Toyota is expanding its recall of 2000-03 Tundra full-size pickups over the same frame rust issue that caused the automaker and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall the trucks in November 2009 in 20 cold-weather states, according to a letter sent to Toyota dealers (and obtained by our friends at TundraHeadquarters.com).
The so-called "limited service campaign" is a retroactive enhancement to the vehicle's warranty to replace the entire frame for free if it meets certain corrosion conditions, but owners of Tundras with frame rust will only have a limited opportunity to take advantage of the offer, which expires after April 30, 2012.
The service campaign covers Tundras sold nationwide and not just in the original 20 cold-weather states, Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons said.
"Information is being sent to all [2000-03 Tundra] owners," Lyons said. "We're really targeting the trucks in the severe cold-weatherstates but it also includes owners in the other states [not included in the recall]."
The states in the recall 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, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.
The original recall covered 110,000 Tundras. The limited service campaign expands that to up to 440,000 trucks.
Toyota dealers will inspect Tundras covered by the campaign for signs of frame rust. Whereas the original recall was limited to replacing the rear cross member and surrounding components if severe corrosion was found — special circumstances of excessive damage were handled on a case-by-case basis — the new campaign expands the rust inspection to almost the entire frame and sets firm guidelines for replacement. If a perforation larger than 10 millimeters is found, the entire frame will be replaced with a new one.
Replacing a frame is a nontrivial task that requires moving every component from the truck to the new frame. Ordering the replacement frame from Toyota and initiating repairs could take several weeks.
Toyota will cover rental car costs up to seven days. If frame replacement is delayed due to parts availability, up to 30 extra days may be claimed. Up to 60 days may be claimed only with special authorization. Affected Tundras that were brought to dealers before March 2010 may claim up to 90 days of reimbursement.
Toyota will contact customers covered by this campaign this month by phone and mail. Customers with additional questions or concerns can contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 888-270-9371.
[Source: Toyota via TundraHeadquarters.com]