Toyota Tundra Years To Avoid! (2 Years To Skip)

Discover the essential insights on Toyota Tundra models in this quick guide, highlighting the years to avoid for a smart purchase. Uncover the reasons behind specific models’ issues, ensuring your next truck is both reliable and satisfying. Dive in to make an informed and confident choice.

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Before you take the plunge and drive home a Toyota Tundra, you must do your homework to determine which year Tundra you should avoid. This guide will reveal the Tundra that had the most complaints. You’ll learn why customers found this Tundra unreliable and why you should avoid the car at all costs. To ensure you make the right choice, we’ll review the best Toyota Tundra that won’t disappoint you.

Toyota Tundra Model Years To Avoid

There have been a few yearly models of the Toyota Tundra that had issues. You should avoid the 2007 and 2012 Tundra years, as they received the most complaints from drivers as well as the highest number of recalls of any Tundra year.

The 2007 Tundra

One of the main things consumers consider when buying a truck is engine performance. The 2007 Tundra didn’t live up to its expectations.

The engine was a huge disappointment, with some users claiming the engine failed.

While there were several engine issues, most complaints touched on knocking pistons and air injection pump failure.

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2007 Tundra

According to consumer reports, NHTSA recalled the 2007 Tundra 14 times. Some owners reported 4WD malfunctions, while others claimed there were issues with engine cooling speed control and accelerator pedals.

The 2012 Tundra

The 2007 Toyota Tundra is a model you should avoid if you’re looking for a reliable truck. While users complained about issues that were dangerous, the concerns addressed were not that serious compared to rival brands.

The 2012 Toyota Tundra is the worst year to date. To determine the worst year for automakers, there are several issues taken into consideration.

For starters, the number of complaints tells a lot about the model. Plus, the cost of repairs indicates whether the model is worth avoiding.

That said, the 2012 Tundra was the worst model. 

If this is the model you were thinking of buying because it looks cheap, think twice.

Reports from Car Complaints indicated that the worst Tundra issues included air induction pump failure, premature transmission failure, and secondary air injection failure. 

It might seem like these problems can be easily fixed, but the average cost to fix them is very expensive.

For instance, fixing the air induction pump failure will cost about $2,900. Premature transmission failure will cost you a whooping $5,500 to repair, not to mention the $3,000 you’ll incur to repair the secondary air injection failure.

Put together, all these concerns prove that the 2012 Tundra doesn’t match other models manufactured in recent years or those that came before it.

Whether the Tundra looks new or you can get it at a fair price tag, avoid the 2012 Tundra. The problems indicated may not happen right away. 

For example, the air induction pump problem seems to start after clocking 78,000 miles. The secondary air injection failure issue also seems to occur around the same time.

On the other hand, users reported premature transmission failure at around 9,000 miles. 

So, why go through all the stress and costly repairs to fix your Tundra when you could have just avoided the car and opted for better models?

What You’ll Love About the Toyota Tundra

Before looking at the Tundra model you should avoid based on the year it was made, let’s look at some of the perks of this car and the reasons why it’s still perceived as one of the best trucks to drive home.

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Historically, Toyota is an automaker ranked among the best in the automobile world. Over the years, the automaker has built a solid reputation for being a reliable brand.

Toyota Tundra is an exceptional truck with infotainment features and driver assistance. 

As for the engine, customers can expect power, capability, and fuel efficiency. Most Tundra owners consider this truck budget-friendly compared to other trucks in its class.

Whatever reasons you have to buy the Toyota Tundra, here are some aspects of the truck you’ll love.

Offers a Standard V8 Engine

Editor’s Note: Toyota has introduced a new hybrid electric twin turbo v6. It is yet to be determined how reliable it will be. The V8 motors are amazing when it comes to reliability.

Under the hood, you’ll find a standard brawny V8 engine that delivers the right amount of power to cruise on the road smoothly in calm and harsh conditions.

Eight-cylinder engines are quite reliable and are known to have a long life. 

With the powerful engine under the hood, there’s no need to rev the engine to a higher rpm. In turn, the engine experiences less stress in the long run.

