Toyota Trucks – Transmission Defects
Consumers worldwide flock to Toyota for its reputation of affordability and durability. The Japanese automaker offers a range of cars in its lineup, from plug-in electric cars to SUVs.
Although the pandemic wreaked havoc on sales across the auto industry, Toyota still fared relatively well with top-selling models such as the Toyota RAV4, which was the fourth best-selling car of 2021 with 407,739 units sold.
Sales for the Toyota Camry, one of the most popular sedans, were up 7% with 313,795 delivered last year. In addition to the RAV4, Camry, Corolla, and Highlander, some other top-selling Toyota vehicles include its pickup truck models.
Toyota trucks are long-lasting and often several thousand dollars cheaper than their competitors on the market today.
The pickup truck models in the car brand’s portfolio are the Toyota Tacoma and the Toyota Tundra, two of their best-selling vehicles. The Japanese automaker has released updated 2022 model year Tacoma and Tundra cars, featuring new engines and interior stylings.
While these vehicles and others in Toyota’s lineup are popular, durable cars, not all drivers have experienced the reliability and longevity often associated with the auto manufacturer.
Some Toyota pickup truck owners are experiencing transmission and engine issues in their vehicles with less than 200 miles on the odometer. And these are not the only areas where consumers have experienced trouble in recent years.
Is my Toyota Tacoma a Lemon?
The Toyota Tacoma is one of the most popular compact trucks sold in the United States annually. Offering off-road capability, the Tacoma is known as an excellent vehicle for any terrain with updated wheels and suspension in the 2022 model. The Tacoma is one of the least expensive pickup trucks available on the market.
The 2022 model starts at $28,545 MSRP. With standout features at a low price, it is easy to see why so many consumers are drawn towards the Toyota pickup truck. Although the Tacoma stands as an extremely popular, best-selling car, it appears that not all of them were manufactured properly.
Unfortunately, the Toyota Tacoma’s transmission system is not always up to par, largely impacting its reliability. The Toyota Tacoma has not been mentioned as a top mid-size pickup on the J.D. Power U.S. Dependability Survey since 2015. The drop in score can be largely attributed to transmission issues.
The Tacoma has one of the worst automatic transmissions out of Toyota’s lineup. Drivers have filed several reports of the automatic transmission slipping while driving over the years.
Symptoms of a defective transmission system include difficulty changing gears, leaking fluid, and lack of response. Consumers with Tacoma models with higher mileages sometimes report the total loss of the ability to change gears properly. These transmission issues can be particularly dangerous if the owner is operating the vehicle on a busy street or highway.
Other issues with the Tacoma include problems with the lower ball joint. This piece connects the wheels of the vehicle to the steering. Premature wear on the lower ball joint of the truck’s front suspension is rather common in reports about this model.
Loose and worn-out ball joints make steering difficult and affect the ability to center the car. Drivers usually first notice strange noises from the front suspension.
In more severe cases, the lower ball joint completely separates from the suspension, resulting in loss of control of the truck. Warning signs of an ineffective ball joint include clunking sounds and vibration from the front of the car.
Is my Toyota Tundra a Lemon?
Well-loved among drivers, the Toyota Tundra has been in production since 1999. This full-size pickup truck boasts off-road capability with a powerful engine.
The 2021 Tundra features a new turbocharged V6 engine and updated styling. While the Tundra boasts both outstanding sales and features, some drivers have reported major problems with their vehicles.
Like the Tacoma, the Toyota Tundra is also prone to premature wear of the lower ball joint. Ball joints often wear out more quickly in vehicles going over a variety of terrains. The excessive wear present in some Tundra vehicles can be attributed to improper finishing on the joints.
As previously discussed, the premature wearing of the front suspension lower ball joint can affect a driver’s ability to center and control the car. In more severe cases, Tundra drivers have reported total loss of control of their vehicles while they were driving.
This is extremely dangerous, not only to themselves but to other drivers on the road. The frequency for which these components break down is additionally alarming. Some consumers have reported that they had to replace the lower ball joint in their car more than once.
