• Aug 4, 2009
2010 Toyota Tundra Platinum Package - click above for high-res gallery

When Toyota crashed the domestic automakers' pickup party with the arrival of the 2007 Tundra, the truck-buying public took notice. Bad news struck the Tundra from the start, though, as heavy rebates were needed to move the new truck, and numerous quality issues were reported. Toyota has since addressed those issues, but one problem has continued to follow the truck: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Tundra a four star rating for front driver and passenger collisions, denoting a 11-20% chance of serious injury in a 35 mph crash. That's one fewer star than the competition from Dodge, Chevy, and Ford, and a big-time marketing disadvantage for Toyota. The four star rating became a bit more puzzling when the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Tundra a Top Safety Pick for 2008. Toyota seemed dumbfounded as to why its truck received a four star rating, but the Japanese automaker may have received some vindication for the 2010 model year.

The star power of the Tundra has finally been amped up for the new model year, as NHTSA is now giving the Double Cab and Crew Max configurations of the truck a five star rating. The regular cab Tundra hasn't been tested. There have been several changes to the 2010 Tundra, including interior and exterior updates, plus a new 310 horsepower 4.6-liter V8 engine. Pickuptrucks.com contacted Toyota to see what structural changes were made to the Tundra to improve its crash test scores, and Toyota reportedly told the website that no structural changes to the trucks frame were made, and no safety enhancements have been added. Interesting.

[Source: Pickuptrucks]


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  • 34 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Pickup buyers are generally loyal to domestic brands.Toyota might find the truck market har to crack.
      • 5 Years Ago
      You Autoblog amateur writers are too funny. Your bias against Toyota is laughable at best. The Tundra launched with MUCH lower incentives than new versions of the Ford, Chevy and Dodge trucks. Also the quality "glitches" with the Tundra were so miniscule and affected so few trucks it is amazing anyone even bothered to report on them.
      • 5 Years Ago
      For those like Matt who are too thick-skulled and thin witted to believe that Americans can authoritatively comment on their own test program, you can go here: http://www.safercar.gov/portal/site/safercar/menuitem.13dd5c887c7e1358fefe0a2f35a67789/?vgnextoid=b2c72d0e0c2c8110VgnVCM1000002fd17898RCRD#iq8 and look at the answer to question number 9, where you'll plainly see that, unlike the Euro or Oz programs, there's no extra star to be gained by additional equipment. It's soley based on recorded crash forces.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow- way to research, Autoblog. And another thinly-veiled slander at Toyota. It took about 14 minutes for someone qualified to alert you about the driver and front passenger knee airbags. Hey Shunk- do you write this on your own? Or did Neff edit it for you? Hilarious.. You know- I don't think Toyota's lawyers would appreciate your insinuation that Toyota and NHTSA are scheming to award crash ratings that they don't deserve.

      • 5 Years Ago
      so you are saying that Toyota bribe The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration into getting that fifth star ?
        • 5 Years Ago
        As long as you're posting conspiracy theories, why not consider the opposite case too:

        NHTSA conspired with the domestic manufacturers to deny Toyota that 5th star for the initial model year. They had to do something to protect the market share of their cash cow pickup trucks and playing on the safety fears of the public was a good way to do it.

        I don't believe either case actually. Just sayin'. I think the additional airbags someone else mentioned is the true reason for the upgrade.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Exactly, Toyota simply told them they were wrong, that Toyota was the best truck in the whole wide world and NHTSA got on their knees kiss a Turdra's ass end and said "YES SIR! One totally f'ed up truck.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sounds like it to me (that they are saying that, not that Toyota is doing it).

