Toyota to Expand Tundra Pickup Recall

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Toyota said Tuesday it will expand a recall announced last year to fix Tundra pickup trucks with frames that could rust and lead to spare tires falling from the vehicle.

Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons said the recall will cover Tundra pickups from the 2000-2003 model years in all 50 U.S. states. It would broaden a recall announced in November that covered 110,000 trucks in 20 "cold weather" states and Washington.

Lyons said dealers were notified of the expanded recall Tuesday but he did not immediately know how many additional trucks would be covered. He said Toyota would provide more details.

Toyota has recalled more than 8 million cars and trucks worldwide to address gas pedals and floor mats that can cause the accelerator to become stuck in the depressed position. Federal regulators have linked 52 deaths to crashes allegedly caused by the accelerator problems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into excessive rust on Tundra frames in October after receiving 20 complaints of "severe frame corrosion."

NHTSA said then it had received 15 reports alleging the spare tire, stowed under the truck bed, separated from the frame. Five other reports alleged broken brake lines because of the rust. It urged owners to remove the spare tire from the frame, concerned it could fall onto the road and create a road hazard.

When the limited recall was announced last year, Toyota said it would ask dealers to inspect the frame's rear cross-member. If the inspection found the frame could no longer safely support the spare tire, the cross-member assembly would be replaced.

Toyota had said it was recalling the trucks in the cold weather states because road salts and chemical deicers typically used to treat roads during the winter could cause additional corrosion in the trucks.

The states originally covered by the recall are: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

The Transportation Department had no immediate comment on the expanded recall.

More on Toyota's Troubles:
Toyota's Prius Recall Coming "Soon"
Toyota Fires Away at Acceleration Theory
House Panel Seeks Details on Toyota Recall
New Reports of Post-Recall Toyota Troubles
No Fix? Trouble with Some Repaired Toyotas
Senate Committee Members' Toyota Links
NYT: Troubles Predate Recalled Toyotas
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