2019 Toyota Tacoma Top Complaints and Problems – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Vehicle speed control, brake and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

When looking for a compact pickup truck, most owners want a nice mix of drivability and functionality. The automaker claims that the 2019 Toyota Tacoma allows drivers to “play harder,” so it makes sense that many people flocked to this model. What these people found was that the Tacoma didn’t allow them to do anything harder, other than sit at the dealership more for repairs. Common trouble includes a defective powertrain, malfunctioning service brakes and issues with the vehicle speed control.

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Powertrain

It’s true that the Tacoma is not a full-size truck, but the powertrain should be capable enough to handle a good range of work tasks. Sadly, that’s not what many owners find once they get behind the wheel of this Toyota truck.

One Edmunds review states, “It’s well documented that the V6 doesn’t make power in low RPM.  It is equally well documented that the transmission hunts between 6,5, and sometimes 4 on the highway.  The most infuriating thing about driving this truck is that the transmission just seems to never be in the right gear.  Attempting to pass is an adventure unless you flip the transmission into manual mode and select the passing gear yourself.”

Among the list of service bulletins issues from the company regarding the powertrain, one notable communication discusses an unusual vibration. Service bulletin #T-SB-0171-16 says the vibration is felt in the floorboard, seat and steering wheel, typically between ten and 30 mph. This problem is caused by a driveline vibration under deceleration. To repair the problem, it might be required to replace the steering wheel damper or springs. As we see from the above review, there are also issues with the transmission not finding the appropriate gears. Between that and the crazy vibration, owners are sure in for a wild ride while driving this truck.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Toyota Tacoma Transmission Problems

FOR NO REASON AT ALL MY 2019 TOYOTA TACOMA SR5 STALLED AND DISPLAYED A “HIGH TRANSMISSION TEMP WARNING”. THIS OCCURRED WHEN PICKING UP MY CHILD FROM SCHOOL. THE TRUCK WOULD NOT SHIFT AND THE BREAKS DID NOT FUNCTION I HAD TO USE EBRAKE TO NOT HIT OTHER VEHICLES, AND WAS STUCK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SCHOOL PARKING LOT WITH MY TWO YOUNG CHILDREN IN AZ HEAT. I WAITED AWHILE AFTER TURNING THE TRUCK OFF AND SHIFTING TO PARK THEN TURNED VEHICLE BACK ON AND IT THEN FUNCTIONED AS NORMAL. I THEN TOOK THE TACOMA TO AVONDALE TOYOTA, FOR A DIAGNOSIS AND REPAIR. SO FAR THEY HAVE MADE NO REPAIRS AS THEY SAID THEY COULD NOT REPLICATE THE PROBLEM AND ARE ON DAY TWO OF HAVING THE VEHICLE TESTING IT TO SEE IF IT WILL HAVE ISSUE AGAIN. THIS COULD BE A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION IF THE SITUATION WAS TO OCCUR ON A HIGHWAY OR INTERSTATE OR IN THE MIDDLE OF 115 DEGREE WEATHER. SINCE THIS HAPPENED ME AND MY FAMILY FEEL UNEASY EVERY TIME WE TAKE THE VEHICLE ANYWHERE. I’M HOPING THAT THIS ISSUE DOES NOT HAPPEN AGAIN AND EITHER RESOLVES ITSELF OR TOYOTA FIXES IT. THAT IS THE REASON I PURCHASED A TOYOTA THEIR REPUTATION OF RELIABILITY, BUT WITH LESS THAN 300 MILES ON THIS VEHICLE WITH THIS ISSUE I HOPE I DO NOT REGRET THIS DECISION.

