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AutoBlog: REPORT: Toyota Tundra finally earns its fifth star... but how?

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Filed under: Truck, Safety, Toyota

2010-toyota-tundra-platinum-crew-630.jpg
2010 Toyota Tundra Platinum Package - click above for high-res gallery

When Toyota crashed the domestic automakers' pickup party with the arrival of the 2007 Tundra, the truck-buying public took notice. Bad news struck the Tundra from the start, though, as heavy rebates were needed to move the new truck, and numerous quality issues were reported. Toyota has since addressed those issues, but one problem has continued to follow the truck: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Tundra a four star rating for front driver and passenger collisions, denoting a 11-20% chance of serious injury in a 35 mph crash. That's one fewer star than the competition from Dodge, Chevy, and Ford, and a big-time marketing disadvantage for Toyota. The four star rating became a bit more puzzling when the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Tundra a Top Safety Pick for 2008. Toyota seemed dumbfounded as to why its truck received a four star rating, but the Japanese automaker may have received some vindication for the 2010 model year.

The star power of the Tundra has finally been amped up for the new model year, as NHTSA is now giving the Double Cab and Crew Max configurations of the truck a five star rating. The regular cab Tundra hasn't been tested. There have been several changes to the 2010 Tundra, including interior and exterior updates, plus a new 310 horsepower 4.6-liter V8 engine. Pickuptrucks.com contacted Toyota to see what structural changes were made to the Tundra to improve its crash test scores, and Toyota reportedly told the website that no structural changes to the trucks frame were made, and no safety enhancements have been added. Interesting.

[source: Pickuptrucks]

REPORT: Toyota Tundra finally earns its fifth star... but how? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Aug 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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I'm a salesperson at a toyota dealer in CA and I know that they added Knee Airbags for both the driver and passenger...

That could be the reason

Makes sense to me.

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All these gazillion airbags are nice for safety, but they're going to seriously speed up the point in time when a vehicle gets considered totalled by insurance. Imagine a 5yr old vehicle in a low speed collision, just enough to set off the airbags. Now the insurance company is looking not only at $2-3k in body repairs, but another couple thousand in airbag replacement and repairs, especially since most modern airbags destroy whatever they are hiding behind when they inflate, and fling crap all over the seats. I'm fine with safety, but I'm a bit leery at the ever increasing costs of minor accidents.

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All these gazillion airbags are nice for safety, but they're going to seriously speed up the point in time when a vehicle gets considered totalled by insurance. Imagine a 5yr old vehicle in a low speed collision, just enough to set off the airbags. Now the insurance company is looking not only at $2-3k in body repairs, but another couple thousand in airbag replacement and repairs, especially since most modern airbags destroy whatever they are hiding behind when they inflate, and fling crap all over the seats. I'm fine with safety, but I'm a bit leery at the ever increasing costs of minor accidents.

No kidding. Though my car was 8 years old when I got into an accident, the airbag alone destroyed my rearview mirror (compass/temp type), windshield, dashboard and gave the interior a bath in residual powder. Though the front would have required another hood, fender, headlight and bumper with a few hours labor to pull a compressed headlight mount out, the interior damage would likely have come to at least half the repair bill. They gave me over $9k for the car to write it off, up from $8k until I produced receipts for recent work.

If that had been a pre-airbag car, for its age even, I'm betting it would have been repaired.

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