The Worst Toyota Tundra Model Year You Should Never Buy

You might be looking at a used Toyota Tundra to buy. You love the way it looks and drives. You’re smart to consider buying a used pickup, too. However, before you take the plunge, let’s review which years of the Tundra that had the most complaints. In fact, there is one model year in particular that Car Complaints considers the worst for the Toyota Tundra.

The advantages of the Toyota Tundra

Historically, Toyota is known for building reliable vehicles, and the Tundra is certainly no exception. The Toyota Tundra is also phenomenal in terms of driver assistance and infotainment features, according to Car Life Nation. Under the hood, consumers can always expect a comparable amount of muscle, capability, and fuel economy. Those who love Tundra also consider it one of the most affordable in its class of full-size pickup trucks.

Exciting updates for the 2022 Toyota Tundra

According to Edmunds, there are several exciting updates for the 2022 Toyota Tundra. The redesigned full-size truck debuts its third generation with a new sense of style inside and out, a brand-new rear suspension, multiple powertrain options, and plenty of new standard features for the modern age. New Tundra owners will love the roomy back seat space all around.

Tundra model years you should avoid

With the help of Car Complaints, we did a little homework on our own to find out which model years are considered the worst for the Toyota Tundra. It turns out that the 2007 Toyota Tundra experienced the most engine problems and complaints.

Owners cited air injection pump failures, secondary air pumps sticking, and knocking in the pistons. Even the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports issues with Tundra’s speed control, engine cooling, and the accelerator pedal.

There were other minor issues reported, as well. Toyota issued over 300 Technical Service Bulletins for the 2007 Tundra. The 2005 and 2008 Toyota Tundra model years were problematic, too, with similar engine concerns. Despite the high numbers of complaints for these model years, another year is considered the worst for Tundra.

The 2012 Toyota Tundra is the worst model year to date

2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 Toyota Tacoma midsize pickup truck model years from the vehicle's 2nd generation
2012-2015 Toyota Tacoma | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

When determining the worst year for an automaker, Car Complaints takes into consideration a variety of issues. The number of complaints is a starting point. However, added to that is the average cost of repairs along with the mileage benchmarks when concerns occur.

Based on these criteria, the worst year is the 2012 Toyota Tundra. The most common issue reported is a failure with the air induction pump. The average repair cost is high — around $2,900. Most of the pump problems kick in around 78,000 miles.

Premature transmission failure was another big problem for the 2012 Tundra. Those transmission issues were reported early, around the 9,000-mile mark, costing over $5,000 to fix. Over 390 Technical Service Bulletins were issued overall.

The used Tundra model years you should buy


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Based on the best reviews, the fewest number of TSBs, and an overall lesser number of reported complications, there are a few older model years you may want to consider buying. Toyota Tundra’s exemplary years have been the 2009, 2013, and 2015 models. So far, these model years have presented the fewest concerns, meaning buying should be a sound investment.

You may have your eye on a used Toyota Tundra. However, if it’s a 2012 Tundra or even a 2007 Tundra, you may want to ask if the air pumps, transmissions, or engines have had had repairs. If you’re looking at a 2013 or 2015 Toyota Tundra, you very well could have yourself a great truck.

Of course, you might also want to consider the brand-new 2022 Tundra as an option. It’s important to note that every model vehicle is subject to having a bad year. Knowing which years to avoid can help prevent significant repair costs down the road.