Sometimes the most inconsequential problems can become life threatening; such is apparently the case with Toyota’s Tundra pickup trucks. According to reports, the Japanese manufacturer has recalled 110,000 vehicles from the 2000-2003 model years for a rust problem with the crossmember that holds the spare tire to the frame. As Maryland auto accident and personal injury lawyers, our job is to help victims who have been injured or have suffered due to another person’s negligence.
The defect discussed in the news recently could result in the Tundra’s spare tire falling onto the roadway in front of another car, which could cause that driver to lose control and crash. On a highway, this could result in a multi-car accident. It’s wise for Toyota to recall these defective models, which would otherwise be potential hazards on the road.
Information out of Washington, D.C. shows that the government has urged owners to take preventative action by removing the spare tire from the frame before a dangerous situation occurs. The recently announced recall involves Tundras registered in 20 “cold weather” states including the Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
According to reports, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation into excessive rust on Tundra frames this past October after receiving 20 complaints of what the agency refers to as severe frame corrosion. The NHTSA also said that it had received 15 reports of the spare tire allegedly separating from the frame (the spare tire is stowed under the truck’s bed). The five remaining consumer complaints alleged that the vehicle’s brake lines were broken or damaged due to the rusty condition of the frame.
Following this, Toyota announced it would be recalling those Tundras in the cold weather states because road salts and chemical deicers are typically used to treat roads during the winter and could cause additional corrosion in the trucks.
Toyota reportedly will soon begin to notify owners and ask them to take their trucks to a Toyota dealer for an inspection of the frame’s rear cross-member. Toyota said if the inspection finds that it can no longer safely support the spare tire, the crossmember assembly will be replaced.
Toyota said if no significant rust is found, owners will have a corrosion-resistant compound applied to the frame. Toyota said the inspections and repairs will be done at no charge to owners.
Toyota to recall 110,000 Tundras over rust, MSNBC.com, November 24, 2009