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Is the Toyota Tundra reliable?

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toyota tundra reliable

Long regarded as the gold standard for reliability, we take a closer look to see if the Toyota Tundra is really that reliable. (Photo courtesy Toyota)

For many Toyota Tundra fans, even asking the question if the truck is reliable is akin to asking if the sky is blue. It has such a solid reputation, it seems unlikely we would find any issues with the truck, but, well, the sky isn’t actually always blue.

The Texas-built truck might have a few million-mile trucks in its history and might have towed a space shuttle at one time, but it isn’t without issues.

Granted, we think these are more minor concerns rather than major issues. Let’s take a look.

What do consumers complain about?

Looking at the sites like CarComplaints.com, NHTSA.gov and ConsumerReports.org, we find a collection of issues dealing with the air injection pump which affected 2005-2007 models.

Toyota Tundra reliable

This chart from Carcomplaints.com shows really very few problems over the years. (Screenshot Carcomplaints.com)

More recently, the 2018 model had the most complaints around brakes, and it seems like this issue was misreported. It more accurately deals with sensor issues related to the various safety systems, such as the pre-collision alert system activating out of the blue and causing the truck to apply the brakes harshly. Also, the cruise control, lane departure and other systems were not working properly and turned themselves off without warning.

Toyota Tundra reliable

Looking closer at the 2018 model year, we see some issues including a rat problem. (Screenshot Carcomplaints.com)

And while not a Toyota problem, the rats eating the air bags did get our attention, too.

Toyota Tundra recalls

On NHTSA.gov, we see two big recalls for the 2018-2020 model years, affecting the fuel pump and the brightness of the turn signals.

Toyota Tundra reliable

Just 2 main recalls for the Tundra with one being minor and another affecting mostly all Toyota models. (Screenshot NHTSA.gov)

The fuel pump recall covers 1.57 million Toyota vehicles from the Tundra to the Corolla and is a bad part from a supplier. This is a massive recall still ongoing to replace those fuel pumps.

For the turn signals, there was a “wiring error” which lead them to not be hooked up correctly and put out the right brightness to meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. This seems like an easy fix at the dealer and only affected a few more than 180,000 vehicles.

Other than these two big issues, there are a few other recalls of note since the truck was redesigned in 2014. So, if you’re buying used, be sure to take a closer look at the air bag recalls in the 2015 and 2018 models as well as the rear step bumper that make break in the 2016-2017 models.

Consumer Reports rates the Toyota Tundra

Looking at the well-known Consumer Reports data, we see the Toyota Tundra is one of the highest rated trucks for overall reliability.

The Tundra consistently gets 5/5 or 4/5 in terms of predicted reliability and ranks at the top of the most reliable list among its competitors year after year.

About the only thing the Tundra gets knocked for is fuel economy, and with a new 2022 Toyota Tundra on the way with a new powertrain, this issue should be addressed.

The bottom line on Toyota Tundra reliability

As you can see above, we really had to dig deep to find issues with the Toyota Tundra. It really is one of the most reliable trucks on the road and, if that’s your primary concern, then this is the truck for you.

One thing to keep in mind is Toyota removed the transmission oil cooler for the Tundra and Sequoia for the 2019-2020 models and this has caused some concern for owners who tow a lot with the transmission running hotter than normal. We haven’t heard of any issues, but something to keep in mind while out shopping for a new truck.

Related posts:

6 lugs, new exhaust routing and more; 2022 Toyota Tundra spied!

Consumer Reports 2021 least reliable full-size trucks; GM dominates?

Toyota fuel pump recall grows to nearly 6M vehicles globally

 

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Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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1 Comment

  1. Joe acquaro December 9, 2020

    Right CV axle leak two replaced under warranty third one in truck now $671.23. 2012 tundra less then 55k never off road. What do you guys this is wrong?

    Reply

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