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The 2022 Toyota Tacoma is the kind of pickup truck that people gravitate towards. It’s small and versatile, and beloved for its reliability and reputation as a long-lasting pickup truck. Yet in its recent safety testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), it also revealed a major safety concern – its passenger side crash test result. Here’s what you need to know about the new Tacoma before you go truck shopping.

2022 Toyota Tacoma SR in white
2022 Toyota Tacoma SR | Toyota

The 2022 Toyota Tacoma safety ratings aren’t perfect

The IIHS crash tests new vehicles to make sure that they are as safe as possible. Of course, not every vehicle aces these tests and unfortunately, the 2022 Toyota Tacoma is one of those vehicles. In the IIHS’ testing of the newest Tacoma model, the results for the passenger side small overlap front crash were somewhat concerning.

The 2022 Toyota Tacoma received only a marginal safety rating for the passenger side small overlap front crash result. According to the IIHS, that’s because of “heightened injury risks to the front seat passenger.” In the crash test, both the Tacoma’s passenger door as well as the dashboard “intruded into the occupant survival space,” making the likelihood of a passenger being injured or killed much higher.

The Tacoma crash test result is for trucks made after October 2021

Whenever you’re buying a new vehicle, you have to pay attention to the manufacturing dates that safety ratings apply to. In the case of the 2022 Tacoma model with the marginal passenger side small overlap crash test, it’s trucks made after October, 2021. That’s when “when Toyota modified the rear leaf springs — arc-shaped steel pieces that stabilize the axle.”

While other 2022 Toyota Tacoma safety ratings are good, the headlights in the new model also didn’t fare well, with the base halogen headlights being rated marginal. The pedestrian detection safety system wasn’t tested.

Trucks made before October 2021 are even worse

Okay, so if you buy a 2022 Toyota Tacoma made before October, 2021, you should be all set, right? Not quite. According to the IIHS, Tacoma models made before October 2021 get a poor rating. Why? “In an earlier test of a vehicle built before the changes, one of the rear leaf springs punctured the fuel tank, resulting in a fire risk and an automatic downgrade.” That’s definitely something you should try to avoid.

After that result, Toyota corrected that particular problem. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to fix the Tacoma’s safety ratings altogether, and it still receives only a marginal crash test result in that area. The Tacoma still shows that a passenger is likely to be injured in the legs, especially the right leg, and the head. In the test, the IIHS dummy’s head “struck the grab handle on the A-pillar on the right side of the windshield.”

How much will the 2022 Toyota Tacoma safety ratings impact its sales? It’s hard to say. People love the Tacoma, and with good reason. Yet it’s not a perfect truck, and if safety is your priority, you might want to look at another truck with better safety ratings.


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