Here’s a list of all the known problems with the 2007 Toyota Tundra. We’re not trying to tear the truck down or anything – we love it – we just want to make sure everyone knows what’s going on.
1) 5.7L Camshaft Failures
This is EASILY the most publicized problem with the new Tundra, but we think it was completely been blown out of proportion. Toyota said that this had only happened 20 times. We think it might have been slightly higher than that, but not by much. Since the original news story broke, very little has been heard about any more failures. Many doom sayers predicted the Tundra’s sales would collapse because of this “HUGE” issue, but the Tundra has never sold better. Confidence in Toyota quality remains high, as it should be, and the 5.7 camshaft issue is actually a non-issue.
2) Highway Bed Bounce
This problem is very odd. Because of the specific characteristics of the Tundra’s bed and frame, it is possible to induce a self-amplifying oscillation of the back-end of the truck. Amazingly enough, this can occur at highway speeds as the bed bounces over expansion joints in the roadway. Here’s a video:
Here’s a different video shot on a California highway. At this time, Toyota has not announced a fix. While all trucks exhibit some type of bed bounce on concrete highways with lots of expansion joints, Tundras seem to be worse than normal. Adding weight to the bed and/or a trailer helps, and some other fixes include air suspension and custom leaf springs. The best solution might be to wait and see if Toyota comes up with something official. Finally, if you can drive faster or slower than the harmonic frequency (observed at 55-65 mph) the vibration is vastly reduced. Try using that as an excuse when a cop is writing you a speeding ticket…
3) The stereo shutting off by itself
Of all the problems to have in the world, this one is pretty small. Occasionally, for no apparent reason, a small number of stereos in brand new Tundras have shut off all by themselves. Evidently, this is due to a short in the stereo itself. Toyota is aware of the problem and will replace your stereo as part of the warranty. We’re not 100% sure, but we can’t imagine this problem won’t be fixed in the 2008.
4) One of the air vent’s louvers won’t stay pointed downwards
This problem is actually kind of humorous, so we decided it might be fun to mention. The vent to the right of the driver, due to the effects of air-flow and gravity, has a tendency to creep upwards. In other words, you turn on the A/C, point the vent towards your mid-section, and within a few minutes the louvers have worked themselves upwards so that now the air stream is pointed towards your face. The smartest fix we heard of was to attach a book clip (you know, the black plastic and wire clip) to one of the louvers in such a way to keep it from moving. You could always ask your dealer to fix it, but they would have to remove part of your dash to do so. The book clip seems so much easier.
5) The seatbelt warning chime
A lot of people have complained about the seat belt warning chime. If you take your seat belt off for just a few seconds (say to get out of the truck to get the mail) your warning chime will go off. Also, if you are hauling something in the front passenger seat that weighs more than about 40 lbs, the weight sensor in the passenger seat will think there is a passenger sitting in the seat. If this cargo isn’t buckled in, you’ll get to hear the warning chime. There are lots of solutions to both — check out our article on the Tundra’s annoying seat belt buzzer.
6) Not getting the mileage on the sticker
In our opinion, this issue doesn’t really belong on this list. As long as people buy new vehicles, there will always be some that don’t get the mileage printed on the sticker. First of all, the mileage indicated is an average, meaning half will get more and half will get less. Second, the testing process used to determine those mileage numbers is, well, ridiculous. This isn’t a reflection on Toyota either — the EPA came up with this test nearly 30 years ago. It involves driving VERY slowly with the A/C off and not exceeding 54mph on days ending in “y” with your head cocked at a 17 degree angle…you get the idea. It’s not very applicable to today’s driving. If you’re looking for ways to improve your Tundra’s gas mileage, we wrote about gas mileage earlier this month. But don’t let stories you hear about Tundras getting poor gas mileage scare you off — just know that the mileage printed on the sticker is an estimate.
7) The Tundra is “too nice”
We’ve also heard of new Tundra owners being accused by their relatives (typically domestic truck owning in-laws) of having stuff that was “too nice” and “showing off.” We’re not sure what it is about, but it seems the Tundra gives people the impression that you’re better than them.
Any problems you’ve had that aren’t mentioned here? Tell us about them! We kind of made that last one up btw.
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