According to an article in the New York Times, Toyota has recalled 790,000 Tacoma pickup trucks because of a problem with the leaf springs rusting out. Leaf springs are called that because they look a little bit like the pages, or leaves, of a book. If you look at a book from the end while someone is flipping through the pages, they’ll be curled. Leaf springs look like that: curled and stacked together. They hold up the back end of the truck, while allowing it some ‘give’ when it goes over a bump. They also make it possible for the truck bed to carry heavy loads without damaging the vehicle. Leaf springs that aren’t working properly can cause damage to a lot of other parts of the truck, including the bed itself, and even the brakes and fuel tank. In the September 29 New York Times article, Christopher Jensen writes:
Toyota is recalling 790,000 Tacoma pickup trucks from the 2005-11 model years worldwide, including about 690,000 in the United States, because a rear suspension part could break and possibly puncture the gas tank or damage a brake line, the automaker said Monday.
On vehicles with the defect, corrosion could weaken a leaf spring, allowing it to break. “The broken leaf could move out of position and contact surrounding components, including the fuel tank,” the automaker said in a news release.
The action covers 4-wheel drive and Pre-Runner versions of the Tacoma. Amanda Rice, a Toyota spokeswoman, wrote in an email that the company was unaware of any accidents or injuries related to the defect. But some owners told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that they had had close calls.
“A broken leaf spring cut my brake line, and my brakes stopped working with my 8-year-old child in the truck,” one Tacoma owner wrote to the safety agency in June. “I had already replaced a leaf spring on the other side. This could have caused a very serious accident. Luckily, the brakes still had some fluid in them.”
There are also numerous reports on the internet that Toyota Tacomas have been recalled for total frame replacement, including detailed testimonies, complete with photos. Without looking it up by VIN, it’s unclear from the government’s recall website, Safercar.gov, whether this frame recall exists or not.
If you own or lease a Toyota Tacoma, the best thing to do is enter your VIN into the form on Safercar.gov and get a definitive answer for your particular truck. And no matter what you drive, it’s always safest to prevent the rust, rather than wait until your leaf springs rust and puncture your brake line or your gas tank.
Here in New Hampshire, rustproofing is available from The Rust Stop Pro. You can bring your vehicle to one of their shops in Concord and Deering, take advantage of their mobile-to-you service, or pick up a DIY kit. They offer a Rustoration package for vehicles with existing rust, a wax/oil treatment for new vehicles, and the popular NHOU treatment preferred by major rustproofing experts.
Here is the first part of our 2017 workshop series.
What’s covered in this video; Part 1
1) introduction into NH Oil Undercoating® Oil-based Rustproofing
2) surface preparation and inspection
3) the science behind Oil-based Rustproofing ( how it works )
4) equipment and maintenance
Covered in next video Part 2; Application