Notes: You're going to burn through a lot of dinosaurs while chugging around town, and any rear passengers you may have to carry are going to feel real cramped, but at the end of the day this is a solid truck.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
407,992 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.

2004 Toyota Tundra drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Toyota Tundra Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #26

Jul 062016


  • miles


Rusted rear differential. Rusted frame at front right sway bar. Can't pass inspection. Seems to be a common problem just like the 2003 model. I still have payments on this vehicle I can't drive.

- Burlington, VT, USA

problem #25

May 052016

Tundra 4WD 8-cyl

  • 17,985 miles
I took my 2004 Toyota Tundra to a local service center because I thought it needed shock absorbers. Once on the lift we found the entire rear section was completely rusted out with several major parts just hanging from the frame. Toyota claims they sent recalls in 2015 however I did not get them. I did receive a very recent recall for an air bag and front coil springs, within a week the truck was taken in for the recall. At no time was I informed of the dangerous issue of the rear suspension. I called Toyota to discuss the matter and was told they would not do anything to correct the problems. I am very lucky I did not have an accident because the rear components could have failed at any time while I was driving. Toyota will not accept any responsibility and they were quite rude when we spoke. Please inform me of any recourse I may have, the cost to repair my truck is in excess of $4,000. I am retired with a limited income and depend on my truck to pickup farm supplies at my home. I live in md and rely on the truck when it snows or the roads are icy. Toyota clearly has a past of not taking responsibility, they knew or should have known the quality of the metal materials were inferior. They waited 11 years before they recalled some of their trucks. I do not wish to be rude however, I firmly believe Toyota has no regard for the quality of their product or the problems associated with their poor engineering. It is my hope you can help me with this matter or direct me to someone if can help me. Thank you for your consideration. [xxx] telephone [xxx]. if you will provide your address I will sent photos. Sorry I do not know how to upload them to you. The date the truck was taken to the service center is 5/6/16, it is still there as it cannot be driven. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Glencoe, MD, USA

problem #24

Apr 142015


  • 187,000 miles
Toyota recalled my Tundra for a rusted frame. Dealer took possession of the vehicle in April. They provided a rental car, but no other update or contact until a week ago when the frame arrived. Now nearly complete, they want to charge me $8000 for additional parts not covered by the recall which they claim is necessary to make the vehicle pass inspection and roadworthy yet many of these parts were unaffected prior to the recall. At no time did Toyota ever inform us of additional costs not covered by the recall. Two of the items are critical to the value and drivability of the car. They include the rear axle and differential which I believe failed due to the same rusted issues as the frame. The additional parts affected were the brakes. The front brakes seized from 6 months of non use and maintenance by the dealer, the rear brakes were failed by fluid leak from rear axle while in possession of the dealer for 6 months. In short, after getting a new frame, the dealer was holding trying to charge $8000 in extra repairs or they would return me a truck that had a new frame but was still inoperable in the condition under which it was stored by the dealer. The dealer and Toyota were responsible for maintaining the vehicle and returning it in as good or better condition than they received it, but instead it lost 1005 of its value. I cant drive it, I cant sell it. It has a new frame but now has no differential or brakes it has lost all marketable value, where it could have been traded in or sold prior to the "frame replacement" that was supposed to right all the wrongs" of Toyota's doing. I have full service records showing responsible ownership of the truck for the last 10 years. Needs to make it right and fix my truck so I can drive again, or buy me out, or offer me a trade allowance that is fair and equitable. This Toyota case number is 1504140934.

- Schroon Lake, NY, USA

problem #23

Sep 212015


  • miles


Frame rusted through unsafe to drive. Received very first letter in July about a recall. It is September 21, 2015 and the recall ended August 31, 2015.

- Orrington, ME, USA

problem #22

May 142015


  • 114,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Toyota Tundra. The contact stated that fuel emitted outside of the vehicle; however, there was no fuel visible on the ground. In addition, the front fuel tank strap completely rusted and the fuel tank exhibited a hole. The vehicle was taken to the dealer where it was repaired, but the repairs were unknown. The contact also mentioned that the gear shifter cable fractured due to rust and corrosion. The failure caused the unoccupied vehicle to roll and crash into an embankment. It was unknown if a police report was filed or not and there were no injuries sustained. The vehicle was towed to the dealer, but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 114,000.