Toyota Tundra in snowy environment

Reliable and Durable

Toyota Tundra has outstanding build quality. There’s no other truck within its class with comparable reliability ratings.

Of course, it’s normal for different car parts to wear and tear, but Tundra owners report few mechanical issues, especially with reliable models.

Most of Tundra’s components withstand wear and tear very well. Some owners attest they have used the truck for over 400,000 miles, while a few have gone beyond the million-mile mark.

It’s surprising, but you should expect this when you buy the right Toyota Tundra model, avoiding the years that had many complaints.

An Exciting Look

New Toyota Tundra Toyota Tundra Years To Avoid! (2 Years To Skip)

There’s nothing wrong with focusing on the most important features of a truck when buying one. However, we can’t deny that outer appearance also matters a lot.

Toyota Tundra has an exciting look that captures attention, particularly with the latest models and updated features. The thin LED headlights are trending, giving the Tundra a sporty appeal.

Higher Tow Rating

The V8 engine under the hood guarantees that you don’t worry about towing anything behind the Tundra. It can tow a maximum of 12,000 lbs.

If you buy the latest models, you’ll enjoy the towing experience with the Tow/Haul+ driving mode.

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(photo of a 2014 Toyota Tundra)

Fuel Efficiency

The 2022 Toyota Tundra performs well concerning fuel efficiency. Despite having a V8 engine, when driving in the city, you should expect 18 mpg.

On the other hand, it reaches 24 mpg on the highway. The 2021 Tundra delivered 13 city/17 highway MPG.

There are many reasons to love the Toyota Tundra. It’s a reliable, performance truck that will meet your needs if you drive home the right model.

The Most Reliable Toyota Tundra Years

Now that you know the Tundra year to avoid, here’s a quick rundown of the best models that will serve you for a long time.

2019 Toyota Tundra

The 2019 Toyota Tundra was arguably one of the best models from the Tundra line of trucks. The truck has a V8 engine under the hood, offering a thrilling driving experience.

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2019 Toyota Tundra 4×4 with V8 Engine

It has a towing capacity of 6,800 lbs, giving drivers power and convenience, especially for those who love camping and road trips.

The 2019 Tundra also comes with updated features, making it the perfect choice for drivers looking for pre-owned trucks with a modern appeal.

2013 Toyota Tundra

Although the 2012 Tundra faced significant issues, the 2013 Toyota Tundra was a superstar model. This year had excellent consumer reviews and performance scores.

The 2013 Tundra also received an award for the best full-size truck of the year and ranked second on the list of best second-hand full-sized trucks.

Most of the improvements on the 2013 Tundra come from additional features and enhancements from Toyota. The models include navigation systems and high-quality interior and exterior options.

Overall, the 2013 Toyota Tundra is a fantastic model to look for and consider when selecting a used truck.

2015 Toyota Tundra

Another fantastic choice to look for is the 2015 Toyota Tundra. This model received slight improvements, especially on the interior.

This was also the first year that the 5.8L engine was included, with 381 hp and up to 10,500 towing capacity.

The 2015 Toyota Tundra also had 19 miles per gallon on the freeway and a price tag as low as $16,000.

When you compare other similar full-size trucks to the 2015 Tundra, you can quickly see the quality and value.

2016 Toyota Tundra

Drivers running on a tight budget can opt for the 2016 Toyota Tundra. According to CarMax, this model goes for about $30,000.

For this price, users can drive home a powerful 5.7L V8 engine. While there might be a few issues with wear and tear, this isn’t something to worry about since the 2016 Tundra is among the best Tundras in the market.

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2018 Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition

The 2018 Toyota Tundra is another reliable model of the Toyota Tundras. It earned a rating of 5 out of 5 in terms of reliability and 4 out of 5 in terms of safety.

Consumer satisfaction ratings also proved that the truck indeed met consumer needs.

2020 Toyota Tundra Limited Edition

The 2020 Toyota Tundra Limited Edition is another outstanding truck with a 4 out of 5 consumer satisfaction rating.

