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How lessons from the Million Mile Tundra helped create the 2022 Toyota Tundra

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You can learn a lot about durability from a truck that’s been around for a long time. Consider the Million Mile Tundra we made a video about a few years ago. This truck was in excellent shape for its age and miles. So, Toyota bought the truck back from its owner and tore it all down to study it. Now we’re back with an update from Tundra’s chief engineer about how the new 2022 Toyota Tundra¬†changed thanks to the things Toyota learned from that Million Mile Tundra.

What’s changed thanks to the Million Mile Tundra?

From the frame to the seat materials, the 2022 Tundra is a better truck thanks to the Million Mile Tundra. We simply can’t cover it all in this post so you’ll have to watch the video below, but we want to pull out a few highlights.

When a truck has been driven over a million miles that means it’s also been ridden in for that many miles. As such, you’d expect the seat materials to be torn, the cushion and springs to be in bad shape and possibly some breaks in the welds on the seat frame. But no. The seat in the Million Mile Tundra was in great shape. When Toyota was working on the seats for the 2022 Tundra they kept this in mind. They needed to take some weight out of the seats due to added weight in other areas, but they did not want to compromise the strength and integrity of the seat so they upgraded the steel in the seat frame to something stronger and lighter.

Another big change for the 2022 Tundra is seen in the widened chassis. Before, the frame bumped out a little on the sides and narrowed again toward the rear of the truck. But with the new could spring suspension this narrowing was no longer needed. Now the chassis is wider in the back which gives the truck better stability when hauling heavy loads in the bed.

The all-new composite bed

Toyota’s engineer said the biggest thing learned from Million Mile Truck was about the bed. After a million miles of use, hauling a lot in the bed, it looked awful. Really. It seemed like every inch of it was dented thanks to the constant loading and unloading of heavy loads and equipment. When trying to figure out how they could fix this issue for future Tundra owners,

Toyota talked to its Tacoma customers about the composite beds it had been using. Customers said they loved them so much that they said they wouldn’t buy the Tacoma again if Toyota went back to using steel. That made Toyota’s engineers take a hard look at using the material for the Tundra as well. The composite bed material doesn’t rust or dent. It also allows for custom molding for things like the partition slots in the bed. It has zero seams which make cleaning the bed a breeze, and if it does crack or break it is easy and cost-effective to replace, unlike a rusted or cracked metal bed.

Be sure to watch the video below to see what else has changed including some pretty cool stuff for the drive train!

 

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Erica Mueller

Erica Mueller is a Texan, which means she believes that trucks are family vehicles and giant SUVs make good second cars. As part-time auto journalist for almost a decade, Erica enjoys driving all kinds of vehicles and sharing her experiences with others. Erica is the secretary of the board for the Texas Auto Writers Association as well as a contributor at A Girls Guide to Cars.

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