Toyota Tundra Years to Avoid (Read First)

The Toyota Tundra is a full-size pickup known for its solid reliability scores, impressive off-road capabilities, and excellent resale value.

Although it’s generally regarded as a reliable workhorse, even the Tundra has some years that you are better off avoiding.

In this article, we’ll explain which Toyota Tundra years are most reliable and which ones are best to steer clear of. We’ll also provide a quick summary of the most common problems each Tundra model faced over the last 15 years.

Which Toyota Tundra Years to Avoid: Quick Answer

Based on our research, the Toyota Tundra years to avoid are the first generation models from 2004-2006. These years have the largest number of problems among all Tundra models, some of which can be particularly annoying.

The biggest issue with the first-generation Tundras is their faulty air injection system, where the secondary air pump often fails. Issues with sudden, unintended acceleration where the accelerator pedal can get stuck are also common and potentially life-threatening.

Aside from that, the first-gen Tundras exhibit various airbag deployment-related problems and rust issues that can impact brakes, suspension, and other vital parts and systems.

Related Article: Toyota Tundra Mileage (9 Questions Answered)

Which Tundra Year is The Best?

The best Toyota Tundra year is 2015. There are no serious problems related to the 2015 Toyota Tundra, and there likely won’t be any. It’s also got the fewest complaints among the second-generation models.

As far as minor issues go, the 2015 models suffer from some electrical system glitches, like the one where dashboard lights, headlights, and taillights switch off for a brief moment after using the turn signal. Furthermore, the integrated brake controller sometimes fails to supply enough power to trailer brakes, leading to the trailer pushing the vehicle.

There were five recalls associated with the 2015 Tundra, with fewer than 30,000 units affected.

Another fine option is the 2009 Tundra which also boasts a below-average number of complaints, but in all honesty, every second-generation Tundra (2007-2021) can be a fine choice.

You might also like: Toyota Tundra Mileage (9 Questions Answered)

Do Toyota Tundras Have a Lot of Problems?

Typically for Toyotas, the Tundras are quite reliable vehicles that don’t generally have a lot of problems. Capable workhorses that they are, they also retain their value longer than most of their competitors, giving their owners more operating room when the time comes to select a replacement.

Their complaint totals aren’t that high, but then again, neither are their sales figures.

In our observation, older Tundras tend to exhibit more problems than newer ones, which is to be expected. While some of them are related to manufacturing defects, others are simply a byproduct of age.

Toyota Tundra Problems by Year:

Here’s a list of some of the most common problems faced by Toyota Tundras over the past 15 years, according to the data collected from carcomplaints.com and NHTSA.

2020 Toyota Tundra Problems

  • engine stalling
  • soy-based wiring attracts rodents

Total complaints: NHTSA 21, car complaints 1.

2019 Toyota Tundra Problems

  • engine stalling
  • the fuel pump may fail

Total complaints: NHTSA 31, car complaints 1.

2018 Toyota Tundra Problems

  • faulty integrated brake controller
  • driver’s aids not working properly

Total complaints: NHTSA 56, car complaints 8.

2017 Toyota Tundra Problems

  • faulty integrated brake controller
  • lights turn off when using the turn signal Total complaints: NHTSA 51, car complaints 12.

2016 Toyota Tundra Problems

  • faulty integrated brake controller
  • lights turn off when using the turn signal
  • rear bumper can break off

Total complaints: NHTSA 97, car complaints 17.

2015 Toyota Tundra Problems

  • faulty integrated brake controller
  • lights turn off when using the turn signal Total complaints: NHTSA 36, car complaints 8.

2014 Toyota Tundra Problems

  • camshaft tower oil leak
  • door locks may fail

Total complaints: NHTSA 76, car complaints 24.

2013 Toyota Tundra Problems

  • camshaft tower oil leak
  • air injection pump may fail

Total complaints: NHTSA 70, car complaints 9.

