Toyota Tacoma Paint Job Trouble: Lawsuit Claims Peeling, Fading Caused by Defective Clear Coat

toyota tacoma paint problems

California Man Files Class Action Over Allegedly Faulty Paint on Popular Truck

Despite its reputation for durability, the Toyota Tacoma seems to have a weak spot: its paint job. A new class action lawsuit alleges the clear coat protecting the Tacoma's paint is defective, leading to premature peeling, oxidation, and fading.

Not only has the issue affected a range of consumers, but the company allegedly is well aware of the defective paint job issue, but refuses to do anything about it, the consumers argue.

Paying a Premium for Faulty Paint?

The lawsuit, filed by California resident Mark Greif, accuses Toyota of misleading consumers with its advertising. Greif argues that the company touts the Tacoma's toughness, yet the paint job allegedly fails prematurely by oxidizing and turning dull.

He said consumers need to be able to rely on a company’s advertising, and he said in this case Toyota inflates the value of its Tacomas with false advertising. The company makes a number of false statements about the vehicles, including how well built and resilient they are, which has led drivers like himself to pay a $30,000 price tag for them, he said. If drivers knew the reality of the paint job situation, they wouldn’t pay that premium, he argues. 

What's the Problem?

According to J.D. Power, oxidation is a chemical process that causes vehicle paint to break down over time from exposure to heat and oxygen. It is essentially a form of corrosion in which paint loses its oil content, and as a result, dries out.  

Oxidation causes paint to turn dull, become faded, and take on a chalky and dusty appearance, ultimately resulting in the deterioration of the clearcoat, which can permanently dissolve the paint and make the body of the vehicle susceptible to rust.

Greif isn't Alone: Reports of Widespread Problems

In the lawsuit, Greif shows how many other drivers have complained about the oxidation issue with Tacoma models, and also about Toyota’s handling of the situation. People who have complained on sites like,, and have said they reported the damage and related issues, “only to be ignored and have to take care of the damage themselves, with Toyota taking little to no responsibility.” 

The cost of repairs, they argue, depending on the extent of the damage, could range from $500 to $6,000, if not more. 

Not Toyota’s First Legal Hurdle

Greif’s lawsuit isn’t the only legal issue Toyota has had to face recently. In recent months, the automaker has been involved in:

  • Misrepresentation of Maintenance Plan Cost Savings: A California class action lawsuit alleges Toyota inflated the value of its maintenance plans.

  • Defective Airbags: A separate lawsuit resulted in a $78.5 million settlement for faulty airbags that could malfunction in crashes.

  • Improper Vehicle Loan Add-Ons: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ordered Toyota to pay $60 million for selling unnecessary loan add-ons and then making it difficult for borrowers to cancel them.

Greif's lawsuit seeks to represent all Tacoma owners nationwide who have experienced paint job issues. The lawsuit alleges violations of California consumer protection laws and breach of warranty.

Case Details

  • Lawsuit: Greif v. Toyota Motor North America, Inc.
  • Case Number: 2:24-cv-04098-MRA-JC
  • Court: U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

Plaintiffs' Attorneys

  • Manfred P. Muecke (Manfred, APC)



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