There's no doubt that 2020 was a unique and difficult year for many people. Buying a new vehicle was not on many driver’s lists of things to do, so you may have missed out on how well some vehicles performed and what sort of problems they had overall. The Toyota Tundra has proven to be a reliable vehicle for many years now, but did the 2020 model live up to the reliability of previous years? Let’s take a look at how well the 2020 Toyota Tundra performs and 2020 Toyota Tundra problems you need to know about.
A Truck That Gets the Job Done
JD Power and Associates has routinely placed Toyota Tundra on its list of most reliable and dependable trucks on the road. 2020 was no different. In the review of the model year, they state that sometimes you just need a truck that gets the job done. They call it simple and able to withstand significant abuse, and one that can last for a long time.
But the 2020 Toyota Tundra Has Some Problems
While the company is quick to applaud Toyota for making a reliable and dependable vehicle, they also pointed out that if you're in the market for a variety of cab styles, trim levels, and power trains then the 2020 Toyota Tundra is not going to meet your needs. Most significantly, they point out that the 5.7 L V8 engine that you'll find under the hood of the Tundra is a bit of a gas guzzler and will see you heading to the pumps more often than you would with a competing model. The Toyota Tundra averaged 16.3 miles per gallon during testing by JD Power and Associates. They worked out the range of a Tundra based on a 38-gallon gas tank as being 581.4 miles. That will probably get you where you need to go around town, but it is not as efficient as some of the competition.
How the 2020 Toyota Tundra Compares to Competitors
One thing that's worth keeping in mind about the Toyota Tundra is that even when it's performing the way it's supposed to, it still might not stack up well to the competition. The Tundra tows less weight than something like the Ford F-150. You can haul 10,200 lbs behind you in a Toyota Tundra while the F-150 is going to be able to tow 13,200 lbs.
The Tundra also has a maximum payload capacity of 1,730 lbs while the Ford leaves it in the dust with a 3,270 lb payload capacity.
A Look Inside the 2020 Toyota Tundra
When Motor Trend reviewed the 2020 Toyota Tundra, they praised its off-road performance and exterior design. However, when it came to the interior of the Tundra, there was something left to be desired. The instrument cluster is outdated compared to the competition, and there isn't a lot to get you excited about how the interior has been designed and the technology that's available. Most reviews of the Tundra are willing to point this out, while also praising the fact that despite the lack of frills the truck is still pretty reliable.
The other thing that Motor Trend had a problem with was the Toyota Tundra is the powertrain. They point out that the V8 produces 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque which would be sufficient for many drivers, but maybe not all. The lack of extended engine options limits the functionality of the model.
The Tundra also comes with a six-speed automatic while both Ford and Chevy have upped their transmission to 10. If the Tundra wants to compete, it's going to have to overhaul its powertrain. Unfortunately, the 2020 Toyota Tundra didn't step up to the plate for this model year, so you may find that limits what it can do for you if you're looking for a powerful truck.
2020 Toyota Tundra on CarComplaints
According to Carcomplaints.com, the 2020 model of the Toyota Tundra has had few complaints lodged overall. In part that's because as a fairly new model there haven't been many drivers on the road experiencing issues with this year yet. But also, the fact remains that Toyota Tundra really is a reliable vehicle so many model years have enjoyed few problems.
Those who have lodged complaints with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have detailed a variety of issues that you may want to be on the lookout for. Some drivers have complained that the pre-collision system, part of the Toyota safety suite, does not work properly.
Fuel System Problems
Other drivers have complained that there are problems with a defective overflow valve in the fuel tank. This can cause fuel to pour out of the tank once you're done filling up at a gas station. It can either be a small amount, or up to a half a gallon draining out of the tank, which is obviously a danger.
More than one driver has indicated that the front turning indicators are so dim that they can't be seen during daytime use.
Drivers have indicated that the integrated brake controller only works sometimes. Error messages will pop up on the dash and trailer brakes stopped functioning. If you turn the vehicle off and turn it back on again this will temporarily fix the problem.
One driver detailed an issue in which they were in an accident that resulted in a frontal impact. Despite the serious nature of the accident and the speed at which it happened, the airbags in their 2020 Toyota Tundra did not deploy.
One of the complaints fielded by the NHTSA deals with the 2020 Toyota Tundra 4 x 4 Crewmax engine not performing at the level it should, and barely accelerating when the driver puts their foot on the gas.
2020 Toyota Tundra Technical Service Bulletins
A technical service bulletin is something that an auto manufacturer will issue to dealerships when a problem arises, and they want to clarify how the dealers should troubleshoot it. Legally these have to be made available to the public and sometimes if a problem gets to be too big then it can escalate to the point of an actual vehicle recall.
Since the 2020 Toyota Tundra became available Toyota has issued 107 different technical service bulletins for the model. Although that may seem like a lot it's worth knowing that it's not unusual for there to be well over 100 technical service bulletins issued for any particular model year of vehicle and if it's a particularly problematic model year then you can expect to find many more. For instance, the 2007 Toyota Tundra had over 300 technical service bulletins issued.
The Toyota Tundra 2020 Fuel Pump Recall
Toyota issued a recall in 2020 that covered 1.5 million vehicles. In some vehicles the fuel pump could fail causing the vehicle to stall even while driving. This recall didn't just affect Toyota Tundra models, in fact it affected certain models from every vehicle in the Toyota range as well as Lexus. Toyota was notifying owners and dealers if their vehicle was affected. You can also contact Toyota directly if you have a Toyota or Lexus model made between 2017 and 2020 to see if your vehicle is affected.
How the 2020 Toyota Tundra Handles Crash Testing
While Toyota cars are known for their exceptional safety package and excellent performance in Crash testing, the 2020 Toyota Tundra is not up to par with its smaller counterparts. Based on Insurance Institute of Highway Safety crash test and rollover safety ratings, the Toyota Tundra Crew Cab is performing very poorly.
Crash testing is based on a number of factors and while the 2020 Toyota Tundra scored good overall for moderate overlap, it was only marginal for small overlap driver side and poor for small overlap on the passenger side. Both the structure and lower leg injury parts of the testing received poor ratings on the small overlap passenger side, and restraints and hip and thigh injury were not very good as well. Lower leg injury is also a problem for small overlap on the driver side.
In simple terms what this means is that if you suffer a head-on collision in a 2020 Toyota Tundra then there is a definite risk of serious injury to you and your passenger as a result.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety rated 11 midsize and full-size pickup trucks and the Toyota Tundra scored the lowest out of all of them based on their crash tests. This is arguably the greatest problem that you're going to face with a 2020 Toyota Tundra. The technical problems that have popped up have been few and far between, but the crash test ratings are an across-the-board sort of issue that has actually caused Consumer Reports to drop the 2020 Toyota Tundra off their recommendation list. While the truck is still able to perform well as such, you can't ignore the potential safety problems that are affiliated with it.