I was down to the diner for lunch with Jeff the other day and as always there was talk around the counter. Seems that one of the regulars had just had his old Toyota Tacoma pick up truck bought back by the dealer. It would appear that Toyota is having a severe rust problem with the Tacoma pick up line.

Along with this they were saying that Toyota had increased its rust through warranty from ten to 15 years. Remember that any rust warranty by any company only covers rust that has made a hole in the metal.

Toyota has extended it warranty to cover 1995 to 2000 model year where it claims that most of the problems are. Toyota suggests that owners inspect their Tacoma trucks for rust holes in the frame. If they find holes then they should take the truck to the nearest Toyota dealer for inspection. The dealer will make the decision as to the next step, buy the truck back or repair the vehicle, or do nothing.

They also state that you do not need to be the original owner so if you bought the truck used you are covered. They also states that the 15 year rust out warranty starts the day that the vehicles was first sold and that they are attempting to reach owners of the effected trucks by mail. Now that is roughly 813,000 trucks.

According to Toyota this a voluntary action by the company for the benefit of its owners. However it appears that Toyota did not want this to become a situation that Fiat found themselves in during the 1970’s. Fiat had a severe rust problem and went head to head with the feds. The feds won and Fiat not only had to buy back every car, not just the rusty ones, and ultimately left the US market.

Toyota claims that the problems are most commonly found in vehicles operated in the rust belt, but if it were me and I had a Toyota truck I would be under it soon or have it inspected.

More UFO Stuff.

Last week I wrote about the UFO and the coil spring rear suspension and the rear engine set up. Gasoline engine or diesel engine the chassis makes sense for those wishing a rear engine set up. The layout and the fact that the engine sits low in the chassis makes a wide variety of near flat floor plans a reality.

The other thing with mounting the engine low between the frame rails lowers the center of gravity eliminating a good deal of body roll. This means that the sway bar does not need to be as stiff and will soften the ride a bit. Our old Foretravel has the engine sitting higher on the frame rails and pretty much mandates that the bed sit over the engine.

Well that about wraps it for this week so stay tuned for more next week.

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