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

When it comes to reliability, Consumer Reports routinely gives the Toyota Tundra good grades. In truth, the structure is rather consistent. It frequently bestows a five-out-of-five reliability rating on the used Toyota truck. The bad news is that not every Tundra model year received such good ratings.

The 2007 Toyota Tundra, for example, received a three-out-of-five reliability rating from Consumer Reports, making it one of the least reliable Toyota Tundra model years. According to the group, the 2007 model’s engine and transmission had problems. The Toyota truck’s electric system, brakes, and paint/trim have also been cited as having issues by owners.

The 2002 Tundra received a similar low-reliability rating from Consumer Reports. There were various issues with the truck. The pickup’s engine, transmission, and drive system were among the most common faults. The used Tundra’s exhaust system also had a lot of problems, according to owners.

Toyota Tundra Years to Avoid (List of Years)

Stay away from the following Toyota Tundra years if you want a long-lasting vehicle.

Following years you mostly need to avoid being on the safe side:

  • The 2002 Toyota Tundra
  • The 2005 Toyota Tundra
  • The 2007 Toyota Tundra
  • The 2012 Toyota Tundra

While both the 2007 and 2002 Toyota Tundras received poor reliability ratings from Consumer Reports, CarComplaints.com reports that the least reliable Toyota Tundra model years are worth avoiding.

According to CarComplaints.com, the 2012 Toyota Tundra has higher repair costs and more problems than previous model years at lesser mileage. The exhaust system, interior accessories, and engine are among the most common faults with this vehicle.

According to CarComplaints.com, the 2005 Toyota Tundra had several issues as well. The Toyota truck’s engine is one of the most typical difficulties. The failure of the secondary air pump has been reported by multiple owners. The truck’s secondary air pump collapsed after 103,350 miles of driving, according to the owners. The problem is said to have cost $1,740 to fix.

What Makes These Toyota Tundra Years is Worth Avoiding?

Over the years, the Tundra has received a few complaints. Even though there hasn’t been anything big, there have been a few common difficulties mentioned by owners:

  • Failure of the secondary air injection system
  • Failure of the integrated brake controller
  • Problem with the accelerator pedal sticking
  • Problem with the master switch for the power windows
  • Premature wear of the front lower ball joint
  • Corrosion of the frame at an early stage
  • The propellant in airbags is deteriorating

Failure of the secondary air injection system:

Owners began to complain about this problem after their Tundra had been on the road for a few years.

The secondary air injection system is intended to reduce emissions when the car is started from a cold start, but the components are corrosion-prone. When water gets into the system’s induction pumps, as well as the valves in some circumstances, the problem arises.

Failure of the integrated brake controller:

In 2007, the Tundra received a new 5.7-liter V-8 engine option, although, in May of that year, it was disclosed that 20 Tundra vehicles equipped with this power plant had experienced camshaft issues.

The incident was caused by a defect in the casting process, and the component’s supplier swiftly addressed the issue.

Problem with the accelerator pedal sticking:

Even if the floor mat on the 2007-2010 Tundra you’re looking at has been replaced, a sticky accelerator pedal can still be a problem.

After several Tundra owners complained about unintended acceleration. Toyota studied the problem and determined that the friction level’s sliding surface was becoming excessively smooth. Which lead to condensation and the accelerator might pedal sticking.

Problem with the master switch for the power windows:

The power window master switch on 2007-2011 vehicles was known to malfunction frequently, but just on the driver’s side.

Short-circuiting, overheating, and melting were all problems with the switch. This occurred because the sliding electrical contacts in the switch did not receive the correct quantity of lubricant during the manufacturing process, resulting in them being exposed to debris and moisture.

Premature wear of the front lower ball joint:

You won’t have to worry about this if the model you’re looking at is from 2007 or later. The issue here was that the lubricant covering the front lower ball joint degraded too quickly, resulting in premature wear.

If the problem isn’t identified and fixed quickly enough, it might lead to the car losing control owing to the ball joint falling out of the knuckle that’s supposed to support it.

Corrosion of the frame at an early stage:

The issue stems from the design of the first-generation frames. They were made in such a way that moisture could penetrate the inside of the frame, eventually corroding it from the inside out.

Toyota promised to assist owners of impacted Tundras in resolving the issue for $3.4 billion, according to reports.

The propellant in airbags is deteriorating:

Long before Takata became a popular name owing to large recalls of tens of millions of vehicles from a variety of automakers a few years ago, there were issues with the airbags in the Toyota Tundra. I am talking about a problem with the front passenger airbag inflator on those first-generation Tundra cars, and it’s because it’s missing a critical chemical drying agent that’s supposed to absorb moisture.

Which Years is Safe to Buy Used?

Now that I have covered the model years to avoid, let’s speak about the model years that are the most consistent and worth your money. These models aren’t perfect; all cars have the risk of something going wrong, and all cars have parts that fail.

These models, on the other hand, are usually dependable, long-lasting, and a pleasure to drive.

The most dependable Tundra year models are:

  • The 2013 Toyota Tundra
  • The 2015 Toyota Tundra
  • The 2018 Toyota Tundra

Following all of the big challenges in 2012, the 2013 Tundra made a strong debut. This Toyota Tundra model garnered a lot of accolades and outperformed the others.

The Tundra was given a facelift in 2015, with the interior receiving the most attention. The 5.8L engine, with 381 horsepower and a towing capacity of up to 10,500 pounds, was offered for the first time this year.

Consumer Reports awarded the 2018 Toyota Tundra a flawless grade, making it one of the first full-size trucks to do so. It not only has a sleek outside, but it’s also sturdy enough to tow and pull on the inside.


The Tundra is a wonderful used car option, but you need to know what you’re looking for. One thing to keep in mind is the year, as you want to pick one that hasn’t had any major recalls.

You should be able to figure out which model is best for you and which model you should avoid at all costs now that you know the best and worst years for Toyota Tundra.

Related Posts: