04- 07 sequoia and tundras - ball joint issues
we had a bit of an experience with our 05 sequoia recently.
while backing out of the driveway, the castle nut that retains the lower left ball joint came off the stud, shearing through the cotter pin as it went, allowing the lower control arm to drop out and the left front suspension to collapse.
fortunately this happened in the driveway.
we had to have the car
towed and both ball joints replaced. the bill was $700 – it would have been much worse had this happened on the road and things been torn up when the suspension collapsed.
turns out that there was a safety recall back in 2007. the ball joints on midyear ’04 through mid year ’07 tundras and sequoias were bad, and toyota had to replace them.
there is a toyota technical correspondence memo that describes the problem and the recall. it also list the ranges for the VINs involved. it was dated january 18, 2007 and is numbered TC07-002.
our sequoia was a part of the recall class and the lower ball joints were replaced by a las vegas area dealership in summer of ’07. (the car was originally sold in vegas - we bought it used in march of 2009.)
apparently, though, the work was not done correctly. when we got the old parts back after the repair, the stud on the left front ball joint was rusted. this points to a condition in which the retaining castle nut was never really snugged up into place when the joint was replaced in ’07. it has apparently been loose this entire time. perhaps it was even cro
ss-threaded. many of the threads on the stud were stripped. further, the mechanic who made the repair told us that the castle nut on the right lower ball joint was only finger tight. while tighter than the left side that failed, and not exhibiting the rust that the left side showed, it appears that it too had never been properly torque into position.
in addition to apparently sloppy work at the dealership where the repair was done, this condition was also missed by the dealership that sold us the vehicle
– both in their presale “multi point safety inspection” and during subsequent routine services that also supposedly included “multi point safety inspections.”
so, if your tundra or sequoia is ’04 through ’07, questions you may want to ask:
was it part of the recall class? (see the tech memo for VIN ranges)
if so, was the work done, were the ball joints replaced as part of the recall? any toyota dealer should be able to look up the VIN in the service database and find out.
if so, was the work done properly? perhaps next time you have the vehicle serviced, you should have the mechanic check the joints to see that they are properly tightened up.
feel free to pass this along to anybody you know who has an ’04 – ’07 tundra or sequoia.