Are you interested in purchasing a Toyota 4Runner and do you want to learn more about the Toyota 4Runner frame recall? Well, if that is the case, then you are at the right place because there will be a lot to cover on this topic and we are going to cover everything you need to know when it comes to this recall.
Performing the proper research before you decide to spend a ton of money on a car is the way to go if you are asking me. Only proper research will do the trick when it comes to saving thousands of dollars on possible repairs. Why I’m saying this?
Well, because it is true. Out there on the market, there are a ton of vehicles sold that have some serious problems. Like in our case with the 4Runner that has frame issues. And these issues are rather serious if you are asking me. Since the frame is one of the most important components that basically holds the car in one shape. This is why performing good research should be your top concern before you buy. And we are going to help you out when it comes to this aspect.
First, we will learn what is the 4Runner and why this model is so popular. Then we will cover the pros and cons of owning a 4Runner. Then we will dive into the problems that the model has as well as the Toyota 4Runner frame recall and whether or not this recall was issued on this model. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.
What Is The Toyota 4Runner
Now before we dive into more complex topics like the Toyota 4Runner frame recall, let’s first take a look at what is the 4Runner in general. I bet that this question troubles a lot of people who are new to cars and have stumbled upon this article. If you want, you can jump to the chapter where we discuss the Toyota 4Runner frame recall. Now let’s learn what is the 4Runner.
The most recent generation was introduced in 2009 and is still in production to this day. Some would say that it is outdated. But Toyota is working hard in keeping all of its models up to date. So, all 4Runners come equipped with the most modern tech that you will find on any other contemporary SUV.
Nevertheless, the model sells really well. With sales going up quite significantly in recent years and Toyota doesn’t see a need for the introduction of a new generation on the market. At least not for now.
What is good to know about this model is that it is built on the same platform as the Toyota Tacoma which is the mid-size pickup truck that Toyota offers for the US market. This is also a really popular vehicle that sells extremely well.
And even the second-hand market when it comes to the 4Runners is booming. There is a 4Runner for everybody. But what is also useful to note is that these vehicles hold their value really well. So, finding one for a really good deal can become a challenge. But what about the Toyota 4Runner frame recall? More on that in a bit.
Why The 4Runner Is So Popular
Now before we start discussing more about the Toyota 4Runner frame recall. Let’s take a look at why this model is so popular and people want to buy it. Is it because of the build quality or because of some other characteristics? Let’s find out more about that.
The 4Runner implements a body-on-frame design. Unlike other crossovers that implement a unibody design. This means that the 4Runner is built like a tank. And this makes the 4Runner the go-to model for a lot of people who want something really rugged and able to tackle off-road trails.
And the 4Runner really delivers. It is fairly light in comparison to other SUVs in the full-size category. This weight reduction makes the 4Runner able to tackle almost any hill out there. Even though, there are a few more capable ones like the Wrangler.
But still, for most people, the 4Runner will do the trick just fine. And not to mention that these trucks are built to be really tough. They rarely ever break down or display any serious issues.
Another thing worth noting is that the aftermarket is full of parts for these trucks. Starting from aftermarket coil spring suspension, skid plates, you name it. There are a ton of mods that you can purchase for your 4Runner and customize it any way you want.
And frankly, the 4Runner is an excellent platform, to begin with when it comes to off-roading. But what about the Toyota 4Runner frame recall? More on that we will cover in a bit.
Pros & Cons Of Having An Older 4Runner
Now let’s dive into the pros and cons of owning an older 4Runner. What can you expect when owning a vehicle like this?
Knowing the positives and negatives will make your purchasing process a lot easier since you will be able to tell what are the common negative aspects of having a vehicle like this. Then we will cover the Toyota 4Runner frame recall. So, you get a better perspective of this issue and see if the 4Runner participates in this recall or not. So, let’s get into it and cover this briefly.
Now let’s start with the pros of having a 4Runner before we dive into the Toyota 4Runner frame recall.
As we noted previously, there are a lot of advantages of having an SUV like this that is built on a truck chassis.
The biggest pro is that it is built on a good platform. More precisely on the platform that the Toyota Tacoma is built. This is a lightweight platform that is extremely rugged and can withstand a lot of stress. When it comes to off-road, there isn’t anything better than body-on-frame design. Unibody just doesn’t fit the bill when doing extreme stuff.
And on top of that, the body panels are also stronger than your average crossover SUV and denting them can be more difficult than on other cars. Which is a good thing when you drive through unknown terrain.
The second pro of having this type of off-road truck is the capability that it has to drive in environments that most vehicles will struggle with. The suspension and engine work very well together and deliver the torque to the wheels.
You just install proper off-road tires, and the 4Runner will do its magic. Even though, some skill and practice will always benefit you. Don’t try the hardest things on the first try. Go step by step.
The aftermarket is full when it comes to these SUVs. You can purchase aftermarket coilover suspension, you can upgrade the brakes, install cool skid plates, lift the SUV up for a few inches and install bigger tires. This truck is perfect modifications.
Now before we start discussing the Toyota 4Runner frame recall, let’s take a look at what are the cons of having an older 4Runner SUV.