- Charleston, WV, USA

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problem #21

Jul 102014


  • 104,000 miles
I am disabled and I keep receiving recall notices about airbags, and frame recalls from Toyota, but the local dealers tell me that they do not have the parts to fix them. I am unable to carry anyone in the passenger seat because of safety advisories and this is affecting the value of my vehicle, and risk of injury to myself and any passengers I may carry, and insurance coverage because of the recall notifications. I suffered diligently to pay for this vehicle and now I find it's an unsafe piece of junk that I cannot use. I really want this vehicle fixed or replaced with one that is not unsafe.

- Pinson, TN, USA

problem #20

Jul 022015


  • 96,000 miles


The entire frame and under side of the truck to include brackets, cables, fittings, and exhaust are so rusted and flaking off that I'm concerned that the truck may break apart driving down the road. I bought the truck used from lowe Toyota in warner robins, ga and had no idea that the truck was a rusted out disaster waiting for a place to happen !!

- Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #19

Dec 312008


  • miles
Rust on everything under the truck as well as the rear bumper. Parts that have had to be replaced because of rust and/or rust perforation or need to be replaced: 1) entire frame żż perforation greater than 10mm found on passenger siderail 2) rear differential (leaking from rust perforation) 3) brake lines 4) power steering line (leaking from rust) 5) skid plate (support brackets rusted - fell off while driving) 6) brake calipers (multiple times) 7) coil springs 8) axles (front and back) 9) control arms 10) cv- joint 11) boots 12) hitch receiver 13) exhaust 14) muffler 15) camber bolt 16) multiple sets of tires (unable to align tires properly due to rusted/seized camber bolt) causing premature tread wear. 17) brake drums (warped and pitted) 18) wheel bearing 19) truck tailgate support wires żż wires rusted and broke. Tailgate won't open/close without extreme effort because it is not aligned properly. 20) shocks/struts 21) seals, brackets, nuts and bolts - the parts listed above is not complete. Basically, everything you see under the truck is suffering from extreme rust and/or perforated. *truck has had a horrible shimmy for years that no one has been able to figure out, particularly bad when towing. Steering wheel shakes violently as well as the entire truck. Improved slightly when rear differential and axles were replaced. Most likely related to frame warp or instability. *truck has had issues with getting in and out of 4WD. Inconsistent with how long it takes to get in and out of 4WD. There is a loud and jarring clunk when engaging or disengaging 4WD. *truck feels like it is on the verge of going out of control when a hole or bump is hit. The truck will literally jump sideways. *traction stability control comes on randomly when hitting a bump or hole. Another mystery to mechanic.

- Chagrin Falls, OH, USA

problem #18

Dec 012009


  • miles
Excessive rust pretty much everywhere. Just had to replace the rear differential and associated parts because rust caused differential leak. Cost was over 3,500. Replaced rusted brake lines and calipers. Tailgate wire rusted and broke. Opening mechanism to tailgate is rusted and is extremely difficult (if not impossible) to open/close. Rear bumper is rusted through, and not safe to step on. Hitch receiver is completely rusted and cannot remove hitch now. Skid plate and brackets rusted through - skid plate fell off. Dealer just inspected the truck and will be replacing the entire frame because of excessive rust.

- Chagrin Falls, OH, USA

problem #17

Jul 172014

Tundra 4WD 8-cyl

  • 154,000 miles
Rear axle-housing rotted through. Dealership knew this on inspection of frame on May 20 2014.corporate office was made aware of problem but refuses to address situation. Updated 4/24/2015

- Cooperstown , NY, USA

problem #16

Aug 012013

Tundra 8-cyl

  • 100,000 miles


Massive generalized rust under vehicle. This is affecting the frame, suspension, all lines, exhaust, all metal fittings, wheels, brakes, spare tire. My mechanic does not know how to proceed and suggested we no longer drive this vehicle. Toyota dealer said this is not included in the rust recall which is in effect for Tundra trucks exactly like this one, but off by a couple months by manufacturing date. Our Toyota dealer did not have a suggestion or answer for how to fix this, other than to ask if we were interested in buying a new car. We bought this truck new and have taken excellent care of it. The inside and upper body looks new.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #15

Apr 162014

Tundra 8-cyl

  • 165,000 miles
Had truck in for oil change whole frame, drive shaft parking brake cable is rusting through.

