Dealers Are Refusing Toyota Tundra Trade-Ins Over Engine Recall

Photo: Toyota
Photo: Toyota

We found out why Toyota’s twin-turbo V6s have been grenadeing themselves in 2022-2023 Tundras and Lexus LXs earlier this month, but there’s still no real fix for the issue. Now it seems car dealers are staying away from the once bullet-proof trucks.

A number of against-their-will Tundra owners spoke out about the fact car dealerships around the country are saying no thank you to owners who want to trade in their time-bomb trucks. Pickup Truck and SUV Talk spoke with an owner who tried to dump his Tundra for a 2024 GMC Sierra AT4X, but the dealer – Castle Automotive in McHenry, Illinois – turned down the deal.

Here’s what the dealer said:


“Unfortunately that is not something we are currently interested in taking on trade or purchasing. There have been a few owners on the Carfax but more importantly, there are two severe recalls that do not yet have a remedy,” Jonathan Speaker, Brand Ambassador for the dealer told him via an email shared with us from Pichette.

A forum member had a similar sort of interaction with a dealer when he was trying to trade his Tundra for an older 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser. The deal was going along fine until the dealer found out what he was trying to trade in.

“I called a Toyota dealer late last week and actually spoke to the GM about a used ‘20 Land Cruiser. God as my witness, his response was ‘I’m not interested in buying your Tundra.’ He did recommend I try Carmax, Carvana, and a private sale. I said I would lose trade tax credit that way. But, he wouldn’t budge and stood firm. He had absolutely no interest in my ‘24 Pro built 3/24. I suspect this trend will aggressively get worse in the upcoming days/weeks Tim.”

Apparently the engine recall worries have hit Carvana as well. Another forum member, raylo, wrote about how hard his fairly new truck is being hit with depreciation

I did a quick Carvana on mine yesterday and it was bad... at least for Toyotas... but really no worse than the depreciation one would expect with a Big 3 truck of the same vintage and mileage. Now, I suspect that if I accepted it, which I am not, the Carvana process might catch the recall issue and refuse to complete the deal.

It’s pretty easy to see why dealerships don’t want these trucks. There’s no fix for them right now, so there’s a real risk they could be stuck on dealer lots for months. They’re also required by law to fix all open recalls on certified pre-owned vehicles before selling them, according to Pickup Truck and SUV Talk. Because of that, any dealer that takes a Tundra of LX600 on trade will have to wholesale them to another business interested in taking them on. If that didn’t work, they’d have to sit on them until the recall work was completed. It’s not a good situation.

Of course, owners can try to sell their trucks privately, but considering a quick Google search will tell prospective buyers about the engine issues, it’s not a likely scenario.

Here’s a little more of our previous reporting on the twin-tubo V6 recall from my very handsome colleague, Lawrence Hodge:

In a release from the automaker, it mentions that during production, machining debris may not have been removed from the engine. In affected vehicles, this can cause “potential engine knocking, engine rough running, engine no start and/or a loss of motive power.” Former Jalop José Rodriguez Jr. got Toyota to give more detail of how exactly this engine failure can happen:

The carmaker says the recall applies to models “with a specific V35A engine that contains crankshaft main bearings which allow the crankshaft to rotate within the engine assembly while running. During a specific production period, there is a possibility that engine machining debris of a particular size and amount may not have been cleared from the engine during manufacturing and subsequently contaminated the engine assembly during the production process.”

Toyota goes on to explain more in detail, adding that “...for these engines in the subject vehicles, the pressure on the main bearings due to the engine configuration is such that, if the aforementioned machining debris adheres to the bearings and operation of the engine continues at higher loads over time, failure of the bearings may occur. This can lead to potential engine knocking, engine rough running, engine no start and/or an engine stall. In the subject vehicles, an engine stall while driving leads to a loss of motive power.

All in all, 102,000 Tundras and LX600s are being recalled. Right now, the iForce Max hybrids aren’t covered, but it remains to be seen if they’ll be added.

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