Toyota Gets Defensive Over Tundra's Reliability Issues, Mentions the 1-Million-Mile Truck

Toyota has a strong reliability reputation, especially for the company’s line of pickup trucks. Toyota wants us all to remember this, especially as the Tundra is all over the news for all the wrong reasons, safety recalls included.
Toyota gets defensive over Tundra’s reliability issues 6 photos
Photo: Toyota
One-million-mile 2007 Toyota Tundra2022 Toyota Tundra official introduction with i-Force and i-Force Max powertrains2022 Toyota Tundra official introduction with i-Force and i-Force Max powertrains2022 Toyota Tundra official introduction with i-Force and i-Force Max powertrains2022 Toyota Tundra official introduction with i-Force and i-Force Max powertrains
A Toyota never breaks, says the legend. To many Toyota Tundra owners, this might sound obvious unless they bought one of the latest-generation units, which proved to be riddled with issues. Recently launched into the market, the San Antonio-built pickup was already subject to three recalls. And yet, Toyota wants Tundra owners to forget about their troubles and think instead of the one-million-mile pickup truck that made the headlines in 2016.

If you’re not familiar with this story, it’s about a 2007 Toyota Tundra that clocked one million miles in less than 10 years as a workhorse for the oil and gas industry. Its owner, Victor Sheppard, also became famous as Toyota made him an offer he couldn’t refuse: swap the old Tundra for a new one at no additional cost. We’re not sure if the new truck was better than the one-million-mile Tundra, but at least Toyota promised to use the latter to improve future generations of the model.

This is the funniest part, of course, because it seems Toyota used it to achieve the exact opposite. Surely they must have wondered what went wrong with the 2007 model year that prevented Victor Sheppard from buying at least another Tundra. Imagine the catastrophe of building trucks that never die for millions of miles. Toyota would surely go out of business.

We suspect that Victor’s unit was built at Toyota’s plant in Princeton, Indiana, being one of the first batches of Tundra. Starting in 2008, Toyota moved the truck’s production to its San Antonio, Texas facility, which today builds the third-generation Tundra. This is the one with bad habits of losing wheels or axle shafts, to name just a few reasons for recalls. Owners also complain about rattling dashes, squeaking consoles, bad weather-stripping, tremendous panel gaps, wind noise, and misaligned body panels.

That’s the perfect moment to remind disgruntled customers what a great truck the Tundra was, right? And so they released a great story about how they improved the pickup by looking at what went great with the most famous example of the previous generation. We’re not sure how this is supposed to help Tundra owners, but if you’re curious, you can read the PDF document attached below.
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 Download: Million Mile Tundra lesson (PDF)

About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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