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Jason Lancaster is the editor and founder of He has nearly a decade of experience on the retail side of the auto industry, and another decade of experience of the part and accessory side of the industry.

Building a Rock Star Tundra – Finishing Touches

After spending months searching for the perfect 2010 Tundra, installing a comprehensive suite of performance modifications, and then adding a top-notch stereo and chrome, it’s time to wrap this build-out up with a bed liner, BedRug, and a better-than-average SnugTop topper.

2010 Tundra SnugTop Topper

The (almost) final product

Bed Liner or Bed Rug – Or Both?

I’m sure some people will wonder why Chris opted for both a bed liner and a bedrug, but I have a pretty good idea: bedrugs don’t scratch or mar precious cargo the way that a tough spray-in liner can…which means they’re more comfortable for man’s best friend, less likely to damage your great Aunt’s china, and they really muffle the sound of a dead body rolling around in the back (OK, I made that last one up). The point is, why not? I don’t want to hear any bellyaching.

2011 Tundra Will Feature Trailer Sway Control

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.

Building A Rock Star Tundra – A Little Chrome and a Lot Of Sound

This is the third post in a series about the Rock Star Tundra build-out. Be sure to check out the first post and the second post if you haven’t seen them already.

After a brief hiatus, it’s back to work telling the story about Chris’s rock star Tundra Crew. This week: a little chrome, and a whole lot of stereo equipment.

2010 Toyota Tundra crew with seats removed

Yep - it's a Tundra crew without seats. Neat, huh?

Follow along as we break down a comprehensive high-end sound system installation in a 2010 Tundra crew that puts the “rock” in Rock Star.

NHTSA Study Shows Toyota Throttles Are Just Fine

As we have been saying for the better part of a year, so-called “runaway Toyotas” with electronic throttles are actually driver error. From the Wall Street Journal:

The U.S. Department of Transportation has analyzed dozens of data recorders from Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles involved in accidents blamed on sudden acceleration and found that the throttles were wide open and the brakes weren’t engaged at the time of the crash, people familiar with the findings said.

The early results suggest that some drivers who said their Toyotas and Lexuses surged out of control were mistakenly flooring the accelerator when they intended to jam on the brakes.

Wow! No kidding?! If only we had all listened to noted safety expert Richard Schmidt back in November 2009, who said that

…the problem almost always lies with drivers who step on the wrong pedal. “When the driver says they have their foot on the brake, they are just plain wrong,” Schmidt said. “The human motor system is not perfect, and it doesn’t always do what it is told.”

It turns out that Toyota’s electronic throttles are just &$%^&# fine, thank you.

Toyota May Expand San Antonio Plant

According to an interview of Toyota North American COO Yoshi Inaba by Jason Buch of the San Antonio Express-News, Toyota will be increasing production at the San Antonio plant in the next year or so. This increased production is a result of two factors:

  1. Tundra sales are picking up. After a dismal 2009, Tundra sales in 2010 are up 26% year to date. This increase is significantly higher than GM’s 2010 YTD sales increase, which are only up about 11%. Ram sales are down 10% so far this year, and it remains to be seen if the Tundra can outsell the Ram 1500 this year. (See all of the latest truck sales figures on
  2. San Antonio now builds the Tacoma. Following the closure of the NUMMI plant, Toyota moved almost all of their Tacoma production to the same plant that builds the Tundra.

If sales continue to increase industry-wide, and if Toyota trucks continue to sell well (the Tacoma especially), it’s likely Toyota will have to hire more workers, pay more overtime, and eventually increase capacity of the plant. Obviously, this is good news for San Antonio…but it’s also good for the USA. After all, the Tundra is the most American pickup available today. Building more trucks in America is always a good thing.