Amazing Tundra Frame Rust Photos

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Here are some photos sent to us by commentor Lee-HSV of the rusted frame recently removed from his 2000 Toyota Tundra. As you can see, the frame structure was very compromised.

2000 Toyota Tundra Frame Rust Photos

A rusted frame pulled from a 2000 Toyota Tundra. Click for a larger view.

If you’re not up to speed, please read this post that completely explains the Toyota Tundra frame rust problem and what Toyota is doing to solve it.

Here are some more photos:

Rusted rear Tundra frame crossmembers

Rusted rear Tundra frame crossmembers. Click for a larger view.

Tundra frame rust concerns were initially brought to Toyota’s attention because the Tundra’s spare tire attached to these rusting crossmembers. As the crossmembers became weakened, there was a strong possibility the spare tire would fall off. Obviously, this was a safety hazard…imagine a spare tire coming off the truck in front of you as you cruise down the highway.

Tundra rusted rear cross-members photo

Another view of the rusted rear cross-members. Click for a larger view.

However, as Toyota and NHTSA investigated these rusting cross members, it became clear that the entire rear section of the frame on many 2000-2004 Tundras had rust problems. After the fact, we learned that frame manufacturer Dana used a different coating/process for the rear section of 2000-2004 frames than they did for the front. This explains why most front frame sections look OK.

Tundra frame rust - rear frame section

While this frame was likely bent during removal, the distortion shows how weakened the frame had become. Click for a larger view.

Anyone want to venture a guess as to how a rusted frame would hold up in a rear end collision? Toyota is lucky if no one sues them as a result of an injury brought on by a severely compromised frame…

Tundra frame rust front section

Front section of a 2000 Toyota Tundra with frame rust. Note that the rust isn't nearly as severe on the front section as it is on the rear. Click for a larger view.

Eventually, Toyota announced a frame rust recall program that entitled Tundra owners to a free frame replacement. Unfortunately, many dealers have refused to honor this recall, mandating that Tundra owners pay for some of the frame replacement costs.

Tundra frame rail rust close-up

Tundra frame rail rust close-up. Click for a larger view.

Toyota’s frame warranty replacement costs are in excess of $18k per vehicle. As a result, many first-gen Tundra owners have wondered why Toyota doesn’t offer some sort of buy-back program. As near as we can tell, Toyota decided not to buy back trucks in the interests of customer service. Some Tundra owners (many of whom commented on our site) were adamantly opposed to a buy-back.

Tundra frame rust close-up

Another amazing frame rust photo. Click for a larger view.

As I mentioned earlier, 2000 Tundra owner Lee-HSV sent us these photos. Prior to his frame replacement, the leaf springs on his Tundra broke off of their frame mounts. Unaware of the recall – and uninformed by his Toyota dealer that he might be able to get Toyota to replace his frame – Lee paid out of pocket to have a new section of frame installed. Lee has attempted to get reimbursed for this repair, but as of now Toyota and his local dealer have refused to reimburse Lee for this expense.

Special thanks to Lee for sending these photos. Best of luck!

Related Post: 2003 Tundra Frame Rust Photos

Filed Under: Tundra Recalls


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  1. Mickey says:

    Toyota to me isn’t in a place after all the other things that happen. If corp stated to replace frames because of the recall the dealers need to comply. Dealers don’t watch out for this the customers will be leaving. I’m sure Toyota and Dana will get sued for this.

  2. Jim O says:

    Luther Toyota in Mn. did a horrible job on my 2000 Tundra frame recall 6 months ago. Now, my left spring is disassembling itself. Wish the Koreans, or anyone, would start making a reliable medium truck.

    • sandman says:

      you fool, there are very fine trucks aready made, here in America! just go out and buy a Chevy/GMC, Ford or Ram and forget about this toyota crap, it is all a bunch a pr BS and you are one of the many that a fell for it!