As with every other older vehicle, if you purchase an old 4Runner you will face some issues here and there. Old cars tend to have more problems than new ones. Especially on vehicles that are older than 10 years.
So, when it comes to the cons, you can expect bigger repair bills. And these repairs are not cheap. Especially when we are talking about a big vehicle like this.
There are a lot of wear and tear items that need to be replaced in order to keep driving the 4Runner in the future and some of them can get pricey.
And the biggest issue when it comes to problems is the rust development on older models. But more on the rust issue, we are going to elaborate later on when we will discuss about the Toyota 4Runner frame recall.
Another thing worth mentioning is the fact that this vehicle will also require you to have that off-roady spirit. We would frankly, not recommend the 4Runner for people who are not into off-roading. Why so, you might be asking?
Well, this is a vehicle with higher ground clearance intended to be more off-road than on-road. So, people might find it strange to go in and out. As well as the ride quality will be a bit worse on big beefy tires in comparison to your standard tires intended for the road.
So, it’s little things like this that could ruin your ownership experience and make you regret that you got this SUV. But what about the Toyota 4Runner frame recall? More on that we are going to elaborate next.
Toyota 4Runner Rust Issues
Now let’s focus on the problem that the 4Runner has before we elaborate more on the Toyota 4Runner frame recall. And that is rust development.
If you didn’t know, Toyota trucks that are produced from the 90s to the 2010s have really bad issues with rust.
Rust just eats their frames and they become really fragile. So, fragile that in some instances they can crumble down and cause a ton of problems.
There are even pictures online where the frame is rotted out completely and has turned into Swiss cheese. And this is something that you definitely want to avoid driving. Not safe at all.
In another image that I saw which was from a Toyota Tacoma, the bed simply fell off when the truck was put on the lift. It was basically separated into two pieces. And as you probably know, the Tacoma and the 4Runner share the same frame. So, their frames rust equally bad.
This is especially pronounced in places where is too much salt thrown on the road during the winter seasons. And the salt simply eats the metal.
Which is correct to some extent. But you can’t see the same thing happening on F-150s or Silverados to the same extent that it happens to Toyota models.
So, we can safely assume that the metal used to build these frames, was more prone to rusting probably. And this is why you need to be aware of this problem.
Even though Toyota’s quality is hard to be matched, there are some problems with their cars like in this case when the frame itself rusts out. And more on the 4Runner frame recall we are going to cover later after we learn more about the lawsuit.
Toyota Pays $3.4 Billion Over Rusty Truck Frames
Now let’s discuss another topic that is really important to us. And that was the class action lawsuit against Toyota.
If you didn’t know, Toyota was sued by a lot of owners who owned a variety of pickup trucks made by Toyota for severe frame rust.
In the end, the company had to pay $3.4 billion to cover all these trucks. The settlement includes 1.5 million models. These were Tacoma models produced from 2005 to 2010. Toyota Sequoia models produced from 2005 to 2008 and Tundra models produced from 2007 to 2008.
Toyota also expanded the warranty to models of the Tacoma produced between 1995 and 2000 which also had really severe rust issues. This warranty also covered more than 800,000 trucks. As well as another recall for 2001 to 2003 Tundra models also for rust development.
In addition to this, Dana which is the company that made the frames had to pay Toyota about $25 million. As you probably know, Dana is the company that produces rear differentials and also heavy-duty frames for trucks and other heavy equipment. But what about the Toyota 4Runner frame recall? Were there any recalls for the frame rust on the 4Runner model? Let’s find out next.
Toyota 4Runner Frame Recall
Now let’s get to business and learn more about the Toyota 4Runner frame recall. Was there any recall done to the 4Runner?
Well, there were big efforts from owners to include the 4Runner model under the recalls. But unfortunately, the 4Runner was not included.
So, we can say that there is no recall issued on the 4Runner and its severe rust development problems. This is really unfortunate for a lot of owners and a lot of new potential owners who wanted to get one of these but were scared of the rust development problems
And unfortunately, you cannot make Toyota fix the rust on your 4Runner. If you have rust issues, you will have to fix them on your own.
We can say that this decision was not logical since the Tacoma models produced between 2005 and 2010 were included. And the Tacoma as we all know is based on the same platform as the 4Runner. But unfortunately, this isn’t the case in reality and this model was not included in the Toyota 4Runner frame recall. But enough on this recall. Let’s cover some other problems that the 4Runner has in the following few chapters.
Toyota 4Runner Problems
We cleared everything when it comes to the rust issues and the Toyota 4Runner frame recall. Now let’s dive into the other problems that the 4Runner is plagued with. Not literally, but with the problems that occur more often let’s say. We will primarily stick to the engine and transmission problems, and also cover some other issues. Just to note, we will stick to the 4th generation model that you are interested in. So, let’s cover the problems briefly.
Other Problems Besides 4Runner Frame Recall #1: Blown Head Gasket On 2004 4.0L V6
When it comes to engine problems on this generation of the 4Runner, we can say that there are not a lot of issues with the powertrain of this model.
The biggest problem that this generation has is the issue with the head gaskets on the 4.0L V6 engine.
