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Toyota Tacoma, Toyota 4Runner, Car Safety, Auto Body, Car Warranties, Truck
#394 of 1348 it's time for a class action suit
Aug 03, 2008 (5:28 am)
I own a 1999 Tacoma which I purchased less than 2 years ago with 39000 on it then, 54000 now. It failed the test two weeks ago despite undercoating. I DID NOT make out as well as those who enthusiastically sold their 1997 Tacomas with 400000 miles on them [sic] since I had only recently purchased this vehicle (replacing a 1990 pickup), and it was in fine shape other than the fist-sized hole in the frame which even my mechanic missed three months ago. I probably paid too much for the '99 in the first place (commissioned to be purchased at auction), but I was in a hurry two years ago and needed help fast.
Because I don't have the time or energy to spend on this exercise, and because all of those who were notified earlier than me and able to get officially inspected and rejected have sucked up most of the available used Toyota inventory within a 300-mile radius of Vermont, I am now the un-proud owner of a 2006 Ford (!) Ranger, V6 with the potential for ABS problems. Although on the face of it I may have been left with some cash, it is greatly diminished and almost disappears when my time involved is calculated as well as the miles I have driven (I refused to let them have my Toyota on inspection day) looking for a different vehicle. The annoyance factor, lower mpg and the increased insurance premiums take up the rest and more. (By the way, supposedly the dealer was to make me sign a waiver when I left the lot, but I was asked to sign nothing).
Last week I spoke with Clarence Ditlow of the Center for Auto Safety (see their website autosafety.org), and he is aware that this is not a good thing. Although it would appear that Toyota is stepping up to the plate, between refusing to call this a recall and literally leaving people stranded at the dealer when the truck is turned in (and mine is 40 miles away), they have made an awful mess of things. (This doesn't even count the 2000-year plus vehicles which have rust problems). Everyone seems to think that because they provide rentals that that makes up for everything, but taking the rental away and leaving you wondering how to get home after they hand you the check isn't my idea of good public relations.
I've also heard, although I haven't verified it, that if you ignore them after they tell you you have perforation and get the frame fixed on your own, your title then becomes a salvage title, which greatly diminishes the value of the vehicle. (The increased warranty apparently only applies if no perforation is found now). It is apparently also true that if you continue to drive the vehicle and get into an accident even your insurance company won't cover you. Therefore you are FORCED to resell it to Toyota and suffer their repeated overnight mail which barely gives you time to find a copy center and call UPS or, heaven forbid, be out of town during this process.
I've owned Toys for 27 years (put a wooden bed on my '90 when it rusted out), but I'm not sure I will again. They seem to be going downhill fast, and I'm sorely disappointed to be receiving somewhat threatening letters without provocation. No "thanks for being a loyal customer," no "gee, we're sorry to put you through this and we'll help you find a different vehicle to suit your needs, even if it's not a Toyota," just a hired gun (Impartial Services) whose staff don't seem to talk to each other. And they don't even include their email address when they say that you can return things by email. Rushing a bit? Not too well thought out?
Taking on Toyota would be a big job, but there has to be a law firm interested if they only knew the extent of the problem. I just noticed that on the Center for Auto Safety's website (autosafety.org) there is a place to file a complaint and indicate your interest in a class action suit, but because of all of the contact information which is published I'd recommend that you not file your complaint until you've cashed your check. There aren't alot of complaints listed, so people may not know about the site, but I think that if hundreds of people complained a law firm might take notice...even those with model years beyond 2000 should complain.
I am not litigious by nature, but this is appalling. Clearly there is a safety issue here -- I don't argue with that -- but if Toyota wants to survive in this economic climate (and some of us still need trucks), they need to be more accomodating at least. And as one person pointed out on another blog, Toyota MUST have known about this for several years -- so why did it take so long to go public? A recall would have been instantaneous, and more honest.
As far as I can tell I've signed nothing that waives my right to sue, so I'm game. Thanks for listening, I needed to vent.
