Tundra Tailgate Problems: Toyota Internal Memo

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We’re not sure if this is will be old news to some of you, but Toyota released a memo to their dealers regarding problems with Toyota Tundra tailgates in the last week or so. We finally got our hands on it, and you can read the memo for yourself by clicking on the image below.

Toyota Tundra Tailgate Memo
Click image to see full-size memo. Make sure to hover over full-size image when it opens – your browser may shrink it.

The memo speaks for itself, but we thought the phrase “there is no industry standard or consensus regarding tailgate load capacity” was especially interesting. The way we read that sentence, it sounds like Toyota is saying “we can make this truck any way we want to.” Hardly seems like an appropriate response, especially considering the truck is advertised as being the toughest thing on the road.

Here’s an idea: Make the tailgate strong enough so that the welds don’t split when someone loads an atv in the back.

As for the Tundra’s tailgate popping off it’s hinge if you drive with it “down” position, Toyota’s official response is that the manual states you shouldn’t drive with the tailgate down unless it’s secured in that position by the load or a bed extender. Too bad that Toyota’s stance ignores the fact they’ve advertised using the truck with the tailgate down:

Toyota Tundra tailgate ad advocates driving with the tailgate down.
Click on the picture to see the full-size image. Look at the sentence towards the bottom to see where Toyota advocates driving with the tailgate down. Thanks again to Glenn for bringing this issue to light.

As far as recalling or replacing tailgates, Toyota says they’ll investigate. Translation — if you make a big enough stink about it, you might get some consideration. If you want to know the best way to create a stink, checkout our Toyota Customer Service Tips post.

Filed Under: Tundra NewsTundra Recalls


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  1. steve says:

    I bought this truck specificly to haul riding mower and ATV.
    When I test drove one at Bass Pro in Olathe, Kansas they had a huge ATV in the back to prove acceleration and stopping power of the truck.
    They didn’t say anything about not being able to use the tailgate to load.
    What gives, I thought this truck was supposed to be a tough working truck, not a Yuppie truck.
    I hope Toyota fixes this or mine is going to be gone and I’ll get another F150.

  2. Paul Rizzi says:

    I bought a Toyota Tundra and had 1500 miles on it. I put 21 sheets of OSB in the bed and the tailgate seams seperated. I spoke to the dealership (Pinehurst North Carolina) and they keep blowing me off. I asked them to have the Toyota rep call me so I can get this replaced and I get no answers. I asked them if they had any other customers with the same problem I had on my tailgate and they assured me they did not. So I went to their body shop and the first thing the manager said was oh! we have another one. I have got no answers yet to this day on how they are going to rectify this problem. I have a Dodge and I can put a whole bundle of OSB in the bed without any problems. I will say this truck can tow very well but it isn’t worth a crap if I can’t put anything in the bed without the tailgate bending.

  3. Theresa McPeak says:

    I bought a new 2007 Toyota Tundra 5.7 L truck and when it had only 129 miles the tailgate bent to the point of non -use becaused it could not carry a load. I have been driving as it is and it only has 9800 miles on it. I believe Toyota should honor the problem and replace the tailgate. This is my third Toyota vehicle. I love Toyota products but the Truck tailgate is flawed.

    Theresa McPeak

  4. tim poole says:

    i lease a 2006 toyota tundra when my truck had 5000miles i put 12 sheets of o.s.b. and 40 2×4 and the tailgate split at the welds and buckeld in two i will never own another tundra again ill stick with a ford at least i can haul things!!!!

  5. James Simpson says:

    The Tundra has proven to be nothing more than an SUV with a bed. The riveted frame flexes like crazy, the tailgate is as weak as a baby gate, and there have been all kinds of issues with the weak drive train. My advice: buy a real truck, like a Chevy or Ford.