        Out of curiosity, is there a basis for the bribing comments?
      • 5 Years Ago
      When this latest iteration of the "full-sized" Toyota pickup hit the market, I was alarmed at the frame design and construction. Toyota does not use a fully-boxed frame design in the Tundra and has three different constructions on the frame with the weakest and flimsiest at the front of the truck with a transition just under the footwell of the cab - this is alarming since the crashworthiness of the Tundra is significantly compromised. Furthermore, what struck me about the Tundra is that the truck looks like it is designed to sag in old age - I believe the "fully boxed" area is under the cab with the second weakest area under the cargo box - with the two ends of the frame being weaker than the center, this truck will bend in the middle - and - since Tundras are known to have corrosion issues in the Northeast and Midwest to the point that the suspension attaching points are rusted OFF THE FRAME (!), this Tundra is an wreck waiting to happen. While Toyota grew the Tundra this time to "full-sized" proportions, it built it like it was a Corolla - strong enough to carry passengers and a few bags of groceries, but not strong enough to handle anything substantial. I can't wait to see these Tundras after five years.
        • 5 Years Ago
        After owning 1 GMC, 3 Chevy's and 1 Ford truck over the last 20 years, the last truck I'd thought I'd own is a Tundra. About to buy a 2008 GMC extra cab, I stopped by the local Toyota dealership on my way home one day just to cross the Tundra off my list since it was the only brand I have never driven. I didn't particularly like the looks and I didn't really trust the capabilities. I bought a Tundra a week later. Having owned it for just under year, I can tell you with complete certainty it is as good as any of the domestic brands in every way, and far superior in many ways. If you have any doubt about the durability of the Tundra, you haven't driven one and you certainly haven't gotten underneath one to take a look at the hardware. I challenge every one of you to park your Ford, Dodge, or Chevy right next to a Tundra. Slide yourself underneath your truck and take a good look. Then do the same with the Tundra. If you come out thinking you're driving the better truck after that, you're blind or lying to yourself. Don't bothering arguing how great your truck is until you've done this.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, Jim, I see you've followed my recommendation and watched a VIDEO of the Tundra. You must be intimately familiar with the truck from that...

        Again, don't bother talking about the Tundra until you've 1) driven the truck and 2) done a side by side comparison of the powertrain from underneath the vehicle. Remember, I've had nothing but Ford and GM's for more than 20 years - so I wouldn't begin to call me impartial. As I mentioned, I was heavily partial to GM before I drove the Tundra.

        However, if you must have just one of the many reasons I prefer my Tundra to the FIVE other Ford/GM trucks I've owned it would be simply the POWERTRAIN. Don't take my word for it - go drive it. I don't care if you still prefer your Chevy, Ford, or Dodge after that but you won't be talking smack about the Tundra in quite the way you are now.
        • 5 Years Ago
        One of the biggest reasons heavy duty trucks still use c-channel frames is for upfitters. It allows them to add bracing and supports for various body options without the need to cut into the frame (which is not something you want on a hydroformed frame) or mount everything on top of the frame.

        This is also the reason why heavy duty trucks still use leaf springs. Depending on the load they can easily add or remove leaves or use different lift shackles to keep the load level, balanced, and to stop swaying/body rolling around turns. Coil springs would be much more complicated to work with, as you would need a completey new setup for every spring rate.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was never intending to defend the Tundra. It looks like it has elephantitis and the frame might be crap for all I know. I am only trying to counter the errant belief that a fully boxed frame is desirable in a truck. If you use your truck like a car, sure the boxed frame might work out better. If you actually use it as a truck, C channel is better.
        Look at Fords full size lineup. The F-150 has a boxed frame. The F-250 and larger have C-channel frames except for the very front under the engine.
        Let trucks be trucks.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Fooled by marketing. A fully boxed frame is NOT something you want on a truck. Go look at the frame rails on any large commercial truck and they are all C-channel. This allows the frame to twist as it crosses uneven ground while carrying heavy loads without breaking."

        er, no. #1, that's what the suspension is for. #2, heavy truck frames are C-channel because they are made in many different lengths depending on cab and axle configuration, and as such the frame and crossmembers are *bolted* together, not welded. That would be a lot harder to do on a boxed frame.

        To make up for it, the wall thickness of a heavy truck frame is much thicker (relatively speaking) and is heat-treated for strength. This is why you see "DO NOT WELD OR DRILL" labels on heavy truck frames.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ texmin:

        all those words, yet you couldn't even put down *one* thing that makes the Tundra a better truck. Just "rah rah Toyota look how I pretend to be impartial."

