Toyota Tacomas are ultra-reliable trucks, but one serious issue that has plagued them is rusty frames. When I say 'rusty' I mean rusty, with frames literally falling apart and collapsing.
Corrosion is a funny business. I had an an early 1950's Chevrolet pickup truck with rust problems. Okay, it had a lot or problems, but the rust is the only one relevant to this story. The entire floor of the cab was rusted to bits. Now that I think about it I don't understand how it could have happened. None of the rest of body showed any evidence of rust. The floor of the bed was shot, but it was made of wood, so that was not too surprising. The frame was rusty, but it was still plenty strong. I think it must have been parked floorboard-deep in a swamp for a few years.
Lancia, a maker of fine Italian sports car, had a serious rust problem with their cars some years ago. It became a standard joke on Top Gear.
When I was a kid in Ohio, rust was a constant feature of the automotive world. If a car lasted ten years before it became too ugly to drive it was a miracle. Exhaust systems had to be replaced weekly. You could see the ground going by through the holes in the floor of half of the cars I rode in.
So with all this experience with rust and all our hard won knowledge of corrosion prevention, I would have thought problems like this would cease. Looks like I was wrong again.
What's even weirder is that Dana, an American company, built the failing frames for Toyota and had to refund $25 million dollars to make up for it. I bet things got ugly at Dana when that happened.
Toyota seems to have stepped up and taken responsibility for the problem. They bought some trucks back, and replaced entire frames on others. I would like to see what that procedure looks like. I mean you have to completely disassemble the truck to get the frame out. Everything, I mean everthing, is bolted to it. Not something you would want to tackle at home.
Via Michigan Mike.