 9/16" near the bottom of the C channel. I am very concerned about the integrity of the frame on this vehicle particularly in regards to braking system, frame cross members and suspension components. I called Toyota customer service soon after to report what happened. I told them my VIN and other information. They said they would call back in 1 business day. I received a call from Toyota today 10/27/16 and a representative told me that Toyota is no longer supporting my vehicle for any campaigns. I asked the representative for further literature regarding the frame corrosion programs for Tundra, however, Toyota will not let me have this information. At this point Toyota will do nothing to help or provide assistance in repairing their poorly designed vehicle. Please do not buy Toyota because in the future there will be failures and Toyota will not stand behind their products. Plain and simple.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #16

Apr 082015


  • 136,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tundra. The contact stated that the undercarriage of the vehicle was corroded. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 136,000.

- Pine City, NY, USA

problem #15

Jan 252012

Tundra 8-cyl

  • 150,000 miles
Toyota applied a corrosion resistant compound to the rear cross-member assemblies and to the adjacent areas of the frame. This coating has completely peeled off, rendering the exposed corroded metal back to it's original recalled state. This recall occurred in January of 2012, the problem was supposedly fixed by Toyota. All of the coating is gone, and, no longer protecting the exposed and corroded metal.

- Marengo, IL, USA

problem #14

Jul 242014


  • miles


Within a year of Toyota inspecting frame and spraying.I lost spare tire with out knowing.approximately 3/14 a mechanic saw holes in frame.towed to Toyota dealership and they looked at it and reported it to company.I got a call saying there was no frame recall and I would have to complain to Toyota my self. I did and filed a complaint.a woman named jay called me and said there was no current recall on 2003 Tundra and mine was recalled just for spraying the frame.I shared my opinion of the situation and thought they would reconsider there decision. I have heard nothing and my truck sits in my driveway.

- Penobscot, ME, USA

problem #13

Jun 252014


  • 111,230 miles
My dad bought this Tundra new in 2003. The frame started rusting in a couple of years and in 2011 he received a recall letter from Toyota stating that he needed to take the truck in and have the frame inspected. He took it to hickory Toyota to have the dealer evaluate it. Because the frame was heavily rusted my dad assumed the frame would be replaced. However, the service manager at the dealership stated that the frame was structurally fine and intact and did not need replacement. My dad gave me the truck in 2012 and I took it to my mechanic to have brakes replaced. My mechanic commented on the excessive rust and told me I should take it to a dealer to be inspected. I told him my dad had taken it and supposedly everything was ok. Skip ahead to June of this year and I had the Tundra in again for a regular state inspection. As soon as my mechanic put my truck up on the lift, the frame bent in the middle on both sides and holes were torn in the frame. I contacted both Toyota and the dealer that did the inspection in 2011 and was told that the extended warranty period for the recall on these frames had expired and they were going to do nothing. I feel that the Toyota dealer that told us we didn't need a new frame in 2011 before the recall expired was trying to save both himself and Toyota money by not replacing the frame when it needed it. I believe the dealer and Toyota still bear responsibility for replacing the frame.

- Raleigh, NC, USA

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problem #12

Apr 042014


  • 50,000 miles
Frame rust through.Toyota claims rust hole is not in the correct location on the truck.says there is nothing they can do.

- Corry, PA, USA

problem #11

Feb 242014


  • 166,200 miles


Rear differential housing rotted out dumping oil all over road.

- Canton, NY, USA

problem #10

Aug 192013

Tundra 4WD 8-cyl

  • miles
2003 Toyota Tundra. Consumer writes in regards to frame rust recall notice. The consumer stated last year, there was a recall on the frame. She took the truck to the dealer, and they replaced the entire frame. Shortly after, she heard a popping noise coming from the truck. At first, she didn't think much of it, but as time went on, it became worse. The consumer took it back to the dealer, where an inspection revealed the right rear leaf spring was broke. The consumer requested to see the leaf spring, which turned out to be rusted, which caused it to break. The consumer believed the leaf spring should have been included in the check, when the frame was replaced. The consumer also discovered the left rear leaf spring needed to be replaced, as well.

- Sadieville, KY, USA

problem #9

Nov 022012

Tundra 6-cyl

  • 55,000 miles
Took 2003 Toyota Tundra in for frame rust corrosion program 09V-444000. Was told frame and other components had extensive rust and multiple 10mm holes by lead service technician at local Toyota dealership. Service manager explained that my 2003 Toyota Tundra frame was extensively rusted and unsafe to be on the road and they wanted to take my truck immediately and provide a rental car due to safety concerns. Asked for a plan of action of the scope of work to be performed (corrosion compound verses frame replacement) before giving possession of vehicle. Photos of 2003 Toyota Tundra frame, rear cross members, spare tire carrier, rear brake lines & fuel tank mounting system were taken and sent to lead service tech three states away in Texas. Was informed extensive frame rust exists on all components (frame, rear cross members, spare tire carrier, rear brake lines & fuel tank mounting system) but it is not covered because vehicle is no longer registered in Wisconsin. Purchased this 2003 Toyota certified vehicle in Wisconsin in April of 2010 and no information was given to me at regarding the NHTSA investigation or any rust inspections that were performed. Toyota corporation refuses to repair, replace or add corrosion resistant compound to any severely affected rusted components. Significant rust issues exist on this vehicle and still Toyota corporation refuses to provide any documentation of their inspections. Toyota corporation will not put in writing that the frame, rear cross members, spare tire carrier, rear brake lines & fuel tank mounting system is safe or road worthy. Deadline for all rust repairs is December 31, 2012. Toyota corporation is stalling consumers to keep from doing any repairs and leaving unsafe rusted 2003 Toyota Tundra's on the highways. Please initiate a new NHTSA investigation regarding this matter for the safety of consumers.