Unhappy in Vermont
#395 of 1348 Re: it's time for a class action suit [reuser]
Aug 03, 2008 (7:49 am)
Did you not get the full KBB bood value at excellent condition 150%? Because I read someplace that if you were not the original owner then and only then would you not get it. The would pro-rate the amount and give some to the new owner and then some to original owner who sold it. Sorry you didn't make out so good. If it makes you feel a little better, I didn't know about this forum. I got my letter on May 20, the dealer took my truck on May 31. My truck had a new exhaust manifold and 3 new belts put in in April, plus I paid my 2 yr MV registration in April ($89 for 2 yrs), it passed inspection and MV in NY was SOOOO NICCCEEEE to refund me 1 yrs MV fees only. Plus in Oct of 2007, hubby had rust sandblasted off my frame and had the whold frame and the whole truck painted to the tune of $3000. So when we found this forum and saw letters were going in March, and Toyota knew about this and I spent almost $1000 in April, well my husband thinks I was ripped off. You are right. I signed nothing saying there can't be a class action lawsuit. Hopefully a lawyer starts one. I will be on the bandwagon for that.
#396 of 1348 Re: it's time for a class action suit [schukanuoslady]
Aug 03, 2008 (8:12 am)
Yes, I will get 150% of KBB (I just sent back the acceptance letter). My point was that by the time I bought a different vehicle (from the limited number of 4x4 manual transmission trucks available in this area at this time), buying a cap, getting a bridge loan from the bank so that I could get a truck almost instantly (I can't afford to be without a vehicle where I live in the woods), spending my time not working but rather buying a truck and fielding phone calls and mail from Toyota, driving to the dealer twice, buying new snows etc., I've used up all of that money and have a Ford Ranger I don't want. BTW, they need to take the engineering license away from the Ford person who designed the back of the Supercab -- impossible to access.
This is a headache all the way around for some of us. Because of the way the buyback program is designed and being implemented, some people are faring better than others, but most are forgetting, I suspect, to factor in their own time expended.
I challenge any automobile manufacturer to come up with an affordable (no bells and whistles) four wheel drive long bed truck with good MPG. Just a truck. Do it. I suspect you'll have a lot of takers. Not all of us live in a city with mass transit, or want a status symbol. Just a reliable truck that will last.
#397 of 1348 Re: How bad is it? [kcram]
Aug 03, 2008 (9:01 am)
The 2 cents helps! But let's say the 1999 tacoma I'm looking at to buy passes inspection. No holes. And I buy it. Is it logical to assume it won't develop problems for awhile and maybe never? Wouldn't the rust perforation have shown up by now (truck is in the chicago area)? And if it rusts out later am I covered under the extended warranty, as a second owner and purchased after the letters were sent out? I wouldn't qualify for the buy-back, at least the full amount. Is this correct?
#398 of 1348 Re: it's time for a class action suit [reuser]
Aug 03, 2008 (9:44 am)
It's was your Toyota dealer not Toyota. When I called for my insepction they said they would have a rental truck for me. When i got there and it failed they said all the rentals were gone. They offered me a ride home, I told the service manager "I'm getting a 30 day loaner". Then he pulled a 2004 Trail Blazer with 17k miles off the used car lot. Next he said he called my Insurance Co. & they would not cover the car. So in his office I called the underwriter handed him the phone, I was covered. If you read my first post I said I had a problem wtih him.
Dealers don't want to deal with it. The first one I called said they did not know what I was talking about. Funny thing that dealer gave me the best price on my new one.
#399 of 1348 Re: it's time for a class action suit [happytaco]
Aug 04, 2008 (5:44 am)
Your right....anyone not getting a loaner is because of the dealer. My Taco was a 2 x 4. They brought out a Tundra 4 x4 for me to have as a loaner as they thought the Taco belonged to my hubby. I had a fit and said there was no way I could get in and out of that truck. The rental part of the dealer went out of their way to find me a Toyota I could fit into (32" inseam) and that was why I had the Taco. I ended up with a Scion XB. My dealer had me trying out all their rentals before they bought out the Scion and your insurance is not even involved. You have to keep insurance on your Taco until you hand in the title. And they might give you the plates sooner then the check like they did me as there were so many Tacos coming in they were taking off plates to send them out. But the only thing I had to do was keep insurance and keep the plates until they showed up with my check. I didn't even have to call my insurance. I live in the country too. And hubby drives an 18 wheeler over the road. He missed a few runs while I went used car shopping and then decided to buy a car. It was aggravation on our part too. And stress. But now its done with and I think everyone of us goes thru this aggravation. I was driving my hubby crazy. He told me it was like I was losing a child. Heck... I had all original parts in that Taco I took such good care of it. I was positive it wouldn't have a hole and was wrong.
