In these vehicles, the spare tire is stored underneath the rear bed and suspended by a spare tire carrier on a metal lift plate. During manufacture, the spare tire carrier lift plate may not have been sufficiently coated with phosphate. The lack of phosphate coating combined with prolonged exposure to high road salt use and other environmental factors may contribute to the development of more than normal corrosion of the lift plate on some vehicles. Over time and in limited cases, corrosion of the lift plate could cause it to break and result in detachment of the spare tire from the vehicle.
In addition to the District of Columbia, the 20 cold climate states are: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
Owners of vehicles covered by this safety recall will receive an owner notification letter via first class mail starting in December 2012. Any authorized Toyota dealer will perform this recall at no charge to the vehicle owner.
Detailed information is available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall and the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.