Consumer Advisory: Toyota Announces Recall of 110,000 Tundra Pickups for Excessive Corrosion

NHTSA 11-09
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Contact: Eric Bolton
Telephone: (202) 366-9550

Consumer Advisory: Toyota Announces Recall of 110,000 Tundra Pickups for Excessive Corrosion; Motorists Should Remove Spare Tires From the Underbody

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today alerted owners of certain Toyota Tundra vehicles to remove spare tires mounted underneath the body of the vehicle. Excessive corrosion due to “road salts” can cause the rear cross- member of the vehicle frame to fail and allow the spare tire to fall onto the roadway at any time, creating a road hazard for other vehicles.

Toyota has just announced a recall of these vehicles, but NHTSA recommends that owners remove the spare tires even before taking the vehicles to the dealers to be remedied.

In addition, the corrosion may also cause damage to the rear brake lines and lead to brake system failures.

The safety recall involves 110,000 Toyota Tundras for model years 2000 through 2003 that are registered in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. These states typically use chemical de-icers, such as road salts, to treat the roadways in winter weather.

Toyota will contact owners of all affected vehicles and ask that they bring the vehicles to a local dealer to be inspected and remedied. Based on the extent of the corrosion, Toyota will either apply a corrosion-resistant compound to the affected area or replace the rear cross-member if necessary. In the event that the rear cross-member cannot be replaced, Toyota will develop a remedy for those vehicles

Toyota also announced it will notify owners of model year 2000 through 2003 Tundras registered outside of the recalled states and perform the same inspection and repair if the owners desire.

Until the recalled vehicles are brought in, NHTSA urges owners to remove the spare tires to prevent them from falling onto the roadway. NHTSA also advised to avoid being under the spare tire or rear cross-member while removing it. If the spare tire is moved to the truck bed or to another location in the vehicle, owners should make sure that it is properly secured.

Click here to view the Defect Investigation Opening Memo