Which Toyota Tacoma years should you avoid?

This blog will answer the following questions: which Toyota Tacoma model years should you avoid? What are the common problems in the Toyota Tacoma pickup truck? Which are the reliable model years of Toyota Tacoma? What are the specifications of the Toyota pickup truck?

Which Toyota Tacoma years should you avoid?

The Toyota Tacoma produced in the following years must be avoided. Toyota is known for its reliability but these models suffered from poor built quality and reliability was not good.

  • 2006-2009
  • 2011-2012
  • 2016-2017

The reasons for avoiding these Tacoma models are explained below:


Toyota launched the second generation of Tacoma in 2005 with production commencing in the following year. The 2006 Tacoma has problems with the lower control arm ball joint. It was not properly installed during the production.

The lower ball joint fitment resulted in abnormal noise when the vehicle was on rough roads. If the fault is not rectified sooner then the ball joint rubber boot is damaged. Toyota issued a recall to rectify the issue but customers needed to contact the authorized dealership and verify if their vehicle was affected.

The paint quality on the  2006 model was also not good, paint chipping can be easily identified all over the body. On some models, it was so bad that entire layers of paint could be peeled off. 

The more serious issue is present on the chassis side, the subframe brakes due to rust, especially on the older vehicles. The replacement frame can cost more than 4000 USD.

For the 2007-2009 models, Toyota managed to improve the paint quality and the suspension components. An anti-corrosion coating was even sprayed from the factory on the subframe. Many customers reported transmission failure and a sticky throttle pedal.

The throttle pedal issue even led to a few accidents as the pedal is stuck in the open position and the vehicle is accelerated without any driver inputs. Toyota used throttle pedals with potentiometers but the return springs were not strong. The potentiometer also malfunctioned due to the dirt present in the driver’s footwell.

The transmission problem, fortunately, did not require any complete overhaul. The fault in the transmission is due to oil leaks or the clutch release bearing. It is only present on the models with very high mileage.


The 2011 and 2012 have inline 4 and V 6 engines. There are several engine defects that result in poor refinement levels and vibration while driving. The vibrations are due to the balancer shaft in the engine, it also causes damage to the engine and transmission mounts.

Other than engine and transmission mount issues, the 2011 model also suffered from headlight issues. Concerns like headlight flickering and cracked lamp housing are reported by many customers. 

The problems start to occur after the vehicles have completed 30,000 to 50,000 miles. Therefore, check the vehicle history before purchasing a used 2011 or 2012 Toyota Tacoma model.


The 2016 and 2017 are third-generation models of Toyota Tacoma. The 2016 and 2017 Tacoma were recalled over an engine stalling problem. It only affected the V6 engine, the sensor rotor ring on the crankshaft had too much anti-corrosion coating.

Because of excessive coating, the crankshaft hall sensor detects the incorrect position of the crankshaft. Engine malfunction light also comes on in the instrument cluster, few customers also reported concerns like engine misfire or high vibrations.

Toyota replaced the crankshaft position sensor with high clearance on all the affected vehicles at no cost to customers. 

What are the common problems in the Toyota Tacoma pickup truck?

The common problems in the Toyota pickup truck are given below:

  • The paint on the roof peels off and the dealership will charge 3000 to repaint the entire roof of the truck. The paint on the roof peels off due to insufficient curing time in the production process. 
  • The Tacoma models with automatic transmission suffered from poor shift quality problems. The affected vehicles did not engage proper gear because of a defective solenoid in the electrohydraulic valve body.
  • The Tacoma first generation model is a compact pickup truck and Toyota increased the size for the next two generations. There are a few models that suffer from broken leaf spring issues. The leaf springs are mainly present in the rear with separate shock absorbers.
  • Tacoma comes with inline 4 as well as V 6 engines, both engines use a starter motor in order to start the internal combustion engine. This starter motor is faulty and the vehicle is not able to start. The starter motor is replaced to fix the issues replacing parts of the motor is not recommended in order to maintain reliability.
  • Performance issues like low pick-up and poor fuel economy are present in Toyota Tacoma. The cause is a faulty air mass sensor. Incorrect measurement of the density of the air results in poor acceleration as the engine control unit is not able to determine the correct fuel injection quantity.
  • The front parking light on many models can melt or crack, the material of the lens was not good. Toyota later updated the park but since many cars are no longer in warranty, it can cost 900-1100 USD to install a new lamp unit.

 Which are the reliable model years of Toyota Tacoma?

The reliable model years of Toyota Tacoma are given below:

  • 1995-2005
  • 2010
  • 2013-2015
  • 2018-2020

The first generation of Toyota Tacoma manufactured between 1995-2004 is very reliable. Even if there are a few concerns in the vehicle their nature is not serious. Some of the problems don’t even come until the vehicle has completed 100,000 miles.

The repair cost also does not exceed 500 USD as there are plenty of used parts or refurbished parts available for replacement. The Toyota Tacoma manufactured in 2014 had a leak in the cowl top, water entered directly into the evaporator coil and affected the performance of the air conditioning system.

What are the specifications of the Toyota Tacoma pickup truck?

The specifications of the Toyota Tacoma are given in the table below:

SpecificationsToyota Tacoma
Production year2016- onwards
Engine Inline 4 and V 6 
Transmission 5,6-speed manual and 6 -speed automatic
Wheelbase Max 3571 mm
Width Max 5728 mm
Height 1910 mm
Curb weight 2032 kg 

The Toyota Tacoma is available in the rear as well as all-wheel-drive. The power produced by the inline 4 and V6 engines is 159 hp and 278 hp respectively. There are various cab designs available on the chassis of Tacoma. Some of the popular ones are Access cab, double can in short as well as a long version.


This blog listed the model years of the Toyota Tacoma which should be avoided due to its reliability and safety concerns. If you are buying a used Toyota Tacoma, check the vehicle history and perform a visual inspection of the paint. If there is too much rust then steer clear of such models because repair costs will be very expensive.