Which Toyota Tacoma Years to Avoid and Why? (Explained)

In the automobile business, Toyota Tacoma pickup trucks are one-of-a-kind. This is mostly owing to the truck’s excellent quality and durability. 3,773,105 Tacomas have been sold from 2000 to 2021 only in the United States.

However, not all Tacoma model years are equally reliable. Paint peeling, corroding ball joint, illuminated check engine light, and transmission issues are very common with many of the models.

I’ll go through which years to avoid and why you should avoid them. I will also assist you in selecting the best Tacoma year model for your requirements.

Toyota Tacoma Years to Avoid (With Reasons)

Toyota has been manufacturing the Tacoma pickup trucks since 1995. There are three generations of these cars currently available on the market.

On this page from Car Complaints, you can see that the Toyota Tacoma series has received 1,066 complaints. Over the years, certain models received more complaints than others.

You should avoid these particular years since they are more likely to generate complaints. The following is a list of Toyota Tacoma years that you should avoid:

  • 2006 Toyota Tacoma
  • 2007 Toyota Tacoma
  • 2009 Toyota Tacoma
  • 2012 Toyota Tacoma
  • 2016 Toyota Tacoma
  • 2017 Toyota Tacoma

Let’s now look at some of the most critical matters of the last several years.

2006 Toyota Tacoma Problems:

The Toyota Tacoma 2006 model had a lot of paint issues. Flaking off of paint was the most common one among many users. Also, the frame of the car would get heavily rusted after heavy use.

Engine problems such as acceleration by themselves were a dangerous issue with this model. Also, gear shifting issues, noisy wheel bearing, and lack of lubricant in the wheel bearing are some bad problems.

Other problems included seat level tearing a hole, gear popping out, transmission failure, bell housing wearing, hydraulic brake failure, wheel bearing not lubricated, and many more.

2007 Toyota Tacoma Problems:

The Toyota Tacoma 2007 tried to fix the paint issue. But this time, the paint seemed to fade away quickly. Also, excessive rust was still an issue. People complained about having to paint the vehicle after 80,000 miles.

If you go high gear with the vehicle, it may surge. Also, the vehicle is known to have throttle control failure. Slipping of the rear differential, ball joint issues, and suspension issues were also pretty common.

People had the reprogram the onboard computer to fix the surging in high gears that would occur after 5,000 to 10,000 miles.

2009 Toyota Tacoma Problems:

2009 Toyota Tacoma had annoying trouble with the radio. The radio might die on you suddenly while running. Replacing the radio was the only fix for this problem.

Some issues like overheating of parking lights, headlight faults, peeling paint, and excessive noise were a no go for the customers. This model had a pretty bad impact on the Toyota customers.

Some more prevalent issues were fuel cap cover rotting out, broken springs, front axle and differential failure, rough transmission shifting, truck shaking when shifting gear, and so on.

2012 Toyota Tacoma Problems:

The Tacoma 2012 had a bad issue with the check engine light being illuminated all the time. Also, pump assembly failure and weak engine are some of the most common engine problems.

The vehicle’s excessive vibration while traveling also made some customers frustrated. Rusting frame, battery alternator failing, faulty pinion and rack, and shuddering transmission were also very common.

2016 Toyota Tacoma Problems:

Toyota Tacoma 2016 received the most amounts of complaints. Transmission problems, engine problems, paint, and drivetrain problems drove many users insane. The shifting of this vehicle was known to be rough.

Also, howling noise, delayed cranking, stalling while traveling, and floor and steering vibration are some of the problems you should know about. The suspension’s noisy leaf spring was also typical trouble.

Customers had to update the ECU programming to get rid of the delayed engagement of drive when cold. Also, drivetrain vibration and leaking rear differential were seen in many 2016 models.

What Are The Worst Years of Toyota Tacoma?

