2022 Toyota Tacoma falters in key crash test

June 7, 2022

The 2022 Toyota Tacoma extended cab pickup earns a marginal rating in the passenger-side small overlap front crash test due to heightened injury risks to the front seat passenger.

The marginal rating applies to vehicles built after October 2021, when Toyota modified the rear leaf springs — arc-shaped steel pieces that stabilize the axle. Vehicles built prior to that date are rated poor. In an earlier test of a vehicle built before the changes, one of the rear leaf springs punctured the fuel tank, resulting in a fire risk and an automatic downgrade.

Toyota’s modifications corrected the fuel-leak problem, but other issues persisted in the more recent test.

The small pickup’s door frame and dashboard intruded into the occupant survival space during the crash, contributing to heightened injury risks to the front seat passenger. Injury measurements taken from the dummy indicated a high risk of injury to the occupant’s right leg and a moderate risk of injury to the left leg. Though the frontal and side curtain airbags performed reasonably well, the dummy’s head also struck the grab handle on the A-pillar on the right side of the windshield.

The Tacoma earns good ratings in five other crashworthiness evaluations — the driver-side small overlap, moderate overlap front, original side, roof strength and head restraint tests.

The standard front crash prevention system earns a superior rating in the vehicle-to-vehicle evaluation but was not tested for pedestrian detection. The optional LED reflector headlights available on higher trims earn a good rating, while the base halogens are rated marginal.

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