- Bokeelia, FL, USA

problem #14

Nov 132013

Tundra 8-cyl

  • 135,000 miles
Excessive rust on frame, under body, and suspension. Rear axle / differential has large flaking rust so bad that it will not hold lubricant. Filed complaint with Toyota on 11/13/2013 and was given a case # and turned in photos at local Toyota dealer in early December 2013. Contacted Toyota in January 2014 and was told that a recall was going to be issued but it would cover frame only and no other components would be covered for rust. I personally took it upon myself not to drive this vehicle because I feel it is unsafe and not road worthy due to rust. I also feel that a company that I had a lot of respect for because of their reputation for quality and safety has let me down. Vehicle has been parked since 11/13/2013 and will not be driven until properly repaired or replaced.

- Denniston, KY, USA

problem #13

Dec 162013


  • 8,100,000 miles
Automatic transmission column shift problem of the 2004 Toyota Tundra Toyota Tundra. There is a serious problem with the steering column housing support. After starting the vehicle and subsequently attempting to shift the gear into reverse, the gear shift lever broke free at the steering column. I was able to stop the vehicle. Able to park the vehicle, but was unable to shift into any other gear. The consumer stated it appeared the cast aluminum components supporting the transmission shift lever appeared to be flawed. There is only 81 thousand on this truck. Unsafe !!!!!!!!! thank god it didn't break at 65 mph ! but it could have !

- Mosinee, WI, USA

problem #12

Sep 272013


  • 44,394 miles
On 9/27/13 when my 2004 Tundra was being checked out for a recall for severe frame rust the ri Toyota dealer brought to my attention the rear differential was rotted through and leaking oil and said that this rust is not covered by recall. The whole axle has to be replaced. My question to you is, shouldn't Toyota be responsible for all the sub-standard steel" shouldn't this be under a safety recall for oil leakage" as far as I know the oil leak cannot be fixed w/O complete axle housing replacement and this is a problem that effects a huge # of Tundra.

- Cumberland, RI, USA

problem #11

Oct 172013

Tundra 8-cyl

  • 160,000 miles
I recently noticed a leak under the rear of the vehicle. Upon inspection, the differential was found to be rusted right through and leaking. I examined the frame as well and noticed severe rusting in various places on the frame. I never received a notice of recall on the frame. Apparently there is not only frame damage to many Tundra, but also to necessary working parts. I have never had an axle rot out on any of my cars and because of the inability to simply repair a seal, the entire axle will need replacing? seems a bit extreme. I like the Tundra and will base my decision to remain a customer on how I'm treated in the recall appointment.

- Kingston, NY, USA

problem #10

Sep 102013

Tundra 4WD 8-cyl

  • 110,280 miles
There is extensive corrosion damage to all metal fittings and metal fuel and hydraulic lines. The rear axle is severely corroded and leaking oil through the casting requiring replacement. There is a fuel line failure next to the exhaust manifold. The corrosion damage to the steering system fittings requires replacement of the rack assembly although the system operates properly. There is corrosion damage to many of the suspension connection points to the frame including rear springs. Dealer deems the vehicle unsafe in it's current condition and recommends it be sold for salvage. There is little to no corrosion damage to the body that can be seen from a visual underside inspection and vehicle looks in excellent condition from the outside. Vehicle was dealer maintained per the manufacturer's maintenance schedule.

- Annaoplis, MD, USA

problem #9

Jul 262013

Tundra 8-cyl

  • 265,000 miles
The frame has severe rust. Also rear differential is leaking fluid through the steel bowl.

- Palmer, MA, USA

problem #8

Jun 252013


  • 95,000 miles
Brought vehicle in for new muffler and tailpipe. Mechanic showed me a leaky rear seal because the metal cover was rusting through. Also showed me main frame and suspension points which are, in his words, "like rust holding hands".

- Montgomery, NY, USA

problem #7

May 252013

Tundra 8-cyl

  • 90,713 miles
2004 Toyota Tundra worse than 2003 for metal fatigue. Front of rear differential is flaking apart. Tension adjuster for emergency brake is disintegrating. Adjustment bolts are seized. Spare tire attachment is flaking apart. Please help.

- Frederick, MD, USA

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