THIS TACOMA SR5 IS BRAND NEW, ABOUT 400 MILES ON IT SO FAR. NOTICING A LOT OF HUNTING BY THE TRANSMISSION TO FIND A GEAR IT IS HAPPY WITH FOR A GIVEN SPEED AND TERRAIN. BUT THE MOST CONCERNING ISSUE IS THAT IT PULSES HARD WHEN SLOWING TO A STOP. THOUGHT IT WAS THE BRAKE ROTORS AT FIRST, BUT I PUT THE TRANSMISSION IN NEUTRAL WHILE BRAKING, AND BRAKING IN NEUTRAL WORKS VERY SMOOTHLY. SEEMS MORE LIKE THE TORQUE CONVERTER DOESN’T WANT TO DISENGAGE. ALSO NOTICE A WHISTLING SOUND FROM THE REAR WHEN ACCELERATING THRU APPROX 40MPH. WILL BE TAKING IT IN TO THE DEALER SOON TO HAVE THESE THINGS CHECKED. I LOVE THE TRUCK OTHERWISE, AND WAS PLANNING TO OWN THIS VEHICLE FOR 10+ YRS, BUT THIS IS NOT A GOOD START.

2019 TOYOTA TACOMA TRD PRO REAR DIFFERENTIAL HAS OIL LEAK.

LOUD RATTLE NOISE HEARD AT UNDERCARRIAGE WHEN MOVING IN NEUTRAL THRU A BUMPY ROAD.

Service Brakes

While driving a truck, it’s necessary to have properly functioning brakes. After all, owners don’t want to worry about stopping while carrying a load of cargo or towing. This truck seems to suffer from braking concerns.

Just look at the Edmunds review from a driver discussing their situation, “2019 TRD Off-Road.  Virtually no miles on the truck, 250 miles as of today.  Immediately noticed vibration upon braking from 40-0 mph, this was pulling out of the dealership.  Did some digging and found there could be potential issues with axles and/or drums being out of round.  There is a technical service bulletin to address this for 2018 models (non-TRD), but nothing for mine.  I am still going to the dealer this week to address.”

It turns out that the brakes on the Tacoma aren’t manufactured to be the quality that they should. There’s a recall to prove that fact. NHTSA Campaign Number 18V888000 discusses how a brake master cylinder seal can be damaged on over 44,000 vehicles. This situation reduces braking performance and leads to a higher increase of crashing. To repair it, Toyota needs to replace the master cylinder. In the meantime, owners spend time trying to figure out how much extra time they need to stop this truck. Maybe if they start pressing on the brake immediately upon acceleration, they might stop in time for the next light.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Toyota Tacoma Brake Problems

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2019 TOYOTA TACOMA. THE CONTACT STATED THAT WHEN DEPRESSING THE BRAKE PEDAL, IT WOULD BE STIFF AND OTHER TIMES IT WOULD TRAVEL TO THE FLOORBOARD. THE FAILURE OFTEN OCCURRED WHEN THE VEHICLE WAS IN IDLE. THE VEHICLE WAS TAKEN TO LE BRUN TOYOTA WHERE THE VEHICLE WAS NOT DIAGNOSED. THE MECHANIC STATED THAT THERE WAS NOTHING WRONG WITH THE BRAKES AND THAT THE VEHICLE WAS FUNCTIONING AS DESIGNED. THE CONTACT AND THE MECHANIC GOT INTO ANOTHER 2019 TOYOTA TACOMA ON THE LOT AND DISCOVERED THAT VEHICLE’S BRAKES DID THE SAME AS HIS VEHICLE. THE MANUFACTURER WAS MADE AWARE OF THE FAILURE AND ASSIGNED A CASE NUMBER TO THE CONTACT. IN ADDITION, THE CONTACT WENT TO THE DEALER ANOTHER OCCASION AND TEST DROVE ANOTHER 2019 TACOMA WHICH PRESENTED THE SAME BRAKING EXPERIENCE. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 1,500.

TRUCK IS NEW. BRAKES DO NOT FUNCTION PROPERLY. TWO TIMES THE BRAKES FAILED TO STOP THE TRUCK. FLEW THREW THE INTERSECTION. THE BRAKES WILL FLUTTER AND FALL TO THE FLOOR. OTHER TIMES IT WILL BE VERY STIFF AND STOP THE CAR VERY AGGRESSIVELY. VERY DANGEROUS. BROUGHT TO TOYOTA IN LANCASTER CALIFORNIA AND THERE MECHANIC SAID IT HAD NO PROBLEMS. THIS INCIDENT HAS BEEN DOCUMENTED WITH WITNESSES. I WILL BRING BACK EVERY TIME THIS HAPPENS.

