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

Engine & electrical system among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

In the tight race between pickup trucks, the 2021 Toyota Tundra continues to gain popularity among consumers. The automaker claims this truck helps drivers “go the distance,” but customers don’t agree. There are regular complaints about the seats, engine and electrical system that seem to be holding this model back from reaching its true potential.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2021 Toyota Tundra

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

Problems with the Seats

While trucks are meant to get a job done, there’s no reason to be uncomfortable while riding in one. Yet, there have been numerous people discussing how hard it is to sit in the seats.

One such complaint can be found on the Edmunds website. “My boyfriend just bought a brand new (500 miles) Tundra SR5 and I am trying to be supportive because it is a gorgeous truck. White, lifted with black rims. Beautiful. However, we’re in an argument right now because my legs are going numb from sitting in the passenger seat. It has nothing. Not even the lever that lets you raise and lower it. Which, working at Enterprise, I know is on basically every other brand new vehicle. For the money he paid, I should not be sitting here, halfway sliding out of this perfectly horizontal seat, with no way of fixing it. I’m literally looking up seat covers with inserts that will raise my legs up so I won’t be so uncomfortable. Definitely don’t recommend this truck to anyone who wants any kind of bells and whistles, or even someone vertically challenged.”

It turns out that the Tundra wasn’t made of the highest-level of quality from any angle. Service Bulletin #T-SB-0012-21 discusses how paint stains and wrinkles can appear under the Rapgard when it is removed. The wrinkles are also trapping water, which is leading to additional moisture issues of the trunk, roof and hood. With this in mind, it doesn’t appear that the structure of the Tundra can actually “go the distance.”

Problems with the Engine

When it comes to Tundra engines, there have been plenty of them, but not all have been reliable.

On the Tundras.com website, this remark was made. “The Tundra came with many engine options including the 1GR-FE 4.0L V6 the 2UZ-FE 4.7L V8 and the 4.6 and 5.7 UR-FE engines. Most notable issue on the 5.7 is the broken valve springs and the leaking cam towers.”

It turns out that class-action lawsuits have been investigated because of the cam tower and camshaft seal leak situation. Since 2010, Tundra trucks have been built with a defect that causes the seals to wear out sooner than they should. With all these years in play, one would think that Toyota would have fixed the problems by now, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Because of the defects, there are lots of Toyota owners that should be receiving compensation if they can “go the distance.”

Problems with the Electrical System?

It also appears that the 2021 Toyota Tundra models are built with some electrical system defects that need to be discussed.

Another complaint left with Tundras.com states, “Electrical issues including radio issues and issues with aftermarket remote starters.”

Actually, there’s a pretty remarkable electrical system defect causing a recall on Tundra trucks. NHTSA Campaign Number 21V688000 says that more than 158,000 models might have a headlight circuit that powers both the high and low beams at the same time. This defective electrical connector can overheat and lead to a truck fire. At this point, it might not be a terrible thing if the Toyota truck burned into a heap of dust.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Toyota pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Complaint Data

CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateMar 14, 2023
I purchase a bren new tondrua 2021, and sain moment q have the I realize I didn't find the ac drain for condensed wather to drop, and then look around the car a found the cone, yes is cone, because the por desing the ac house star to have electric issue because the m wather, toyo need to make a recol to solve this problem o ac house drain
CategoryElectrical System
DateMar 08, 2023
The software in the combination meter's electronic control instrument panel lcd display frequently goes blank I have taken my vehicle at least 5 times since I bought it 18 months ago as a new vehicle and it is yet to be remedied. This is the same issue that the 2022 thundra has, 2021 should be included in the recall as well to remedy this problem
DateMar 06, 2023
When I was driving and snow accumulating on the windshield put stress on the windshield wiper arm. The arm stopped working and I later found that the arm stripped out. I contacted three different dealerships and toyota america and was told the wiper arm is no longer made ( part #85221-0c021 ). 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 manufacture had to keep parts for items under warranty.
DateDec 09, 2022
The contact owns a 2021 toyota tundra. The contact received notification of nhtsa campaign number: 21v920000 (steering) however, the part to do the recall repair was not yet available. The local dealer was contacted. The contact stated that the manufacturer had exceeded a reasonable amount of time for the recall repair. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue. The contact had not experienced a failure. Parts distribution disconnect.
DateOct 27, 2022
The seats shifts back and forth when brakes applied or hit the accelerator pedal. I've taken to two different dealers n made complaints but not results or repairs have been made.
DateSep 18, 2022
The seat has been loose since I first purchased the truck, first time at the dealer they said it was the cushion which it wasn't and they ordered part and it didn't fix the situation. The next oil change I took it in and they said it was the frame, bottom of seat, and they ordered one and it's been on back order a year now or thereabouts. Now I've owned the truck for over a year and a half and still no resolution. If an accident occurs will the seat completely break and fling me out of the vehicle? Anyhow multiple phone calls to dealership and now a phone call to toyota themselves has yielded no resolution.
DateJun 27, 2022
Vehicle is now 6 months old from original & new purchase. Within 30-days of ownership, (1) approx 1. 5mm in size chip was fully repaired half way up from the front of the windshield. Eight hours ago (1) extremely small pebble, approx 2mm in size, contacted the front windshield 2 inches from lower portion centered in front of the driver and not in the area of the previous repair. Now, the same chip is a full length horizontal crack. Windshield material(s) seem to be extremely prone to failure and possibly not up to nhtsa or federal specifications...
CategoryElectrical System, Exterior Lighting, Structure:body
DateJun 26, 2022
Led lights are loose and rattle and flash all over the place. While driving over 40+mph or going over any bumps on the road . This only affects trd pro tundra's with factory ridgid lights . Toyota does not have a toyota approved repair even after going to dealership multiple times and calling toyota usa . They will not do anything for this safety issue besides offer lemon law options . Toyota states this is the only one with this issue . I have done research and brought this issue on a toyota trd forum and received over 100 complaints of other trd pro tundra owners with the same issue and toyota just gives them the run around . I brought this up to my toyota case manager and declined this is an issue . This can cause photosensitive epilepsy seizures and can cause serious injuries or death. Toyota has already replaced bezels once and issue persist they state they have updated bezel but have no eta on when will be made available to be replaced. Toyota should make a recall on these trd pro tundras . My toyota usa claim number is 220519001173
DateJun 01, 2022
Driver side wiper does not work while passenger side works. Has not been into dealer yet, due for state inspection now, june 2022. No warning, would not work when attempting to leave home.
CategoryForward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
DateFeb 17, 2022
The contact owns a 2021 toyota tundra. The contact stated while driving at various speeds using adaptive cruise control mode, the rear brake lights failed to illuminate whenever the vehicle slowed down independently. The dealer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was informed of failure and the contact was awaiting a call back from the manufacturer. The failure mileage was approximately 3,000. Adaptive cruise control having no brake lights shown when doing it's job. This is a major safety factor and need rear brake lights to avoid accidents from behind.
CategoryElectrical System, Exterior Lighting, Unknown Or Other
DateFeb 05, 2022
Wayne drove the truck to work. It was an icy day in texas so he drove slower than usual. He went to pick up a part (for work) from another shop, he arrived at the shop, turned off the truck and went inside to retrieve the part for work. A few minutes later he came out to his truck and the hazard lights were blinking. He did not turn them on. He then noticed the cab of the truck filled with black smoke, he opened the door, raised the hood to take off the battery cables. The fire destroyed his dash and all electrical in the dash. There were no warnings or messages that appeared prior to the fire.
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateOct 03, 2021

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 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.

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  • 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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