      • yotatech250 says:

        LOL sandman, Toyota Tundra’s are built in TEXAS !!! you should do a google search on where your chevy/gm are made..

  3. Lisa says:

    I have a 2004 Toyota Sequoia with approx 120,000 miles. The reason I purchased this vehicle is that I was going to keep it until it died. Much to my amazement, I don’t think it’s going to last that long. “Frame Rust Recall.” My frame appears to have the same problem as the Tundra’s!!! In fact, it is the Tundra frame that this vehicle rides on. I am going to have the frame inspected and I hate to tell Toyota……but this whole situation needs to be rectified. We pay top dollar($40,000) for these vehicles because we are previous owners and know these vehicles at one time were built to last. I owned a 1983 Cressida Wagon until 1997 with over 250,000 miles. It didn’t have any rust issues whatsoever. The only thing that didn’t work properly was the A/C. At the time I couldn’t afford a bigger car for my family made by Toyota, so I purchased a Grand Caravan (and well that was a mistake I regret profusely. But the issues were handled by Dodge). Getting back to the point I am making, I am totally appalled at the condition of this Sequoia and the lack of interest by Toyota’s attitude of customer support or their reputation. This isn’t the only issue with the Sequoia….not just rust, but the tailgate latch (made of plastic) breaks repeatedly and others are having problems with their tailgate windows not operating. There is also a known issue of rust in the tailgates which have gone uncorrected by Toyota. Wow, Toyota was a great car company at one time, but my how times have changed. This probably will be the “last” Toyota I own because of their inability to stand up and do what is right for their loyal customers. I will let you know what the condition of my frame is like and will also have pics to prove that there is a problem with rusting frames still in 2012!!! I don’t think it is a problem limited to 2000-2001 models….I think this issue is on-going.

  4. Sequoia Owner says:

    2003 Sequoia. 245K miles. Massachusetts. Had been complete unaware of rust issue. Received mail notice Monday. Took into dealer Tuesday. Was told it will take 2 days if it needs just rust proofing, or 30 days if frame needs to get replaced. Had been unprepared for such drastic options. Was given an extended cab Tundra as loaner. Got call on Wednesday that the car failed tests and the frame will be replaced, and that I had to come in to test drive the car before it was replaced to remember the feel of the drive. Going in Friday.

    Just two weeks before, I had the car overhauled – timing belt and water pump, all belts and tensioners, front and rear brakes and rotors, rear shocks, all fluids, etc. Called the mechanic Wednesday to see if he had seen rust problems when he had the car up. He said there had been no significant visual damage. Looks like things were worse inside than outside.

    With a new frame and recent overhaul, hoping to squeeze out another 100K. Love this car.

    • Wow that is going to be like a brand new car!

      BTW, how do you like the Tundra?


    • Marc Kruzer says:

      Had my 03 Sequoia in the shop yeserday for routine maintenance, portion of frame crumbled in due to rust from inside out…never observed or noticed rust prior on exterior of frame rails. Are you able to send letter you received from Toyota or any reference to a TSR number or letter number. Bought this vehicle with intention of hitting 400k miles – won’t even hit 200k at this rate. Don’t want to get shot down with standard Toyota stall tactics.

      • Bill R says:

        My 2003 sequioa has 167,000 miles and frame and differetial housing rusted out completely . Toyota is going to replace frame , but have not said if they will replace differential since whole axel assembly is one piece .

        • Bill R says:

          toyota replaced the frame . charged $1800 for differential housing , then called and said it needed a muffler at a cost of $ 847 .38 and front brakes at a cost of $976.44 . I just had a complete exhaust system put on 4 months ago . Toyota is a rip off company as I see them and hope they loose a lot of coustomers . I did not get the extra work done by toyota .

          • Bill,

            Sounds like the extra cost was from the muffler and front brakes that the dealer recommended. That is odd that you just had the exhaust system replaced 4 months ago. Not saying I don’t blame you for being upset with Toyota, just sounds like it was the dealer who did you wrong.


