Deez Nuts: Toyota Recalls 381,000 Tacoma Trucks

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

The hackneyed old joke of a ‘loose nut behind the wheel’ causing a crash may be even more worn out than your author’s favorite Cole Haan loafers, but a manufacturing issue involving potential loose nuts on the axles of certain Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks is a very real problem which has led to a large recall.

Under the microscope are certain Tacoma trucks from the 2022 and 2023 model years. Approximately 381,000 units are involved in the recall, 

According to the brand, errant welding debris left on the ends of the rear axle assembly during manufacturing processes could cause certain retaining nuts to loosen over time. Eventually, the nuts could fall off, a terrible thing to have happen in any part of one’s life, potentially causing a part to separate from the axle. In what may be one of the most obvious statements made by a human since Bob Lutz said he thought the Aztek was a joke upon seeing it for the first time at a Detroit auto show, Toyota says such a separation occurs could “affect vehicle stability and brake performance”, increasing the risk of a crash. You don’t say.

For all models involved in the recall, Toyota dealers will be instructed to inspect the rear axle assembly and retighten wayward items. Any axle components which are deemed to have been damaged because of this condition are supposed to be repaired or replaced, if necessary, based on inspection criteria.

You can bet your mud-terrain tires that this author, were he faced with this recall, would be encouraging the technicians toiling at his Toyota dealer’s service department to replace as many components as humanly possible under the scope of such a work order. Any part, especially critical ones like a friggin’ rear axle, is going to endure forces for which it was not designed if it had been tentatively suspended by loose nuts for who knows how long. Misshapen bolt holes and strangely stressed parts would be atop my mind, especially in a vehicle which is meant for work or to be driven off-road.

Customers will be notified about this issue through the mail by late April 2024, though you already know about it because you’ve made the correct decision to read this website.

[Image: Toyota]

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Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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3 of 54 comments
  • 3-On-The-Tree 3-On-The-Tree on Mar 01, 2024


    Agreed. My brother has a 2021 Tacoma and likes it. I sat in one at the dealer but it was real cramped in the back seat. My Japanese genes kept me sub 6ft so it would’ve been an issue for my boys. I thought about a 22 Tundra but had a bad experience with my Ecoboost F150 so I bought a 21 Tundra. It was really hard to find one new and found a dealer in Oregon and had it shipped here to Az and this was late 2021. Pricing was less than $10,000 more for the tundra over the Tacoma. It gets the same mileage as the Ecoboost and no more first name basis at the Ford service counter for me.

  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Mar 01, 2024

    Here is the detail. No field reports; no warranty claims. Toyota found this one proactively "during a receiving inspection of the Tacoma rear axle assembly at a vehicle assembly plant." The issue is at a 'supplier' and the issue is fairly interesting (standardization between welding lines).

    Driver gets some (plenty of) warning, if the driver is paying attention: "If the vehicle is operated with loosened nuts, the operator may experience vibration, hear an abnormal noise, and/or observe leaking of differential oil."

    • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Mar 01, 2024

      Anyone know where the axles in question are produced? (Arkansas and California are the possibilities I am seeing.)

  • SCE to AUX What a farce.Besides, "patriotism" has been redefined a hundred different ways in the last 20+ years. Disagree with one of them, and you're a traitor.And for starters, Jeep is a Stellantis brand with its HQ in the Netherlands. If this persistent myth about patriotism is ever cracked, the brand is doomed.
  • MaintenanceCosts I'm definitely seeing more dealer-level discounts than I did a year ago, but not a lot of lower MSRPs.
  • MaintenanceCosts Some people are fooled by sticking little flag badges on stuff, I guess.
  • Bkojote I'm proud to drive my Jeep, an American car that was made in Mexico and engineered in Italy for Brazil by a French-Italian company discarded by the Germans and now headquartered in the Netherlands.Sure my Renegade is a pile, but it's the same brand that made the XJ Cherokee! And that's as American as they come, as it was financed and engineered by the French whose colors are also red white and blue, and who could forget the Wrangler, which is proudly assembled in Ohio by a Korean firm they subcontracted to.
  • Paul Alexander Pretty cool that WalMart, the driving force behind consumer products all being Made-In-China and the destruction of Main Street USA, is considered patriotic.