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.