  5. Rob K says:

    I got a letter yesterday for my 2001 with 128k miles. We’ll see what they say, I think I have extensive rust problems. I have nuts that aren’t nuts anymore, just a mass of rusted metal.

    The letter I got doesn’t have a TSR number or other number. It says at the top “Certain 2001 through 2004 Model Year Sequoia Vehicles Corrosion-Resistant Compound Application to the Vehicle’s Frame” then in red “LIMITED SERVICE CAMPAIGN”

    It goes on to state that the campaign involves only those vehicles currently registered in the following specific Cold Climate States which have high road salt usage and the District of Columbia : CT, DE, IL, IN, KY, MD, ME, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VA, VT, WI & WV

  6. Lee says:

    In 2004 I sprung big bucks for a new Tundra four-door with all the bells and whistles, because I was near retirement and wanted a great truck to grow old with. It mostly goes on short hops around town and is a joy to drive on road trips, the few I get to do these days. The mileage is just under 25k, so this baby is barely broken in. Long story short, I went in for my two-year state inspection, and when the truck went up on the lift, the rusty frame flexed and settled so severely around the lift supports, the inspection station mechanic said to contact Toyota immediately. He didn’t dare touch a hammer to the frame for fear he’d pop a hole and the vehicle would have to be taken off the road. The emergency brake components on the rear right wheel were frozen with rust and had to be completely replaced in order to pass inspection, so I went straight to the Toyota dealer to have them do the repairs and inspect the frame. I had already called the Toyota 800 number and was given a reference number to take to the dealer about the frame problem. So, next week the regional rep will inspect the frame, and the dealer expects to get approval for a frame replacement – but there is no guarantee it will be granted. What’s the next step if get denied?

    • Lee,

      Let’s hope that the regional rep gets you a complete frame replacement. Most likely (from our experience) that will be the case. If not, try a certified letter to his office. Check out this post for more details.


    • Jean Gagnon says:

      Lee, What happened with your Tundra. The same thing is happening to me rght now. 2004 Tundra, bought new, only 67000 miles. Today bought new tires and shop is saying they’re afraid to put it on the lift. I just made an appt for the dealer to see it.
      Let me know what’s happening with yours. Thanks,

      • Lee says:

        I just want to update my experience. The regional rep did authorize my frame replacement, but the dealer tried to price gouge me on a part replacement to be completed at the time of the frame replacement to the tune of $1000. My inspection station mechanic said there was nothing wrong with that particular part during inspection and as much as told me I was being “played as a fool.” After I confronted the dealer’s service rep, my case was passed onto another service rep who seemed to let my case languish. After twice the “expected three week wait” for the part to arrive I called the Toyota 800 number again, because I suspected I was being jacked up over the 1K confrontation and could wait forever to see the frame come in. The next day my frame suddenly was already at the dealer awaiting my service appointment, and Toyota 800 called me back as promised.

        I did pay $400 for a replacement shifter linkage that my mechanic said was probably legit, and WOW, what a nice truck I have now! More attention still needs to be given to other rusting parts on the underside, so my more ambitious son-in-law is inheriting this Tundra to replace his “used-up ’03’ Ford F150. A different Toyota dealer happened to have a slow-to-move ’12’ DBL CAB 5.7L v8 L/B Tundra that I’m picking up today at a 6K+ savings under sticker.

        In the end, Toyota did right by me, and since I’ve found a new decent dealership who is hungry for my business, I’m staying with the Tundra!

        • Jean Gagnon says:

          Toyota bought out our 2004 Toyota Tundra due to the frame rust issue. Gave us a more than fair price for it. We no longer need a truck, but are definitely sticking with Toyota. They did the right thing for me.