TRUCK HAS VERY PRONOUNCED SHUDDERING DURING BRAKING BETWEEN 40-10 MPH. IT ALSO HAS SHUDDERING DURING CRUISING BETWEEN 25-45 MPH. REAR DIFFERENTIAL HOWLS WHILE CRUISING AT 40-50 MPH AND SOMETIMES DURING DECELERATION.

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2019 TOYOTA TACOMA. WHILE ATTEMPTING TO PARK THE VEHICLE, THE BRAKES FAILED. AS A RESULT, THE VEHICLE ACCELERATED FORWARD AND CRASHED INTO A CEMENT WALL. THE CONTACT AND A PASSENGER WERE INJURED AND TRANSPORTED TO A HOSPITAL FOR MEDICAL ATTENTION. THE AIR BAGS DID NOT DEPLOY. A POLICE REPORT WAS FILED. THE VEHICLE’S FRONT END WAS SMASHED IN AND THE VEHICLE WAS TOWED FROM THE SCENE. THE CONTACT’S INSURANCE COMPANY HANDLED THE CLAIM AND THE ADJUSTERS PLANNED TO EVALUATE THE VEHICLE. THE DEALER AND THE MANUFACTURER WERE NOT CONTACTED. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS 2,000.

Vehicle Speed Control

Today’s vehicles come with a slew of new advanced equipment designed to make the road safer than ever before. One of these additions is vehicle speed control which helps maintain the proper speeds while driving around other vehicles. When this system malfunctions, it becomes difficult to arrive at the destination without anxiety and worry.

One NHTSA review discusses what happens with this truck. “I’ve had my truck for about 1,000 miles. Four times while I was driving with the adaptive cruise control engaged, I’ve had a vehicle pass me in an adjacent lane, then slow down to below my speed. Every time, the adaptive cruise control abruptly applied the brakes to slow my vehicle down for no apparent reason, thereby putting me in danger of being rear-ended.”

Much to our surprise, there are no service bulletins discussing the trouble with these adaptive technologies. The company might figure they would be in better shape by ignoring the problem. After all, they have enough to fix between the powertrain and brake recall. Putting the spotlight on yet another problem just brings attention to one more failure. Whether they ignore it or not, customers experience the issue and are jumping ship for another truck company. They have decided it is more fun to “play harder” with another truck manufacturer.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Toyota Tacoma Speed Control Problems

WHILE DRIVING ON CRUISE CONTROL THE ENGINE SHIFTS TO A HIGHER GEAR FOR NO REASON RESULTING IN HIGHER GAS USAGE. I ALSO NOTICED WHILE HAVING THE RADAR ON WHILE ON ADAPTIVE CRUISE CONTROL, THE VEHICLE WILL AUTOMATICALLY “SLAM” THE BRAKES FOR NO REASON RESULTING ME IN A BAD SITUATION DUE TO TRAFFIC. THE SYSTEM ENGAGES THE BRAKES FOR NO REASON EVEN THOUGH THE VEHICLE THAT THE SYSTEM IS DETECTING IS NOT EVEN CLOSE TO ME IN THE FRONT. PLEASE FIX THIS CRUISE CONTROL ISSUE

I’VE HAD MY TRUCK FOR ABOUT 1000 MILES. FOUR TIMES WHILE I WAS DRIVING WITH THE ADAPTIVE CRUISE CONTROL ENGAGED I’VE HAD A VEHICLE PASS ME IN AN ADJACENT LANE, THEN SLOW DOWN TO BELOW MY SPEED. EVERY TIME, THE ADAPTIVE CRUISE CONTROL ABRUPTLY APPLIED THE BRAKES TO SLOW MY VEHICLE DOWN FOR NO APPARENT REASON THEREBY PUTTING ME IN DANGER OR BEING REAR-ENDED.

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Share your story

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1 COMMENT
  • Jj

    My 2019 Tacoma SR access cab, 4 cylinder, will slam on the brakes when I’m on the interstate, in the left hand lane, and a car beside me is getting off the interstate. Almost got rear-ended, by a semi goin 75 miles an hour. Not cool Toyota needs to fix this. If I get hurt bad because of this. Or my family I will sue Toyota

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