2021 Toyota Tundra Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical, seat, and windshield-related issues are among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

In the tight race between pickup trucks, the 2021 Toyota Tundra has consistently gained popularity with consumers. The automaker says the pickup “comes ready to work hard and play even harder.” But owners faced with electrical, seat, and windshield-related problems don’t agree. Varied complaints indicate frustrations that affect everyday use of the vehicle whether they involve work tasks or leisure. Either way, it’s not a game when your truck catches fire, the seats wobble, the windshield cracks, or the wipers break and the automaker doesn’t make the parts any more.

Click on other model year to view more problems: 2019   2020   2022   2023

Most Common Tundra Problems

Electrical system problems are highlighted in a third of the complaints lodged with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Other issues are spread between six other components and systems. These indicate problems with exterior lighting, seats, steering, structure, and visibility/wiper. A forward collision avoidance complaint states that the rear brake lights don’t illuminate when the pickup slows down on its own. This means that using adaptive cruise control becomes a safety risk because those traveling behind won’t be warned that the Tundra is slowing down.

There are also three recalls that affect the 2021 Tundra, one of which increases the risk of a fire. In September 2021 Toyota issued a recall for 158,489 2018-2021 Tundra vehicles. The issue is that the headlight electrical circuits may power the high and low beams simultaneously. This could overheat the electrical connector and cause a fire.

The other two recalls warn that a power steering gear assembly may leak oil. This is because the assembly may not have been manufactured correctly. The first recall affected 22,462 vehicles, and the second, a further 151.

Additionally, there is a complaint about faulty software in the 2021 Tundra’s instrument panel display. This is the same problem found in 2022 models that have been issued with a recall.

2021 Toyota Tundra Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Unknown Or Other
Electrical System
Exterior Lighting
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings

Problems with the Electrical System

Complaints about the electrical system are varied, with one describing how a 2021 Tundra caught alight while parked. The owner had driven to a shop on “an icy day in Texas” to pick up a part needed for work. He parked, turned the truck off, and went inside. A few minutes later he came out to his truck and “the hazard lights were blinking.” He then noticed the cab of the truck (was) filled with black smoke. He opened the door (and) raised the hood to take off the battery cables. The fire destroyed his dash and all electrical (parts) in the dash. There were no warnings or messages that appeared prior to the fire.

An owner from California states that the “LED lights are loose and rattle and flash all over the place.” He says the problem only affects TRD PRO Tundras with factory Rigid lights, and there is no Toyota-approved repair. While Toyota maintains this is the only vehicle with this problem, the owner’s research indicates that many other Tundra owners have the same problem. His concern is that the problem is so severe, it can result in “Photosensitive Epilepsy seizures and can cause serious injuries or death.” Toyota maintains the problem is due to faulty bezels, which they replaced. But the issue persists. Now, “they state they have updated bezels but no ETA on when (they) will be made available to be replaced.”

Another reported issue is that “the software in the combination meter’s electronic control Instrument Panel LCD display frequently goes blank.” The owner states he’s taken the 2021 Tundra to the dealership at least five times in 18 months. But, “it is yet to be remedied. This is the same issue that the 2022 Tundra has, (and the) 2021 should be included in the recall.

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Windshield and Wiper Problems

An owner from Utah with a 6-month-old 2021 Tundra complains that the windshield material appears to be “extremely prone to failure and possibly not up to NHTSA or federal specifications.” Within 30 days of owning the vehicle, this owner had the windshield repaired after a 1.5-mm sized chip hit it. Five months later, a slightly bigger, 2 mm pebble hit the windshield in a completely different area. Eight hours later, “the same chip is a full length horizontal crack.”

Another owner reports that snow accumulating on the windshield while driving in the snow put stress on the windshield wiper arm. As a result, “The arm stopped working and I later found that the arm stripped out.” He contacted three different dealerships as well as Toyota America, only to be told that they no longer make this wiper arm. “I told Toyota if it rains or snows I can not drive the vehicle due to laws and safety issues. I thought under the Magnuson-Moss act, a manufacturer had to keep parts for items under warranty.”

An owner from Virginia also has wiper problems. While the wiper on the passenger side works, the wiper on the driver’s side doesn’t. It had not been inspected at the time of the complaint.

Problems with the Seats

Loose seats present owners of the 2021 Tundra with another problem.

An owner from Texas states that the seats shift back and forth when he applies the brakes or hits the accelerator pedal. Complaining to two different dealers has achieved nothing.

An owner from Florida also reports that the truck has loose seats. And it’s been like this since the day of purchase. The dealer maintained the problem was the cushion, “which it wasn’t.” They attempted a fix, but it didn’t work. At the next oil change, “they said it was the frame, bottom of seat, and they ordered one.” But, “it’s been on backorder (for) a year now.” After owning the truck for more than 18 months, there is still no resolution. “If an accident occurs, will the seat completely break and fling me out of the vehicle?” Calling the dealership multiple times hasn’t helped. “Now a phone call to Toyota themselves has yielded no resolution” either.

Is Your Tundra a Lemon?

If you think you have a lemon, you don’t have to accept your fate. Every year, auto manufacturers, including Toyota, buy back, replace, or provide cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners. And they have to pay the legal fees for lemon law cases.

So, if you’ve got a problem that recurs or affects the value or use of your 2021 Tundra, contact Lemberg Law. We will assess your case free of charge. Call our Helpline or fill out a contact form.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones
  • Eugene K

    Comment: 2021 Toyota Tundra interment “BRAKE” alert. Scared the crud out of us. Nobody around. Nothing in road. No reason for alert to go off.

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