          • kevin says:

            Iam from nova scotia and have taken very good care of my 03 tundra , has 180000 k on it and was recalled in 2012 so they could apply the black crap to the frame recently my mechanic noticed significant rust holes in front and middle, the dealer took photos ,sent them to headquarters and they are doing nothing for me they say the recall was for the rear only! needless to say im pissed ,if it was bad steel in the frame why are they not putting one on my truck or offering me a byback or incentive, any advice to where to go from here?

    • dtargo says:

      wanted a great truck?! why didn’t you BUY AMERICAN then? incredible…

      • wz says:

        dtargo – many of the american vehicles are manufactured in mexico, and over half the parts are median and canadian. There is no such thing anymore as an “american” vehicle, or a “foreign” vehicle. Get yourself into the right century.

  7. Glen Peters says:

    I have a 2004 Tundra with only 48,000 miles. The frame is rusted out. There are no other rust issues on the vehicle. Toyota has an obligation to replace the frame.

  8. Jason says:

    Toyota did right by me. My 2000 Toyota Tundra with 105k went in when I got the letter in the mail. I was told it needed a new frame. New frame was installed around 30 days after the initial inspection. Have had no problems since. Drives like a new truck now. Now the dealer and not Toyota tried to tell me that I needed a new exhaust system and new CV Joints because they were torn and had a leak. I looked at them all myself, felt them could not find a leak or tear anywhere. Exhuast was a little rusted but no holes. Short story I told them no just replace the frame. 6 months later frame is great and no problems with the exhaust or CV Joints. I think the dealer was just trying to get some $$ out of me since they were doing all this work on my truck for nothing.

    • yotatech250 says:

      the dealership gets paid by Toyota Canada, for a frame off replacement the dealership is paid more then enough for the job. i don’t doubt there are shady toyota dealers that try to up sell jobs. the dealership im apprenticing at, does not up sell.

  9. Dennis Degen says:

    I have a 2004 Tundra. What a sorry piece of crapsmanship. The frame is mostly intact. The differential housing looked like it had been in sea water for 30 years. I paid to get it replaced and the Toyota Service department completely failed on the repair. Took it to Bill and Earls Transmission. They took it apart and added a shim and the noise is gone. There are 50 places underneath the truck that require intense action. I have set my personal mission to bring Toyota to the court of public justice. I ask that anyone with a 2004 Tundra get under it with a camera and document what you find. I can be reached at If enough people send me photos and Vin #s, I will put them in front of Toyota Corporation in California. My congressman is aware of my complaint and is supportive, but i need other cases similar to mine.

    Send me an email and I’ll send you my photos. They will make your stomach turn.

    Dennis Degen.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      Please send them our way, we would love to look at them/write a post. You can email me at


    • George says:

      Hi Dennis, i came across your post on Tundra hewed quarters . I have a 2002 tundra and i am getting my frame replaced soon. But as you mentioned there are a lot of rusty parts. my rear axle bell housing is as rusted as yours was. it makes no sense to me to replace a frame and leave the other rusted parts out of the replacement. i wondered how you made out with that from Toyota .

      if you have a photo of you bell housing please send it if you could.

      thanks George Pappas

    • kevin says:

      I have an 03 tundra wich is in the same condition great body ,engine, transmission, rotting frame,i am from Canada, do I have a leg to stand on?

  10. George Janosko says:

    I was going thru problems with Toyota Tundra’s and I saw Dennis’ post on the blog on Tundra Headquarters. I may having a rust problem with my 2004 Tundra dual cab with only 55,000 miles. The cover plate on the rear axle is rusted and now leaking gear oil. It started as just a pin hole in the bottom of the welded cover plate on the back of the axle. Now it is moving up that cover plate and starting to have several holes. I live in Pa, but when I first found the problem, I was in Ohio and they said it would be about $2,000 to $3,000 to replace the rear axle housing(it is about $1,100 ) and the rest is other parts and labor. I also have three other Toyota’s, one I just got last year in October(4Runner). Have you gotten anything back from Toyota yet? I called their 800 number in CA and all I got was a case # and told to take it to a dealer and have them contact a Factory Rep. One would think they could have a case opened and a factory rep contact the person with the problem.