2012 Toyota Tundra Problems

  • camshaft tower oil leak
  • air injection pump may fail

Total complaints: NHTSA 132, car complaints 29.

2011 Toyota Tundra Problems

  • camshaft tower oil leak
  • air injection pump may fail

Total complaints: NHTSA 114, car complaints 27.

2010 Toyota Tundra Problems

  • sudden acceleration
  • engine shuts off while driving
  • leaf spring prone to breaking

Total complaints: NHTSA 189, car complaints 27.

2009 Toyota Tundra Problems

  • sudden acceleration
  • air injection pump may fail

Total complaints: NHTSA 37, car complaints 2.

2008 Toyota Tundra Problems

  • sudden acceleration
  • various electrical issues
  • air injection pump may fail
  • rust issues

Total complaints: NHTSA 293, car complaints 49.

2007 Toyota Tundra Problems

  • sudden acceleration
  • air injection pump may fail
  • rust issues

Total complaints: NHTSA 363, car complaints 70.

2006 Toyota Tundra Problems

  • air injection pump may fail
  • sudden acceleration
  • airbags may fail to deploy
  • rust issues

Total complaints: NHTSA 486, car complaints 50.

2005 Toyota Tundra Problems

  • air injection pump may fail
  • sudden acceleration
  • airbags may fail to deploy
  • rust issues

Total complaints: NHTSA 340, car complaints 55.

2004 Toyota Tundra Problems

  • sudden acceleration
  • airbags may fail to deploy
  • rust issues

Total complaints: NHTSA 431, car complaints 30.

What Is The Most Reliable Tundra Year?

The most reliable Tundra year is 2015 as it boasts one of the lowest numbers of complaints among all Tundras, while simultaneously standing the test of time.

Moreover, the 2015 Tundra has received one of the highest scores among users at Edmunds, and a respectable score from people over in the cars section on U.S. News. Most importantly,  its “problems reported per thousand vehicles per year index” of 0.06 is one of the best among all years and all vehicles on the market altogether.

The “problems reported per thousand vehicles per year index” (PPMY) measures, not only the total number of complaints but the car’s age and production numbers as well. The higher the production totals, the more potential there is for a higher number of complaints. The vehicle’s age impacts the potential number of problems similarly as older models tend to break down more often than their new counterparts.

With all of the above-mentioned taken into account, it’s easy to see why the PPMY index is so important when measuring user satisfaction.

The table below analyzes the Toyota Tundra PPMY index more thoroughly.

Model YearNumber of problemsSales FiguresVehicle AgePPMY Index
20202894,72720.15
201942112,54530.12
201896120,15340.2
201774121,60450.12
2016127122,43960.17
201545101,36570.06
201493135,78480.09
20138990,70690.11
2012178103,483100.17
201115494,896110.15
2010190121,525120.13
20095018,896130.2
2008398168,426140.17
2007487178,800150.18
2006587170,923160.21
2005436116,585170.22
2004580108,446180.3

Final Thoughts – Worst Tundra Years

As is the case with so many Toyota models, the Tundra exhibits a stellar combination of reliability, capability, and resale value, which can make it an expensive truck to buy used.

It’s not the most popular of full-size pickup trucks in the U.S. as that title belongs to the Ford F-Series, Chevy Silverado, and Ram trucks, but it is one of the best-rounded ones when everything’s considered.

Although pretty much every second-generation Toyota Tundra between 2007 and 2021 would be a solid choice, 2015 models get our nod for their lack of any serious problems. They’re closely followed by 2009 models, which can be slightly more expensive to maintain but come at a reduced price, to begin with.

Contrary to the highly reliable second-generation models, the first-gen Tundras are something you should avoid. The inaugural 2000 models are arguably the worst of the bunch, but 2004, 2005, and 2006 units aren’t much better either. They’re rust-prone and suffer from some potentially dangerous manufacturing defects that won’t go away no matter how many times you fix them.

Article Sources:

Leave a Comment