Tundra owners grumble over rumble

Tundra owners grumble over rumble
Mark Rechtin Automotive News October 22, 2007 - 12:01 am ET
LOS ANGELES - Toyota's Tundra pickup was hit with a double whammy last week.
Angry consumers are peppering the Internet with complaints that the torque converter in the 2007 Tundra's six-speed transmission has problems disengaging during gearshifts - a problem that Toyota acknowledges.
Meanwhile, the Tundra 4x4 model took a broadside from Consumer Reports magazine, which rated it "below average" in projected reliability.
Toyota thought it had put the redesigned Tundra's teething problems in the rearview mirror. First there was a batch of defective camshafts. Then it received a four-star rating in NHTSA crash tests, one star less than its Detroit rivals.
The latest quality snarl involves a vibration coming from the transmission when changing gears under gentle acceleration or deceleration.
Toyota Motor Sales officials have nicknamed the problem "the rumble strip" because the slippage causes vibration similar to the sensation of driving over the wake-up strips at the side of highways.
The rumbling usually lasts several seconds. But the problem sometimes worsens to the point that some owners can't shift into certain gears.
The problem has been reported only in six-speed transmissions, which are linked to the popular 5.7-liter V-8 engine. Since the 2007 Tundra's February launch, the 5.7-liter engine has been installed in 70 percent of about 135,000 Tundras sold. That means the problem could affect nearly 100,000 vehicles.
Tundra travails Since its February launch, Toyota's full-sized pickup has taken some hits related to quality.
Bad batch of camshafts
Crash rating below rivals'
Consumer Reports snub
Faulty torque converters
Bad torque converter Before Toyota's technical service department traced the problem to the torque converter, some Toyota dealers replaced entire transmissions, said Toyota spokesman John Hanson. If the vibration occurs now, likely only the torque converter will be replaced.
Toyota still is trying to trace what exactly is wrong with the torque converter.
Internal field reports have yet to show anyone stranded by the problem, Hanson said. But Tundra owners in several Internet chat rooms say their transmissions quit shifting properly, forcing them to limp the truck to a dealership. The rumble-strip effect often occurs within the first 1,000 miles of ownership.
Isolated instances Pickup owners are especially particular about vehicle reliability, says Mike Levine, editor of the consumer Internet site pickuptruck.com.
Since Toyota staked its reputation on reliability, any problem makes it tougher for Toyota to persuade domestic loyalists to switch allegiances, Levine said.
Reports of the problem have been sporadic. Large dealers in northern California, Texas and Ohio said they had no reported owner complaints about Tundra transmissions. An executive for a group of Midwestern dealerships, speaking anonymously, said his mechanics had seen one or two instances.
Craig Whetter, executive vice president of Wilson Automotive Group, says the group's six Toyota stores in California and Arizona have sold 2,236 Tundras this year but have not seen a single bad torque converter.
"These guys haven't turned a bolt on one, let alone replaced one," Whetter said.
Of bigger concern to Toyota is the number of vehicles affected.
The faulty camshaft problem was limited to several hundred early-build vehicles, but owners of Tundras built as recently as September have complained of defective transmissions.
The torque converter for the six-speed transmission used with the 5.7-liter V-8 is built at an Aisin AW plant in Durham, N.C. Aisin officials declined to comment, referring interview requests to Toyota.
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C. E. White, 10/22/2007,8:53:41 AM, wrote:

I'm not completeley surprised by all this quality slipping news coming out lately. Although I am still a Toyota loyalist I have personally noticed the quality of the controls, road noise, inside material and other non-essential parts. All Toyotas I have owned since my 1994 Camry just don't measure up in feel or driving experience.
All that said I would still choose a Toyota over almost any brand just because everything under the skin and cabin lasts for such a long time without needing repair.
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I don't think this problem is really that big a deal. Toyota has had problems like ever other manufacturer for years. However, in many cases they get the bugs out in other markets before selling the product in the US. The new Tundra has quite a few US unique componets (5.7L engine, 6 speed truck transmission). Because of this, the US market is doing the debugging. I only know one person who has a "new" Tundra and he seems happy - but then the biggest thing he likely to haul is groceries. I am seeing a lot more big Tundras around. It seems to be a moderate hit with the "I don't really need a truck, but want one crowd." The hard bed cover and chrome brush guards are clear indicators that it is a hit with the poser crowd. I have yet to see one outside of a Toyota commerical hauling anything at all (even a boat).
Anyhow, both Ford and Dodge had problems with shuttering torque convertors in the recent past. The camshaft problems seems to have been an early teething problem that has been resolved.
Ed
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Even Toyotas race cars are pulled to the track by domestic trucks, mot Fords
mike

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Really? Then why is it Toyota had more recalls than any other manufacturer in 2006 and again so far in 2007?
mike