- Madison, MS, USA

problem #8

Jun 292012

Tundra 4WD 6-cyl

  • 79,232 miles
My Toyota had a frame recall for rusting which they fixed. Now I'm being told my gas tank is rusting and needs to be replaced. Toyota will fix it for 1500. 00 dollars I believe this is a safety problem and is a Toyota problem.

- Amherest , NH, USA

problem #7

Apr 092012

Tundra 4WD

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Toyota Tundra. The contact stated that the vehicle was taken for state inspection and the contact was told there was severe rust on the frame. The contact referenced NHTSA campaign id number:09V444000(structure: Frame and members: Underbody shields) and spoke with the manufacturer but was told that the recall had expired. The failure and the current mileages were 47,000. Updated 08/28/12

- Monroe, CT, USA

problem #6

Feb 182011

Tundra 4WD 8-cyl

  • 110,907 miles
Toyota had a re-call for excessive corrosion on the 03 Tundra. I have been taking the truck in for inspections for 3 years & was told everything was ok. This year Toyota said they had an ok to undercoat the frames. While my truck was in for the work it was discovered that the rear differntial had rusted through & was leaking oil. Even though this componenet is on the underside of the truck just like the frame that was covered the repairs were not covered under the recall. It was obvious that the issue was caused by corrosion. Total cost of the repair was $2000 for the rear differntial casing to be replaced. Why was this not covered under the recall if the componenet is part of the uderside of the vehicle?

- Northfield Village , OH, USA

problem #5

Jan 072012

Tundra 4WD 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,375 miles
The contact owns 2003 Toyota Tundra. The contact stated that while having the oil changed by an independent mechanic, he was informed that the rear end needed to be replaced due to corrosion. The manufacturer was notified, but the vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 92,375 and the current mileage was 92,575. Updated 03/05/12 Toyota informed the consumer, the rear frame was not covered under current frame corrosion recall. Updated 03/07/12

- Rutlend, MA, USA

problem #4

Dec 142011

Tundra 6-cyl

  • 105,000 miles
I received the ssc 90M - Tundra vehicles severe corrosion of the rear cross member phase 2 - crc application. My truck has a tonneau cover and a bed rug installed. When I called the dealership to schedule an appointment they informed me that the bed of the truck would have to be removed to complete the repairs. I told them that I did not have the means to remove the tonneau cover and the bed rug. They said that they could not perform the repair without these items removed and that they would not remove them for me. I then contacted Toyota customer experience center at 800-331-4331, extension [xxx] and discussed the situation with [xxx]. she claimed that the recall letter states that the truck must be presented in "factory condition" (I guess that means no bed rug or tonneau cover). I reread the letter and that is not stated anywhere in the letter. I called her back and she was unable to assist me nor would she elevate my issue to the management level. This recall work must be done, and again, I have no means to remove these items. I'm sure that I'm not the only Tundra owner experiencing this issue. This truck will be unsafe to drive if the recall work is not done. Please help. Thank you. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Middle River, MD, USA

problem #3

Sep 062011

Tundra 4WD 8-cyl

  • miles
Frame and rear end banjo housing rotted to the point where gear oil from rear end leaked out onto the road. Had to have vehicle towed to garage to make temporary repairs. In addition, frame is disintegrated with pieces falling to the ground. Taken to an independent garage and was told to take truck to Toyota and both the rear end assembly and frame should be replaced. Garage, stewart's of georgetown, MA., states metal of frame has deteriorated to the point where you could poke holes in it with a screw driver. Frame examined on August 6, 2011 after pieces of frame found under the truck after labor day weekend. Truck has 40,700 miles on the odometer and used to deliver and pick up supplies for property owned. The consumer to date, he has been unable to locate a usable rear end assembly. The consumer believe the failure was directly related to the use of reprocessed metal in the manufacturing, together with the failure to properly treat exposed metal parts with corrosion resistant compounds. The consumer stated after the vehicle was returned to him. The check engine light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent repair shop where it was necessary to replace the oxygen sensor that had been previously replaced in August 2007. Updated IVOQ 12/01/11

- Boxford, MA, USA

problem #2

Jun 012011

Tundra 8-cyl

  • miles
1990 Toyota 4 runner, 2003 Toyota Tundra, 1999 Toyota sienna. Consumer states rust and corrosion issues with all three vehicles the consumer stated the tailgate holders on the passenger and driver's side broke due to severe rust. The driver's side tailgate fell onto the top bumper and caused dents in the metal.

- Holden, MA, USA

problem #1

Sep 152009

Tundra 4WD 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
2003 Toyota Tundra under bed spare tire mount failure. While driving, the spare tire mount failed causing the spare tire to become dislodged. I was unaware until flagged down by another driver who had swerved erratically to avoid the tire. Updated 03/25/10 received pictures of frame. Updated 09/14/10

- Taunton, MA, USA

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