    Anyone else experiencing rusting on the rear axle housing???

    • Dean says:

      Yes the rear axle housing on my 2005 is rusted and leaking. Currently at dealership for frame recall, clean and repaint(undercoat). Service rep notified me that the housing is rusted and seeping fluid, replacement of rear axle to fix problem $2,700 +. Have contacted Toyota and hope they will make it right. Same poor metal and treatment used in housing as frame apparently.

  11. Gloria says:

    Our 2004 Tundra was sounding loud so was taken to shop to find out problem. Was told the exhaust system was rusted. Toyota dealer took a look at the exhaust and said it would have to be replaced. $2500.00 While it was in the shop my husband was told the frame was rusted away and would need to be replaced under 2003 frame recall. Whew good news! Truck has 80k on it and is garaged every day. Took truck in for frame replacement and was told the manifolds are rusted, the radiator is leaking and water pump cracked. All tolled the bill is somewhere around another $2500.00 What else is Toyota going to get from us on this truck. We have been loyal Toyota customers but not sure if we will continue. Currently own a Prius and have owned. 2- Corollas, 1- Cressida, 1 – Four-Runner and another Prius (many problems with 1st Prius) but gave it another chance. Come on Toyota take care of your people.
    Thanks for opportunity to express my unhappiness.

  12. Randall says:

    At least Toyota stepped up to the plate and is providing very expensive help. I have a Chrysler that rusted to pieces(shock towers), a Ford that had the frame rust in two…this is not just a Toyota issue. Did Ford or Chrysler or GM step up and help with what we think is premature rusting? Toyota gets kudos from me. They did not have to do that. None of the others have.

  13. Gloria says:

    Wow…I guess I shouldn’t complain. Thanks for the counterpoint.

  14. Daniel says:

    I just had my 2004 Toyota tundra recalled an now they want 5,728.69 for parts an not including labor an a slew of other things they said they need I feel we are being scammed by the Toyota dealer ship in Saratoga springs ny call New country Toyota we told them we want going to pay cause they ripped out all our break bleeders around the truck an destroyed our brake line an they told us we can get in our truck an leave if we want an that this convocation was over cause we kept catching the sales man in lies an he couldn’t an wouldn’t point anything on the paper out that was wrong on the truck

  15. Robert.Ginn says:

    I have a 2005 Toyota Tundra and had the bottom frame of the truck coated, now the rear differential is rusting out and needs to be replaced. I guess Toyota thinks this is normal for the northeast but my mechanic says Toyota is the only company having a problem.The reason I bought my second Tundra from Toyota was that they stood for quality but I think from now on I will shop elsewhere.

  16. larry says:

    just took my 03 tundra in for the frame recall, it was not too bad in the back but the front is completely gone. never got any of the recalls. dealer submitted claim to toyota rep and they are going to replace the frame. truck has 106,000 miles on it. unfortunately it will take 1 to 3 months to get a frame and they wont give it back to me until its fixed. thats ok by me if im getting a new frame im willing to wait. as far as the rear diff rust, i have been chasing that problem for almost a year. the cover is almost all JB weld now. there is a place in north carolina that just came out with a replacement cover its heavy duty and you just cut the old one off and weld the new one on. the reviews state you dont have to remove the rear or take it apart. just raise the truck and do the work where it sits. i have lined up a welder to install it and when i get the truck back i will deal with it. the company is barnes 4wd. they just started offering this cover last week. its $85 plus $12.50 to ship and they have them in stock. the welder said 2 hrs to weld so total cost should be under $350, much better than $2k for a new one and this one is much thicker and better metal than stock. also it holds more fluid than stock so it will stay cooler. if anyone wants to talk about this feel free to call me 973-886-7573

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