2011 Tundra Will Feature Trailer Sway Control

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Toyota quietly announced some updates to the 2011 Tundra last week, one of which included a veritable bomb-shell: the 2011 Tundra will include a trailer sway control system as a standard feature. Obviously, this is big news for anyone who intends to tow with the Tundra.

Other changes for 2011 include:

  • A smart throttle / brake throttle override system that we described a few months back
  • A new dual VVT-i system for the 4.0L V6 Tundra
  • Some minor interior changes – the cigarette lighter and ashtray are gone, and the headrests have been slightly modified (NOTE: The 12V power outlet is still there, just no lighter)
  • Likely (yet still unconfirmed), the 2011 Tundra’s tow ratings will be reduced 300-500 lbs across the board. This is because Toyota has decided to adopt a new trailer tow rating standard developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). This new standard will help to equalize the tow ratings that all manufacturers advertise (you can learn more about the new tow rating standard here).
  • A small price increase on some models – no more than $500.

We’ll publish interior pics just as soon as we can. Hopefully, we’ll get our hands on some sales info soon.

Trailer Sway Control A Great Addition

Ever since Ford debuted an integrated trailer brake controller in the Superduty in 2003, they have been the leaders in truck towing technology. Ford was the first to integrate a brake controller, and that advancement allowed them to create a sophisticated sway-control system a few years later. While Toyota’s new trailer sway control system may not have the same level of functionality as the Ford system, it is definitely a step in the right direction.

We’ll learn more about the Tundra’s system soon, but it’s likely that the Tundra’s integrated VSC system already¬†has many of the sensors needed to adapt some sort of trailer controls. By measuring the roll rates and yaw of the vehicle using the existing sensors, the vehicle’s computer system can probably detect a trailer that’s out of control. Then, using the existing ABS and traction control systems, brakes can be applied at individual wheels to bring the trailer under control.

See the video below for a solid explanation of Ford’s system.

YouTube Preview Image

Based on this description, the integrated trailer brake controller doesn’t seem essential in Ford’s system. However, having said that, it seems logical that the integrated brake controller would be a part of any sway control system…one of the advertised benefits is the enhanced braking performance that results from direct communication between the vehicle computer and the trailer.

Toyota was very wise to copy Ford’s trailer sway control system – let’s hope that they also move to copy Ford’s integrated trailer brake controller too.

If anyone knows the role that the integrated brake controller plays in Ford’s sway control system, please share below.

Filed Under: TundraHeadquarters.com


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  1. mk says:

    Great idea, but should only be an added option and no price increase. Yota has to justify to the public a price increase of 500 bucks so they add more options as standard eqmt. like this and drop other smaller items like a cigarette lighter. No more price increases because 30K on my 2010 tundra was enough and swore if it goes over 30K for any vehicle, it is too much money and not worth it.

  2. Joe says:

    With the Ford ITBC the trailer sway control will automatically apply the trailer’s brakes.

  3. Mickey says:

    I agree with the option part. I have no need for it with just my 18.5 foot boat.

  4. Jason says:

    mk – I doubt it added much to the cost of the truck (it’s mostly software).

    Unfortunately, prices raise every year with or without new options.

    Joe – Thanks!

    Mickey – We’ve been living without it for decades, but it’s a nice option to have in an emergency. Mostly, I think it’s about bragging rights. This is one less thing that Ford and Dodge can use to differentiate themselves with Toyota.

  5. Mickey says:

    Here you go Jason. This one would be for Greg. Notice the poster name HEMI:

  6. Penny says:

    Since my husband and I were in an almost head-on collision in June in a severe hailstorm, the sway control system might have prevented the accident. My husband barely put on the brakes, and I saw the trailer start to swing to the left. In seconds we were across two lanes of highway, and hitting an SUV. It was a HUGE impact, and not something I would want to experience again. My Toyota was a 2004 SR5 access cab longbed, obviously built before brake assist and traction control were added. An emegency can happen at any time!! If a sway control system saves one life, it is worth the expense.

  7. Jason says:

    Penny – Good point – hope everyone was OK.

  8. Penny says:

    Yes, thank you….not too bad considering the situation. I have another question for you in the towing section about what year Toyota to buy. thanks so much

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