Owners discover dangerous problem with pickups

Reported by: John Matarese

Posted by Nick Dutton - Internet Producer

Here's something I've never heard before: An automaker admitting to a defect ....and offering to buy back its defective cars back at a premium.

Yes, one automaker is saying "We goofed, but we'll make it right."

The Problem

Home builder Andy Tyndall couldn't believe it: The steel frame of his 1998 Toyota Tacoma was splitting in half.

Andy tells me "I took my truck to Costco to get the tires rotated. They put the truck on the lift and weren't able to fit it up because the frame started to crack."
"he said it was rusted in 3 spots, and two were bad enough you could put your hand through it...it was see-through.

What Went Wrong, Company's Response

Toyota admits it failed to rustproof the frames on 800,000 Tacoma pickups from 1995 to 2000. Result: they can rust through to the point of collapse.

But rather than offer a band aid fix, or say "sorry, you're out of warranty" Toyota will buy back rusty Tacomas, paying a bonus over Blue Book, if its techs find frame rot.

If you own a rusting Tacoma, set up an appointment with your local dealer. They will inspect it and determine if you qualify for a buyback.

The Lesson for other Businesses

Rather than refuse to ever buy from the company again, which is what owners of poorly made cars often do, Andy will buy another Toyota.

He says "I'll buy the full size Tundra next. If they'll buy this truck after 10 years, I'm confident they'll do it again if need be."

Andy has now turned in his truck, and is driving a free rental car while he awaits his cash payment.

Note to businesses: This is a lesson in good customer relations, to keep loyal customers coming back, so you don't waste your money.