Trucks & SUVs

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. But, before you take the plunge, let’s review which years for the Tundra that had the most complaints. In fact, there is one model year in particular, that CarComplaints.com considers the worst for Toyota Tundra.

What Toyota Tundra does right

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. Under the hood, consumers can always expect a comparable amount of muscle, capability, and fuel economy, as well. Those who love Tundra also consider it one of the most affordable in its class.

Exciting updates for the 2020 Tundra

There are a few exciting updates for the 2020 Tundra. The audio system has an upgrade and now includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities. The TRD Pro, the off-roaders ideal configuration, is now being offered with a Double Cab or CrewMax Cab option. New Tundra owners will love the roomy back seat space all around.

The most problematic years for Tundra

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 2007 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. Both 2005 and 2008 were problematic years, too, with similar engine concerns. Despite the high numbers of complaints for these model years, there is actually another year that is considered the worst for Tundra.

The worst Toyota Tundra model year to date

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

Based on these criteria, the worst year for Toyota Tundra is 2012. The most common issue reported is a failure with the air induction pump. The average repair cost is high — around $3,150. Most of the pump problems kick in around 74,000 miles.

Premature transmission failure was another big problem for Tundra in 2012. Those transmission issues were reported early on, around the 9,700-mile mark, and cost over $5000 to fix. Over 340 Technical Service Bulletins were issued overall.

The used Tundra years you should buy

Based on the best reviews, the fewest number of TSBs, and an overall number of reported complications, there are a few older model years you may want to consider buying. Toyota Tundra’s exemplary years so far have been 2009, 2013, and 2015. So far, these 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, or even a 2007, 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, you very well could have yourself a great truck.

Of course, considering a new 2020 Tundra is an option, too. It’s important to note that every model vehicle is subject to having a bad year. Just knowing which years to avoid can be helpful in preventing significant repair costs down the road.