        Oh, and this doesn't make the Tundra look like the "better truck"

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrieIkkTx7Y#t=25s

        whee, look at that bed DANCE!!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Dan,
        Those trucks you compare the Tundra to all have better frames and don't bed-strike when traversing a set of train tracks. Toyota could have done themselves a favor and copied the GMT800 or F150 Frame and would have had a much better truck. But alas they didn't and they just created the biggest bag of fail that has ever been foisted on full-size-truck customers. Every time I see one of those useless monstrosities I shake my head.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Fooled by marketing. A fully boxed frame is NOT something you want on a truck. Go look at the frame rails on any large commercial truck and they are all C-channel. This allows the frame to twist as it crosses uneven ground while carrying heavy loads without breaking. Fully boxed frames are much stiffer and must use the suspension to absorb any unevenness in the ground. This requires soft suspension at the same time you need stiffness to carry heavy loads. Once you reach the limit of suspension travel somethings got to give.
        As long as you don't expect your truck to handle like a car, C-channel is far superior.
        • 5 Years Ago
        “”Fooled by marketing. A fully boxed frame is NOT something you want on a truck. Go look at the frame rails on any large commercial truck and they are all C-channel…””


        Absolute B.S., large commercial trucks use c-channel framing that is proportionately much heavier than would be possible for use on a light truck like the Tundra to give adequate strength.

        Toyota tried to save a few pennies by using 1970’s era technology on the Tundra, while EVERY other manufacturer invested in modern hydro forming technology to produce a fully boxed frame for their full sized trucks.

        Look for future Toyota “customer loyalty warranty enhancements” to fix these POS frames when they begin to rust out and fail, as Toyota has had to do with hundreds of thousands of their Tacomas.

        And please spare us the "Toyota designed it to flex" B.S. also.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Brian... Just stop man.. Lol! Trying to justify the garbage chassis that Toyota has stuck under the Tundra by using large commercial trucks as an example is not helping your already blown-out crediblity.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually, Brian has a point in there. Ever hear of a Mercedes Unimog articulated vehicle? That is a truck that is actually built to rotate around an axis so the cab can be way out of line with the bed or box. The purpose is to create a truck that can traverse places a jeep or hummer cannot go and does not need outrageous suspension travel.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ok I have to make this comment as someone who works in the auto industry supplying parts to many mfgs.
        I see some unbelievable misinformation in a few of these posts.
        #1 - The Tundra camshaft issue was only in a small run of trucks produced in early 2007. That was 2.5 years ago. The problem was from the mfg of the camshaft. Not Toyota. This can happen to anyone. See new Camaro for an example of what happens when your supplier sells you some bad parts.
        #2 - This stuff about box frames is just people talking out their arses. Toyota claims their frame design is stronger than the F150's. Is this true? I don't know but until someone can post some real engineering evidence that Toyota's design is "crap" stop posting it. Just because you looked under the truck and didn't think their design made sense doesn't mean it's "crap". Frames are designed and tested in software and there are hundreds of factors that determine the overall rigidity of the truck.
      • 5 Years Ago
      But how? With the "Emergency Exit"!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Remember that 4 stars is for scoring in a range from x to y in safety features, and 5 stars for being above y. In Australia the Commodore was a 4 star car until they added a front passenger seat belt reminder. That get enough to push it over into 5 star territory
      • 5 Years Ago
      still a POS
      • 5 Years Ago
      Geez, what the hell makes them think it's a structural issue to begin with? NHTSA's own site CLEARLY says the front test, unlike the IIHS's offset test, is more of a test of restraints than structure. And why is Toyota saying no safety changes when its own press release calls out the new knee airbags previously mentioned?

      But looking at the numbers, the Tundra's femur scores weren't all that high anyway according to the charts at the www.safercar.gov site. It's the Head Injury Criterion (HIC) that were high. And while the new knee airbags did reduced the femur loads, the HIC numbers went down too. And that could have been easily done with changing the timing on the airbags and/or the pretensioners.

      By the way, while Euro NCAP does give extra points for things like more airbags or ESC, not here. It's strictly based on the recorded forces.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't think an extra star will give Toyota the sales numbers they were looking/hoping for. I don't think anything will.
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