It’s reliable and safe, making it the perfect choice for drivers looking to buy more recent Tundras at an affordable price.

2008 Toyota Tundra Limited Edition

The 2008 Toyota Tundra ranked as the “Truck of the Year” for all the right reasons. It has 5-star consumer satisfaction and reliability ratings.

Unsurprisingly, most Tundra owners argue that they would not hesitate to buy this model again. Therefore, it’s a great truck that will serve you for years.

When buying a truck, it’s important to research before choosing any vehicle that seems affordable or within your budget.

Luckily, you can compare options over the internet and read reviews to determine the pros and cons of each model.

If you want to buy a Toyota Tundra, it’s a solid truck that will deliver performance, power, and reliability. You only need to ensure that you steer clear of the 2007 and 2012 Tundra models.

These models were among the worst, as users reported engine and performance problems.

Don’t just buy a Toyota Tundra because it’s cheap; ensure you choose the best model from the recommendations provided herein.

What Common Problems Do Toyota Tundras Have?

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The Toyota Tundra has faced some consumer complaints and issues for each generation.

Although there aren’t many significant problems, some of the most common issues include the following:

  • Noisy exhaust manifold: Many owners have reported ticking sounds from the exhaust manifold. This issue typically occurs when the exhaust manifold fails. Consumer reports have also claimed this is more common in cold engines.
  • Lower ball joint recall: Toyota issued a recall for over 500,000 vehicles due to problems with lower ball joints. The ball joints were likely to face premature deterioration, which can cause steering and suspension issues.
  • Failure in the air injection pumps: Several consumers have reported air injection pump failure on the Toyota Tundra. 11 model years are affected by this issue. A few of the common solutions include replacing the injection pumps or the emission control valve.
  • Brake problems: Tundra owners have often reported shaking or jerking when stepping on the brake. One owner resolved the problem by rotating the rotors. However, it’s better to seek professional services if you aren’t experienced in this regard.
  • Transmission failure: Transmission failure is one of the most common issues on the Toyota Tundra. Many models encounter transmission problems, and repairs can easily exceed a few thousand dollars.

Are Used Toyota Tundras Worth It?

Fortunately, the Toyota Tundra is one of the best-used trucks you can consider in today’s market.

Most models are reasonably priced and readily available. Years like 2013, 2018, and 2019 are superstars and have excellent consumer scores.

If you stick to the better models, a used Toyota Tundra can be a very reliable, consistent, durable, and long-lasting truck.

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  1. Hello. I am confused by your article on Tundras…
    I saw this article first.
    The best years for the Toyota Tundra are the 2009, 2019, and 2007 models. These years have the highest reliability scores and offer impressive features at a great value. The 2012 Tundra is widely considered to be the worst Tundra year.

    Then I ran across another of your articles about the tundra’s to avoid…
    There have been a few yearly models of the Toyota Tundra that had issues. You should avoid the 2007 and 2012 Tundra years, as they received the most complaints from drivers as well as the highest number of recalls of any Tundra year.

    Unfortunately, I have been seriously checking into 2007 tundras after reading your first article. Now I am concerned.

    Please clarify.

    1. Hi Kerry, yes, it is a bit confusing. A few thoughts. Toyota makes amazing vehicles with some of the best reliability in the industry. We still have our 2003 Toyota Sequoia with 240k+ miles and it gets driven daily. 2007 is a tricky year. 2007 model year was the first of the XK50 model. Typically, and first year model will have more issues than a 2nd or later year. I typically wait to buy the 2nd year of a new model so the manufacturer has time to work out the kinks. This being said, Toyota’s are great for reliability. This is why the 2007 is on both lists. I would feel confident in buying one if I found one. However, when you look at reliability data and common issues, the 2007 is going to be on the list because first year models always seem to have more issues. Hope this helps. If I were to find a clean 2007 Tundra, I would feel confident in owning it. This said, any 16 year old vehicle is going to need some repairs and fixes along the way. I would suggest having a pre-purchase inspection done by a mechanic. It will cost you a few dollars, but much less than not realizing a vehicle has a bad transmission, or some other high dollar fix.