Several Toyota Tacomas from the second and third generations received a lot of bad reviews on review websites and blogs. If you’re seeking to buy a car, stay away from the following years:

  • 2009 Toyota Tacoma
  • 2016 Toyota Tacoma

The most received complaints on the Tacoma 2009 are related to interior accessories. These are mostly related to radio. Other issues are accelerator sticking while driving, access cab wind noise, interior rattling, and excessive wind noise.

Transmission issues plagued the 2016 year from the third generation Tacoma trucks. These issues are delayed engagement, hard or delayed shifting, lurching when transmission engaging, howling noise, lack of power, and many more.

Most Common Problems of Toyota Tacoma

There are several reasons why some of these automobiles have garnered such negative feedback on the forums. The issues outlined below are the primary reasons to stay away from these models.

1. Paint Peeling

Paint peeling is the most typical issue with Tacoma. The paint on the body will begin to flake after roughly 150,000 kilometers. As a result, many users were forced to obtain a paint job as soon as possible.

The clear-finish flaking off, as well as the discoloration of the bumper and fender, was all major issues. Repairing these problems will cost roughly $3,500 on average.

The Tacoma 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2016 years faced this difficulty the most.

2. Corroding Ball Joint

This issue affected a large number of Toyota Tacoma automobiles. The joints on the balls were prone to corroding and wear. This condition happens after a lengthy period of driving.

This problem had the greatest impact in the years 2007 and 2012. The ball joints were badly constructed.

As a result, they would frequently fail. Separation from the knuckle was also a result of this. You may lose control of the steering if this happens on the road.

3. Illuminated Check Engine Light

One of the most bothersome issues with several Toyota Tacomas was the check engine light being illuminated without any reason. 2006, 2012, and 2016 were the most impacted years.

You won’t be able to tell whether the engine is having problems if the light is lighted at all times.

The problem was mostly caused by a malfunctioning air flow sensor. As a result, the engine receives insufficient power. Excessive fumes were also a result of this problem.

4. Transmission Problems

There are several transmission issues with the Tacoma models. At some point, almost every Toyota Tacoma model had a transmission problem. However, the year models 2005, 2009, 2016, and 2017 are the most susceptible.

It was quite inconvenient to have to struggle with the lever before it would shift properly. The solenoid must be replaced to address the problem.

It is difficult to change speeds, and there are a lot of delays. Transmissions not shifting properly and aggressive shifts were issues with several models. These problems happened often.

Which Toyota Tacoma Years are Safe to Buy?

Toyota Tacoma vehicles have a special place in the hearts of many consumers. If you want a decent one, these are some of the greatest models you can buy:

  • 1997 Toyota Tacoma
  • 2013 Toyota Tacoma
  • 2018 Toyota Tacoma
  • 2019 Toyota Tacoma

The Toyota Tacoma of 1997 was one of the company’s top models. This was the second model in the series. For a truck, the vehicle got excellent mileage. Also, this old beast is still being driven.

The Toyota Tacoma 2013 received a lot of positive feedback on the forums. According to the truck’s operators, the engine worked well with other components and performed flawlessly.

Furthermore, there are fewer issues with this model about which individuals might complain.

On user forums, the 2018 model has gotten very few complaints. This model is at the pinnacle in the profession.

The interior is tastefully decorated, and you won’t be able to hear any road noise. The model also comes with new standard safety features.

The 2019 model’s minor braking concerns were quickly resolved. Apart from that, the majority of clients are happy with this year’s performance. The model is also one of the most powerful, with good fuel economy and mileage.

Which Years Have the Most Transmission Related Issues?

The Tacoma 2005, 2009, 2016, and 2017 years had many issues with the transmission. Delayed and rough shifting was very common.

Which Years Have the Most Paint and Body Related Problems?

2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2016 years from the model received the most complaints related to body and paint. The main issue among these was paint peeling off.


For many years, the Toyota Tacoma has been quite well accepted on the market. However, this statement does not always come out well.

No matter how properly you maintain your Toyota Tacoma, unexpected repairs are unavoidable. However, if you have the right information, you may avoid these issues. You should also stay away from models with the aforementioned shortcomings.

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