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We Finally Know Why the Toyota Tundra V6 Keeps Self-Destructing

Owners have been demanding answers to their problems with main bearing failures. Now, Toyota is issuing a recall with an explanation.
Caleb Jacobs

Toyota is recalling more than 100,000 current-gen Tundra pickups and Lexus LX SUVs in North America because machining debris may be loose inside their engines. This applies to certain 2022-2023 Tundra and LX models powered by the relatively new V6 twin-turbo. That engine has been subject to hefty skepticism over its reliability compared to the previous naturally aspirated V8s.

Toyota says the debris could lead to issues including engine knock, rough running, no-start situations, and even sudden loss of power while driving at higher speeds, which can obviously increase the risk of a crash. The recall affects approximately 102,000 Tundra trucks and Lexus LX600 SUVs equipped with the V35A-FTS. Models within the ’22-23 year range, powered by the gas-only 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 are subject to the voluntary recall in North America, where they’re part of the Tundra and LX’s base configuration. The hybrid iForce Max pickups are not included in this recall.

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.”

While the twin-turbo V6’s high internal pressure apparently contributes to the failures, the real problem seems to lie with faulty manufacturing affecting engines built over a specific period. Toyota has not yet determined the fix for the engine debris. Owners of the affected Toyota and Lexus vehicles will be notified of the recall and, presumably, the fix by the end of July 2024.