The head gaskets on the 2004 model tend to fail and allow coolant to mix with oil and this will create a big sludgy mess inside of the engine. And possibly make the engine overheat.
This problem could also trigger some check engine light codes as well. What is important when it comes to this issue is that it needs to be sorted out as soon as possible. If you leave the engine like this in this state and allow it to run for a very long time, it could simply fail and cost you thousands of dollars to fix. As some owners on carcomplaints.com said.
So, when it comes to issues like these, you need to make a quick call and sort this out really fast. The engine bearings could wear out, the cylinder walls could get scarred, the cylinder heads will bend and everything will be thrashed. So, make sure that you sort out this problem if it occurs at some point.
Other Problems Besides 4Runner Frame Recall #2: Secondary Air Injection Pump Failure On 4.7L V8
Another very common problem on these 4Runners with the V8 engine is the secondary air pump failing.
If you didn’t know, the secondary air pump is an emissions device that is designed to reduce emissions. This air pump simply pumps fresh air into the gas mix before it reaches the catalytic converter. So, this action somewhat helps in reducing carbon emissions.
What is worse is that it could fail and you will get a check engine light and also fail the emissions testing. And if you get a check engine light and a code like P0410 or P0411, you know that there is a problem with the secondary air pump. So, we learned about the Toyota 4Runner frame recall, now let’s cover the last problem.
Other Problems Besides 4Runner Frame Recall #3: Engine Manifolds Failing
A non-engine-related issue but still somewhat connected to the engine and the proper work of the engine.
This leak could affect the work of the engine because your exhaust needs to be in check if you want proper engine work. So, if you notice a check engine light and weird hissing or ticking, check the exhaust manifolds and see if you have a leak. A leak test can be done with a smoke machine if you cannot notice it right away. So, we covered all the problems and the Toyota 4Runner frame recall, now let’s conclude this article.
Facts: Toyota 4Runner Frame Rust Lawsuit
- Owners of certain Toyota vehicles (Tacomas, Sequoias, Tundras, and 4Runners) from 2003-2009 are advised to inspect their undercarriage for premature frame rust.
- Toyota settled a $3.4 billion lawsuit last year regarding this issue, but they did not admit fault, and only issued a recall.
- The lead plaintiff in the new 4Runner lawsuit is Gary Weinreich, who brought his 2005 4Runner to a Toyota dealership and was informed of “severe and excessive” rust on the car’s undercarriage.
- Rust damage can cause alignment issues, uneven tire wear, vibrations in the steering and pedals, and unusual noises.
- Rust can also affect unsprung weight parts such as the suspension, wheels, and brakes, and can cause them to fail, which is dangerous and can cause accidents.
- Rust damage to the undercarriage can also cause the bed of a truck to detach from the rest of the vehicle.
- Repairing the frame of the 4Runner can cost around $15,000, as techs may need to replace rusted parts and cut out pieces of the unibody frame and weld it together.
- Toyota has not recognized this issue as a manufacturer defect and has filed for dismissal of Weinreich’s claim in 2019.
- Toyota faced a lot of criticism in the past for sub-par quality control in its vehicles, such as the 4Runner’s automatic transmission.
- Until Toyota acknowledges this problem, owners of affected vehicles should have them inspected immediately.
Conclusion To 4Runner Frame Recall
In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the Toyota 4Runner. First, we learned what the 4Runner is and its main characteristics. Then we learned the pros and cons of having a 4Runner SUV, especially an older model.
After that, we focused on the Toyota 4Runner frame recall and learned if the 4Runner model was recalled for the notorious rust issues that plagued these trucks. Lastly, we covered more of the engine problems that this model has.
F.A.Qs On 4Runner Frame Recall
Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.
Where Are Toyota 4Runners Manufactured
All models for the US market are manufactured at the Tahara Plant in Japan. This means that this specific model was never assembled in the US like the Tacoma and Tundra.
Is Toyota Still Replacing Tacoma Frames
Yes, they should replace your frame or fix it if you have a Tacoma built between 2005 and 2010. For more information, you should contact your closest dealership.
Will Toyota Replace My Frame
Yes, if you have a Tacoma built between 2005 and 2010, Tundra built between 2007 and 2008, Sequoia built between 2005 to 2008. These are the models that fall under the recall issued by Toyota. Toyota also offered this for some older Tacoma models. So, you better contact the dealership for more information. But unfortunately, the 4Runner isn’t included.
Can You Fix A Rusted Car Frame
This really depends on the extent of the rust. If there is slight rust. You will be able to fix it with some patch panels. If the rust is too large, then you will have to replace the frame, unfortunately.
How To Fix Rusted Car Frame
There are a few things you can try. For example, if there are slight rust holes you will first need to clean the rust and then paint over with some rust protective paint and weld through primer. Then place patches to reinforce the frame. If the rust is too large, better replace the whole frame.
What Year 4Runner To Avoid
On carcomplaints.com, the worst years are from 2003 to 2006. Avoid these years. There are a lot of head gasket failures on the V6 engine. As well as very big amount of rust on the frame. So, try to avoid these and always check the frame before you buy.