Another component that causes issues in the Tundra is the air injection pump. A vital piece of the truck’s emissions control system.
The air injection pump provides the exhaust system with clean air. Within the Tundra, unfortunately, this component is known to develop several problems that can reduce fuel economy and release toxic exhaust fumes.
Symptoms of issues with the air injection pump include engine power loss, strange noises in the engine, or extensive use of fuel. Drivers will typically also receive warning notifications on their dashboard, such as an illuminated “Check Engine” light.
When it comes to the 2022 Toyota Tundra, some drivers have reported major engine issues.
Since 2010, Tundra trucks have been manufactured with a defect that causes the seals to wear out much sooner than they should. Owners have reported broken valve springs and leaking cam towers.
Despite years of consumers reporting this issue, it does not appear that Toyota is in any hurry to fix this problem, as drivers are continuing to experience these issues among others. Some Tundra owners are reporting turbo problems at as little as 160 miles.
Concerns surround the 2022 Tundra’s new 3.5-liter V-6 turbocharged engine, with many people comparing it to a turbo engine created by Ford that has had major problems of its own.
The latest recall affecting the Toyota Tundra was announced in December of 2021. It included over 20,000 Tundra vehicles for the risk of steering fluid leak. Toyota was first made aware of the issue in late September of that year as field reports and warranty claims of steering fluid leaks began to appear.
Symptoms of steering fluid leak include fluid on the ground, whirring noises, and difficulty steering. The automaker says that they believe this problem affects vehicles assembled in August and September 2021.
Although recalls for the Tundra are relatively rare, they still do occur from time to time, and for rather serious issues. A previous recall in September 2021 recalled over 100,000 Tundra vehicles for fire risk due to faulty halogen headlights.
Toyota Tacoma and Toyota Tundra Consumer Complaints
While Toyota’s line of trucks consistently rank well for reliability, several customers of both the Tacoma and the Tundra have dealt with frustrating issues affecting their vehicles in recent years.
This is what some Toyota Truck drivers had to say regarding a wide variety of problems with their cars. Many of them are dangerous and occurred while the vehicles were in motion.
“Stopped at a red light with my foot on the brake, I lifted my foot off the brake to move forward and the engine revved up and lunged forward. I had to stop the truck with the brake because it was moving fast. I was not pushing the gas pedal.”
- 2020 Toyota Tacoma Owner
“My truck will tell me to brake and beep alarms at me even if nothing is in front of me. This has happened around 10 times and one time my truck slammed on the brakes on the interstate for no reason.”
“I was [in] my 2021 Toyota Tacoma home after work on the highway at night at 11:00 pm. While on the highways there was highway construction and traffic was coming to a stop. I was driving in the slow lane, doing 60-65. As I approached the stopped traffic I let my foot of the accelerator pedal and put my foot on the brake pedal to slow down, as I did this the rpm’s jumped up to 4000 and the truck went to take off full speed on its own.”
- 2021 Toyota Tacoma Owner
“I was driving down the road and got into the left turn lane and when I applied the brakes the pedal seemed extremely loose and the truck was unable to stop. Luckily there was no traffic and I was able to go up and make the turn extremely slowly. When I got home I noticed that the truck was leaking brake fluid.”
- 2018 Toyota Tundra Owner
Speak with a Toyota Lemon Law Expert Today
Cars are some of the largest, most significant purchases a person can make. Unfortunately, many drivers have frustrating experiences with defective vehicles that they can barely use despite spending thousands of dollars on repairs, payments, and other expenses.
If you drive a Toyota truck or another car that you suspect is a lemon, you should call California’s Premier Lemon Law Firm for a free consultation.
Speaking with a lemon law attorney is the best way to ensure that you can achieve excellent results in your case. There are no retainer fees should you decide to pursue a lemon law case with us. There are also no upfront costs to get started so there is nothing to lose.
Remember, a manufacturer’s mistake shouldn’t be yours to correct. Do not miss out on the compensation that you deserve and speak with one of the Lemon Law Experts today.