As for buying a 1999 Taco, it too is going to have the 15 yr corrossion warranty on it. And read about the one guy who passed inspection and then 2 months later had holes. Any truck being bought after March is not going to qualify for 150% buyback if it developes holes in the next year or so. Toyota already said any of the affected years will not be qualified. And dealers are not supposed to sell them and if you buy privately they are going to pro-rate any money if a hole crops up. The x-owner is going to get some of the money.
#400 of 1348 Re: it's time for a class action suit [schukanuoslady]
Aug 04, 2008 (7:28 am)
Lady former Taco. owner here in S. Ontario. Re: rental car after Taco. flunked inspection. Rental co. (Enterprise) put me into a 2009 Corolla after I told them that I was considering buying a Corolla to replace my Taco. I called my insurance co. (State Farm) and they called "head office"). Said my insurance would cover me for the 30 days. Dealership took my Taco. away with the plates still on. Dealership seemed to be really "talking up-selling up???) the 2009 Corollas over the 2008 Corollas. Purchased 2009 Corolla as I knew I would come close to breaking even on deal. I did, however, get undercoating put on as new Corollas don't have it. Sure hope it holds up better than Taco. undercoating!! 6 months of road salt here, then 6 months of road construction. Welcome to Canada!! Salesman at dealership helped to track down my Taco. and removed plates with sticker. As my birthday is February I can get some money back. I wondered if rental co. and nearby Toyota put their heads together to help sell their Toyota vehicles by putting rental drivers such as myself into Toyota vehicles so that we can "test drive" them for 30 days. Nevertheless, this is my third Corolla. I was second owner of the Taco. I believe first owner is not involved in any way with the $19,000 Canadian I will receive for Taco. My cheque is still "in the mail". Will update again when the money comes through.
#401 of 1348 Re: How bad is it? [intermod]
by kcram HOST
Aug 04, 2008 (9:52 am)
From what I see of this program, you can buy that truck and it could pass. You are then required to get another inspection every 12 months. Next summer, they hit it with the hammer and a tennis-ball-size hole appears. Now you're in the same situation you might have been this year... confiscated truck and you're shopping again.
I say look for a truck that won't give you this potential headache.
kcram - Pickups Host
#402 of 1348 Re: How bad is it? [kcram]
Aug 04, 2008 (11:27 am)
Couldn't agree more. Buying a Tacoma at this time, if you can find one is just asking for trouble. As 2nd owner of my former Taco. I put on 26,000 kms. (miles=17,000 miles ??) in five years. had underside oiled last summer. Not one spot of rust on paint job. No accidents, not a scratch on it. However inspection guys created one small hole in frame by hammering hard on it. No doubt frame was weak there and it was only a matter of time until more perforations appeared. Just stay away from Tacomas. If I had read this site and had a 2001 and newer Taco. I would sell it soon before any new recall comes on them re: defective undercoating. Does anybody know when and if this undercoating problem was corrected at the plant where these Tacomas are built? Where are they built?
#403 of 1348 when will we know if it failed?
Aug 04, 2008 (2:57 pm)
We recently purchased a 97 tacoma. Has what I consider to be more than just surface rust from the leaf spring bracket back. bumper and towing hitch were so rusted hey had to be cut off with a torch. Accidentally found out about this frame rust problem when researching how to repair frame rus 2 days after we bought it. We took the truck in for an inspection two weeks go. They just said we would be hearing from toyota. I called the dealership today. They just said we would get a letter in the mail letting us know one way or the other (pass or fail). Does anyone know how long it takes to receive this letter? We have this truck just sitting in the driveway because we don't know if it is safe to drive. If it passes for now we need to finish work we started before we found out about this. if it failed we don't want to do anything else to it. We purchased this as a recreational vehicle only and were in the middle of adding a 3" suspension lift. we just put new breaks, rotors, calipars, struts, as well as other parts on the truck before we found out about this. we also have new wheels and tires waiting to be put on. Can someone please tell me how long it normally takes to get the letter? This is ridiculous!