  6. Mickey says:

    James I did and all I got was headliner issues and cpu issues. How many GM cables snap on their tailgates? How about the ball joints and for me tail lights falling off my 06 Chevy. Well to which his own James. I expected alot better discussions from the great domestic crowd. I use my tailgate with ramps for my riding mower to change blades. Haven’t had the issue they speak above. Hopefully you’re a bright guy and you don’t want me to mention the TSB’s and recalls your domestics have or the bail out they got. Toyota passed GM in sales……..GET OVER IT.

  7. Jessica says:

    I have a 2007 Toyota Tundra. I was loading my atv and tailgate bent in center to a point. My 2006 Toyota Tundra, which I traded in for the 2007, hauled my atv many many times and this never happened. Toyota needs to take care of the customers and fix this problem. I have priced 2007 tailgates and they are over $800.

  8. Jessica – That sucks. It’s a bad design and Toyota should fix your tailgate free of charge. Did you mention the memo?

  9. lane says:

    Broke two tailgates already. The second I found on craigslist and bent it when I put a pallet of hardwood in it. I really like my toyota. This is my third one. I expect toyota to fix this problem. The strenth of the tailgate is a joke. Bug toyota any you can.

  10. Mickey says:

    Not sure Lane but I don’t think any tailgate will support a pallet of hardwood. Why would you overload your truck and place a pallet on the tailgate?

  11. Adele Hill says:

    Has anyone had any problems with the 2007 Tundra Tinted Windows?

  12. Mickey says:

    Not yet… What happened to your’s? I have a 2007 Crewmax.

  13. Craig says:

    I have a 2000 Tundra, and recently started using it to haul my motorcycle and atv, and it is starting to split like crazy at the seems. So maybe they never put any effort into making tailgates strong in any of the Tundra’s. I think they just use really cheap metal in the bodies.

  14. Steve says:

    I was loading a GolfCart on to my Tundra 07 Model Using Tri-fold ramps to load. An when I looked there was a huge dent outer skin pulled away . The weld dose not go completely up the side of the tailgate . My truck is a Paper Tiger all the power that it needs but easy to wound as far as outer skin goes .nice looks but disapointing . I also believe it is a safety issue .

  15. Pete says:

    Hey. I have an 08 Tundra crewmax. I seem to have an exhaust problem ever since it hit 6 or 8000 kms. It is almost sounds like a fluttering in the exhaust below the drivers seat when accelerating. It is extremely annoying to say the least. I have taken it to 2 dealerships and they both tell me it’s normal , I don’t believe it. Does anyone else have this problem or have heard of it. I need a fix , quick!! Thanks

  16. Truck101 says:

    Adele Hill _______Yea…from inside the truck, when the sun hits them they look crackled or like thousands of tiny scratches….is this what you are seeing?

  17. Mickey says:

    Had my 07 Crewmax since july 07 and the tint on the rear and back glass are doing quite fine.

  18. josh says:

    What do you think about toyota now…mickey

  19. Mickey says:

    Josh I think Toyota is great so what? I know you referring to the latest. Do we have to go through everything your manufacturer had recalled? TSB? Defects? The list can go on. I have my reasons why I left your Debacle 3. I won’t go back period.

  20. Jason says:

    josh – You didn’t ask me but I’ll tell you. I think Toyota is a big company that sometimes makes mistakes, but by and large they make a great product.

  21. Dale says:

    I would like to say to Toyota, fix the welds in the tailgate. Mine bent to hell and back with a small load bounched going over a rail road track. I would thought more of this truck than that. I think the problem is no one is building a truck to work out of. Also please consider putting better mirrors on these Tundra’s. I have to get out and look as they do not offer adiquate viewing.
    It cost me $4000 to repair my bed when turning out of a garage as I could not see a 3′ pipe ballard sticking up out of the concrete driveway.

  22. Jason (Admin) says:

    Dale – That sucks man – these trucks are so big now that it’s hard to know what’s behind you.

