Toyota will settle truck frame rust suit for up to $3.4 billion
Automaker reaches agreement to replace frames on up to 1.5 million trucks.
The headline from online periodical Autoweek exclaims. Everyone with a Toyota truck knows all about it and almost everyone else has heard something. What could have happened? Was it “crap” steel? Can it happen again? Tons of questions and the only answers they has is that they’ll cover the cost for them to inspects it and potentially have to replace your whole frame. This time.
Where did it all go wrong? Toyota, as well as every other truck frame, is a multi-piece weldment. Typically consisting of full box sections where the suspension stresses the frame and often C channel down the middle span of the vehicle. These units are heavy gauge steel and typically are submerged in an electr
ophoretic deposition bath that uses an electrical charge to attract paint onto the bare steel frame surfaces. This is typically adequate to keep them out of giant class action law suites but never enough to keep your vehicle rust free for long. The problems that develop shortly after entering a service life of driving kids to hockey and picking up the groceries is that the edges and corners, with thinner paint deposits, start to develop pinholes. This allows moisture and oxygen to interact with the steel and it will never stop rusting as long as its exposed. The critical failure starting points in these Toyota frames is where two formed frame pieces were assembled and overlapped. This fives moisture and grit a place to hide. And boy, does it love getting in there and hiding! What happened Toyota’s frames is so common that we’ve seen major structural failures on almost every other brand truck on the road. The interior overlaps retain moisture so long that rust develops very quickly and gets severe quickly.
So they fixed the issue, right? Sorry, not really. They’ve fixed THEIR problem but not your problem. They have found a way to make sure your vehicle will just outlast its warrant-able period. This it. Attempts to mitigate the design flaw are also seriously flawed in execution. They are attempting a probe inserted wax spray that barely covers anything. Also we have seen seem sealer used but so sparingly that it will only help very limited areas. They have not addressed the entire frame and overall problem. We’ve said it a million times, any vehicle that drivers 365 days a year in our environment needs to have a tough supplemental barrier applied by corrosion specialist professionals. Our coatings are applied entirely and thoroughly. We provide annual inspections and touch-ups included with the cost of application. The value is much more than the costs. You will be able to resell your vehicle for much more than anything else on the market if you can maintain its structural integrity! Or just drive it that much longer than anyone else who hasn’t treated their undercarriage. That’s a fact!
Please check out our gallery that shows the pathetic factory attempt as rust proofing compared to RRI’s total coverage.