The Ford F-150 has long dominated the pickup truck marketplace in North America with Chevy and RAM making a strong showing as well. But the Toyota Tundra has proven itself to be a reliable and dependable truck since it was introduced back in 1999. Like any vehicle, however, it's not been fully without problems. Let's look at some 2018 Toyota Tundra problems that you need to be aware of if you're in the market for a used vehicle.
“Comfortingly Familiar but Falling Further Behind the Class Leaders”
Car and Driver reviewed the 2018 Toyota Tundra and was quick to point out that Toyota has not updated the Tundra since 2007. Because of that, the Tundra feels a little bit outdated when you compare it to the Ford F-150, the Chevy Silverado, the GMC Sierra, and the Ram 1500.
One of the biggest complaints that reviewers have when it comes to the Toyota Tundra is the limited powertrain options that are available. Most other trucks in its class will offer you a variety of engine options, typically a V6 and a V8. You'll also find turbocharged V6 and turbo diesels on the market as well. Unfortunately, the Toyota Tundra has stuck to its guns with a V8 option either as a 4.8 L or a 5.7L which both offer some substandard fuel economy overall.
There are five different trim levels available for the 2018 Toyota Tundra which include the SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, and the 1794 edition. This model year no longer has the regular cab or the TRD Pro Models but there is a TRD sport package with the SR5 trim. You can also get a double cab or a Crewmax configuration if you want more interior space for you and your passengers, and more room in the flatbed.
Toyota Tundra’s Simple and Dated Interior
Toyota has been very slow to offer any kind of updates to their interior. The overall design is often considered quite a bit clumsier than what you'll find in the competition. Everything seems chunky and old, harkening back to the fact that there hasn't been a major redesign of the Tundra since back in 2007. If you compare it to a Ford or a Ram, you're going to find a much sleeker look in the competitor’s vehicles.
How the Toyota Tundra Feels on the Road
One of the big problems of the Toyota Tundra in terms of how it handles is the disconnect you are likely to feel between the steering and the road itself. The steering feels a bit slow and there's quite a large turning radius without a lot of feedback. If you are used to a lifetime behind the wheel of a truck, this may not be a big deal for you. But for some drivers it does feel like there is still a real disconnection between the wheel and the road and that can lead to a lot of correction while you're driving because you find that you are veering slightly left or right when you don't intend to. Compared to other trucks on the road, the steering just doesn't have that tight, precise feel.
The Biggest Complaint About to the 2018 Toyota Tundra
Across-the-board when you read reviews from websites like Motor Trend or Car and Driver, or just check out the feedback from drivers on the road you are going to find one common theme when it comes to problems with the 2018 Toyota Tundra. The fuel economy of this truck is just not up to par.
For 2018 you're looking at 14 miles per gallon in the city and 18 miles per gallon on the highway. Even though competitors likely Ram 1500 aren't giving you exceptional fuel economy, they're just not as bad as the Toyota Tundra. This is likely because Toyota has simply refused to update the powertrain in many years. In fact, the Toyota Tundra is often ranked worst in its class for fuel economy. With each passing year, this becomes more and more of an issue for the Tundra.
Toyota Tundra Hauling and Towing Capacity
Another spot that the Toyota Tundra falls short is hauling and towing when compared to the competition. The 4.8 L V8 engine in the Toyota Tundra can tow up to 6,800 lbs, while the larger 5.7 L was able to tow 10,200 lbs. The 2018 Ford F-150 can tow up to 13,200 lb. Even the Ram 1500 with a 3.6 L engine was able to tow 7,600 lbs. So, while the Toyota Tundra engine does have some power to it, and you can get 381-horsepower, it still wasn't meeting the level of the competition.
Have There Been Recalls for the 2018 Toyota Tundra?
The 2018 Toyota Tundra has been subjected to five different recalls since it was released. The most significant recall dates back to January 2020. This was a massive recall issued by Toyota that affects nearly every single make and model they produce, including those under the Lexus banner. 1.8 million vehicles were recalled due to a fuel pump failure problem. It was possible for the fuel pump to give out while driving in a way that would cause the vehicle to stall and greatly increase the risk of accidents and crashes.
Tundras that were manufactured between 2017 and 2020 were potentially subject to the recall, and Toyota should have contacted owners if their vehicle was part of it. However, if you have a Toyota made between those years, you can contact Toyota directly to see if you are part of the recall or not.
The fuel pump failure was clearly the biggest problem that Toyota had issued a recall for, but there were a handful of others. In 2018, nearly 170,000 vehicles were recalled for a problem with airbags not deploying as they were intended. If you got into an accident, the air bags might not have gone off at all, which could greatly increase the risk of injury during a crash.
There was a recall also in 2018 that affected just over 64,000 vehicles related to the electronic stability control. It ran the risk of potentially deactivating without warning, which could also lead to crash risk in certain conditions.
Finally, there were two small recalls that were issued both related to problems with the weight capacity label. Both were problems with the wrong weight being listed on the capacity label which could lead to someone overloading the truck and potentially causing damage or a crash.
A Long List of Technical Service Bulletins
Manufacturers will release something called a technical service bulletin or TSB to communicate with their dealers about problems that need to have certain fixes or troubleshooting applied to them. It hasn't been elevated to the level of a full model recall, but they acknowledge certain issues that drivers have had and detail how they should be fixed or addressed. For the 2018 model year for Toyota Tundra, Toyota issued 226 technical service bulletins. That number is somewhat higher than the average number of technical service bulletins that you should expect for any given model-year which indicates there have been a number of problems that drivers have experienced covering a wide range of issues.
The 2018 Toyota Tundra on CarComplaints.Com
There have been a number of problems reported by drivers of the 2018 Toyota Tundra to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. One of the biggest problems that drivers have faced deals with the brake system. In particular, the integrated trailer brake control did not work properly for many drivers. When driving, they discovered that the brakes simply wouldn't work, and it would throw up an error message. For others, the brake system warning light would come on seemingly for no reason whatsoever. This would alert with an actual sound which can be startling, especially if you're driving at speed on the highway.
2018 Toyota Tundra Engine Problems
Another issue that popped up for some drivers for this model you related to engine issues and in particular with the vehicle speed control. This causes the brakes to apply unexpectedly, even when there are no other vehicles are hazards around.
2018 Toyota Tundra Electrical Problems
Electrical issues were another prevalent problem for drivers that were reported to the NHTSA. These manifested in several ways including warning lights that were not actually relevant, issues with safety sensors going off at inappropriate times, and even instances of electrical fires starting in the dashboard control panel as a result of electrical faults.
2018 Toyota Tundra Crash Test Ratings
Based on crash testing done by the IIHS, the 2018 Toyota Tundra had some serious problems for the crew cab pickups. Although they received a good rating overall for the moderate overlap, the small overlap driver side received marginal ratings and the small overlap on the passenger side actually received the worst possible rating. The structure rated poorly and the risk of lower leg injury and hip and thigh injury on the passenger side was extremely high compared to other vehicles in its class.