Get in… Because you’re better off in the truck than driving behind it on the highway. At least red-necks and the others in the “buy American” crowd have a legitimate reason to hate on the Japanese car maker’s trucks:
Toyota confirmed today that it will recall about 110,000 of its 2000-2003 Tundra pickups registered in northern states due to excessive corrosion on the rear frame crossmember. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is recommending that all owners of affected Tundras remove their spare tires mounted to the crossmember.
“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,” NHTSA said.
The automaker will release more details about the recall soon. It comes after a highly-publicized series of owner complaints stemming from badly rusted late-model Tundra pickups.
The Tundras will be recalled in 20 East Coast and Midwestern states that make heavy use of road salts and other corrosive de-icing methods. The 20 states, plus the District of Columbia, include: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. The automaker will not recall Tundras in other states, although it will inspect vehicles and make repairs if necessary if requested by owners.
“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,” NHTSA said. “In the event that the rear cross-member cannot be replaced, Toyota will develop a remedy for those vehicles.”
NHTSA’s report says that it has “received 20 reports on the subject vehicles that relate to spare tire separation and brake system failures as a result of severe frame corrosion. There have been 15 reports alleging the under body-mounted spare tire separated from the rear crossmember and five reports alleging broken brake lines at the proportioning value located on the driver’s side of the rear cross member at upper shock mount.”
This new recall, of course, comes hot on the heels of a hilarious (assuming you or a loved one doesn’t own a Toyota) recall involving killer floor mats, that many (including industry experts) suspect might actually be an issue with Toyota’s drive-by-wire electronic throttle control and it’s programming. Read: a very serious issue
On the plus side, if you are driving your Tundra down the highway and your spare tire rusts off and slams into the car behind you, chances are your Toyota is also accelerating out of control, so it’ll make for a quick getaway.