  23. stacie says:

    I lease a 2006 toyota tundra. my husband was going to haul our atv and the tailgate broke.it buckled in the middle.my husband got it closed and now it want open.so i have a truck that i can,t haul anything in because the tailgate want let down.i own three toyota’s. i think as much as i’ve spent with them the lest they can do is fix our tailgates. there ought to be a recall on all the tailgates.this is happening to way to many people.they have to know there is a problem by now.customer should come first.i spent alot of money to have a truck with a broken tailgate.toyota needs to except that there is a defect and fix our trucks.Does anyone know if they are doing anything to fix this problem? a tailgate should not buckle under the weight of an atv,most of the reason people buy a truck is to haul things!

  24. Jason (Admin) says:

    stacie – There’s no recall or TSB on 2006 tailgates, and as far as I know it’s not a common complaint.

    In any case, it sounds like your ATV is responsible…so I don’t see how or why Toyota should have to pay for it. If you hit a pothole and the suspension breaks, Toyota wouldn’t be responsible for that either. Accidents happen, right?

  25. Dave says:

    I too have had the same issue when loading an small quad. Buckled the seams. Been dealing with Toyota for the past 2 months. They will not do a thing. I am done with Toyota. They can try and fool new owners but not us that know better. I will pass the word to buyer beware and to go to another vehicle company besides Toyota.

  26. Dave says:

    Typical response from someone who won’t take responsible action. It is a truck. Get it!!!

  27. Bryan says:

    I have a 2007 Tundra, really like the truck, but, hauling 17 sheets of 1/2″ plywood ruined folded and broke the side of the tailgate. I had a 98 Chevy and never had problems with the tailgate, and the thin metal on the bed. Its disappointing.

  28. Brian says:

    I have a 2008 CrewMax with 98k miles. I have had two sets of tires (about to buy a 3rd), new brake pads, rotors, serpentine belt, new plugs and a few oil changes (mobile 1) and that’s it…I stand on my tail gate ( I am no small person at 300lbs), tow my custom CJ7 at 7 k of weight including the trailer with zero issues. Recently towed some heavy equipment locally at 12k lbs…moved the load with ease) I have been incredibly happy with my purchase. Rear camera and the drivetrain are the best options. I have had OSB plywood (21 4×8 sheets I would use my trailer…easier to load with fork lift). I use it for everything with my family and home projects that you can think of…did Toyota change the tail gate in 2008? The one on my truck feels pretty strong and would not hesitate to roll up an ATV. I have put allot of big box items on that tailgate…

    My sales rep calls me every 6 months to see if I want to buy a new one….oh, btw, I use the Mobile 1 15k oil and I change it every 8-10k miles and frequently check the stick. I have never been short of the original fill line on the stick. Funny enough, the problem I did have early on was caused by the dealer who crashed it in their parking (chinked the back door on a light pole and scratched the front right bumper with just some paint missing). I get almost 19.5 -20 mpg on the highway if I use cruise control and keep it under 68 mph.

    If I had to give some constructive feedback:

    1) the nav is terrible, waste of money, counter intuitive, lousy features
    2) I like a softer leather seat (yes, call me a yuppie, I don’t care)
    3) the rear seat that slides fwd/bwd is a waste – GM has the best rear seat design setup especially if you have a dog
    4) the ride is stiff but not as stiff as 3/4 ton…there is enough hoss kick (bed bounce) and low end grunt to remind you that it’s a truck but I like that..
    5) wheel options – 20 inch rubber is expensive and there are very little options for a more aggressive tire because the rake limits the front wheel size ( I like the rake but need the truck to give me one more inch of wheel clearance
    6) why can’t I lock my gun in this truck? Rifle, shotgun or pistol – who called me yuppie? 🙂
    7) need power plug in the bed, inverter capable of running construction equipment like skill saw or table saw and fun stuff (blender, satellite and plasma TV).
    8) again surprising, Toyota missed the boat on the iPhone integration (smart phone for the rest of the population that hasn’t figured out that the iPhone makes your life just easy) – at least give me a USB outlet (current feature now) and a way to copy over my music and manage my business through the head unit in the truck (current one is POS that struggles with AM radio) – I want stats about my truck too plus being able to have an app tied into my vehicle like a locate feature only I have access too – I want to make computer adjustments for power vs fuel economy, etc.

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