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Mike, we covered this before. While it is true Toyota recalled the most vehicles in 2006, it is not even close in 2007. GM, Ford, and Nissan have all recalled more vehicles so far in 2007 than Toyota. I gave you the facts and good references.
Ed
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The fact remains Toyota had the most RECALLS. ;)
mike

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Spin it any way you wish but total RECALLS does not refer to only the current model year. The fact remains Toyota had the most RECALLS in 2006 and is currently highest in 2007.
mike

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Either provide some backup for this false claim or quit making it. GM, Ford, Nissan, and VW all had more total vehicles recalled than Toyota during 2007. Multiple manufacturers had more individual recalls during 2007 than Toyota. Multiple manufacturers had more different models recalled during 2007 than Toyota. If you are trying to say that there were more Toyotas on the road subject to recall during 2007, that is not true either. There is no way you can claim that Toyota has the most recalls, or vehicles recalled, or vehicles subject to recalls in 2007. It is really infuriating when you just make stuff up, and then try to weasel your way out of admitting that you made it up. The facts are out there. Point us to some facts that prove your claim that Toyota "is currently highest in 2007" (whatever the heck that means). Otherwise quit making a false claim.
Ed
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: Spin it any way you wish but total RECALLS does not refer to only the : current model year. The fact remains Toyota had the most RECALLS in 2006 : and is currently highest in 2007. :
Yeah well for longevity and overall quality a Toy beats the "Big Three" by light years.
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Fuller Rath wrote:

Not by light years any more. The Michigan 3 (I don't say big 3 because Toyota is the largest automaker in the world) are catching up.
jeff
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Care to share any proof for this sweeping statement?
Ed
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Mike Hunter wrote:

Probably because they introduced more all-new designs around that time than other manufacturers did. Recalls are related more to new designs than overall quality, as Chrysler and AMC showed in the 1970s, when they sometimes had the lowest recall rates in the industry, along with the oldest designs. Contrary to what Toyota claims publicly, the quality and efficiency of their North American factories are not as good as their Japanese factories', and the designs never produced in Japan have fared worse than the other Toyotas.
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Interesting that article states "the new Tundra owners have been peppering the internet with complaints".
Am I missing something, or is there not one single "new" Tundra complaint on this NG?
The older Tundra, like what I have (2002) had brake issues, tranny issues, various other things that showed up here.
GC

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----- Original Message -----
Newsgroups: alt.autos.toyota,alt.autos.toyota.trucks Sent: Monday, October 22, 2007 2:00 PM Subject: Re: Tundra owners grumble over rumble

I actually thought the same thing. There were a couple of other things that bothered me - 1) I don't think a torque converter can disengage during a shift - maybe they meant the torque converter clutch; 2) I doubt that the actual torque convertors are made in Durham (the transmissions are made there), 3) I don't think must truck owner are especially particular about reliability.
In defense of the article, I will say that usenet is no longer the primary tool people use to discuss problems. Most people I know prefer other types of forums. Here are a few other forums where problems are discussed:
http://www.tundraheadquarters.com/blog/2007/08/22/all-known-2007-toyota-tundra-problems / http://www.tundrasolutions.com/forums/tundra/114436-tundra-tailgate-failures-i-am-club / http://www.tundrasolutions.com/forums/tundra/113646-transmission-fault-identified / http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f1669aa http://www.pickuptruck.com/html/news/toyota/tundra/transmissions/page1.html
I think you can find enough mention of problems to qualify as "peppering the internet with complaints."
Ed
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Yeah, that could be. The web forums have better controls for the spamming that goes on in the usenets.
Thanks for those links.
GC

http://www.tundraheadquarters.com/blog/2007/08/22/all-known-2007-toyota-tundra-problems /
http://www.tundrasolutions.com/forums/tundra/114436-tundra-tailgate-failures-i-am-club /
http://www.tundrasolutions.com/forums/tundra/113646-transmission-fault-identified /
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Toyota needs to sell a hell of a lot more Tundras for the problematic ones to start to show up as complaint in a NG. The only sell around 5% of the trucks sold in the US ;)
mike

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That's understandable domestic trucks are very reliable trucks. When Toyota said 'this changes everything' they were referring to the Tundra finally getting closer to domestic trucks in build quality.
The Tundra is a far better truck than anything Toyota sold before but it seems they still have a way to go to come close to Ford, GM and Dodge full-size trucks in build quality
mike

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: The Tundra is a far better truck than anything Toyota sold before but it : seems they still have a way to go to come close to Ford, GM and Dodge : full-size trucks in build quality
You HAVE to be kidding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Any reliable mechanic will tell you that G(enerally) M(ediocre), Fraud & Drudge are the WORST brands for reliability. Plus look at their resale value. You can see it falling as they are driven off the lot!
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