Is the Tundra’s Bed Bounce Problem Overstated?
On August 30th, 2007, we wrote a post about “Bed Bounce,” a problem that we heard a lot of new Toyota owners complaining about at the time. We laid out a reasoned analysis of the problem and the likely causes, and many people who read the post seemed genuinely concerned and/or effected by the problem. At that time, we weren’t completely certain about the actual size and scope of the bed bounce problem, so we decided to send an email to Toyota. After a lukewarm response, we realized that we needed some hard data if we were going to have any hope of getting a sense of the size and scope of this problem.
We pulled together a quick Bed Bounce survey (now closed) that asked Tundra owners to tell us what model of Tundra they had, the severity of their bed bounce problem, etc. We asked for a VIN number as a form of verification because we reasoned that we could dismiss fake survey results if the VIN numbers didn’t match up. Our initial survey results led us to conclude the following:
- The overwhelming majority of people who complained about Bed Bounce had never bothered to call and/or email their complaints to Toyota.
- We tossed out 15% of the survey results because those participants couldn’t supply a valid VIN number to match their vehicle description. 1 in 6 responses were fake.
After the survey, the storm surrounding bed bounce continued to grow. Over the next year we offered a reader submitted bed bounce cure, encouraged sufferers to email Toyota, published more information, and we maintained contact with some Tundra owners who were trying to get Toyota to buy back their Tundras because of this problem.
In December 2008, one of our readers Jeff sent us some data that indicated changing the Tundra’s shocks would have an impact on bed bounce. While that post got some response, it definitely seems like the bed bounce problem has died down.
Today, about a year and a half later, we’re not seeing nearly as many emails about bed bounce. Could it be that this problem was blown out of proportion by the internet community? Here’s what we’ve come to believe about bed bounce and the bed bounce problem:
1) It’s real, but it’s rare. Most people who have the problem drive on concrete highways at 55mph +, and Southern California seems to be the epicenter.
2) Weight in the bed – either from sand, a water bag, or something custom made like the Willy Bar – reduces bed bounce significantly. The Tundra is a heavy duty half ton, and it was made to haul stuff. Driving it around empty doesn’t always result in a good ride, especially on bad and/or bumpy roads.
3) Tundra haters were very busy trying to tear down our truck. Our survey results showed that almost 1 in 6 survey respondents were fake. Considering that our VIN validation method was hardly fool-proof, it’s entirely possible that fake surveys were counted in the real results. Call us paranoid, but it seems likely that many of the comments like “my Tundra’s bed bounce is awful” were fake as well.
4) Consumers are aware of this issue and some of them are staying away from the Tundra. A quick internet search of “Toyota Tundra problems” will inevitably lead to a discussion about bed bounce. If potential consumers followed our advice and thoroughly test drove the Tundra before buying, they might have chosen not to buy the Tundra.
5) Toyota has quietly made some headway on this problem. Toyota never acknowledged this issue in the first place, so they certainly aren’t going to talk about how they “fixed” the bad ride. Still, the number of bed bounce complaints about 2008+ Tundras that we’ve received pales in comparison to the number of complaints we got on the 2007.
So there you have it. We’ve been at or near the forefront of documenting this problem for a while now, and it seems like this issue is better than it’s ever been. It’s occured to us before that this entire problem might have been overblown, and the relative quiet now would seem to reinforce that. Do you agree – was the Tundra bed bounce problem overstated?
Filed Under: Tundra Recalls