A recall to fix a problem with bumpers on some 2016 and 2017 Toyota Tundra pickups has left new truck buyers waiting to take delivery and owners wondering when a fix might be available.
Toyota Motor Sales issued a truck recall in late January for certain model Tundras built between July 29, 2015 and December 22, 2016 that are all equipped with resin rear step bumpers reinforced at each corner with resin brackets. But the step is susceptible to damage from a collision.
The affected Tundras are mostly models equipped with rear parking sensors, which are primarily the more basic SR and SR5 versions.
While potential damage may not be noticeable from the outside, the weight of a person could cause the step to break away from the truck potentially causing injury, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall notice. The recall affects about 73,000 trucks.
More than a month after Toyota announced it was conducting the recall, the company has yet to provide a fix for the problem. It has instructed dealers to stop selling affected models.
Dealers and customers are both frustrated.
One Tundra owner told Trucks.com that last month after her 2013 Tundra was involved in a collision, her insurance company declared her truck a complete loss.
She went to a dealership to inquire about replacing the lost truck with a 2017 model, but learned there wasn’t a date when a new truck would be available.
Other buyers with trucks already on order have been told by their dealerships that a pickup date is still unconfirmed.
Paul V. Rivera of Kaneohe, Hawaii, said he ordered a $51,000 Tundra Platinum 4×4 in September that was built in early December.
“I finally got my VIN number and it is at the dealership prep center, but (they) can't sell it to me yet due to the recall issue and they can't give me a date on when it's going to get corrected,” Rivera said.
He said the dealer is aware he’s unwilling to purchase anything other than the Platinum grade, so Rivera’s wait for his Tundra is indefinite.
Legal restrictions prevent dealers from selling new vehicles that have been recalled but not repaired, said Victor Vanov, a spokesperson for Toyota.
Such a delay is known in the automotive industry as a stop-sale. Some versions of the Tundra were not recalled and are still available.
Tundra sales are hurting. The pickup already lags its full-size counterparts from General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Ram brand.
Tundra sales fell to 7,234 in February, down 13 percent compared with the same month a year earlier. Meanwhile Ford F-Series pickup sales jumped almost 9 percent to 65,956 in February and Chevrolet Silverado sales soared more than 17 percent to 50,504. Ram sales rose 4.5 percent to 72,815.