really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
36,297 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2009 Toyota Tacoma electrical problems

electrical problem

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2009 Toyota Tacoma Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #37

Feb 152016


  • 120,000 miles


Both headlamp assemblies show inner running light/turnsignal lens have bubbling, burning and now the right one has cracked with the inner lens separating. I have checked both bulbs and they are the proper, listed bulbs, 4157na

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #36

Oct 241015


  • 117,000 miles
Entering my complaint as electrical as it involved the door actuator mechanisms and fob for locking and unlocking the door locks - fob gets easily "un programmed" and cannot be reprogrammed. Door actuators are faulty with light duty DC motors that operate the door lock mechanism - the DC motors are prone to carbon build-up inside, etc. Rear doors (and possibly front doors, as well) have interior failure of door exit handle which is a life-safety issue in the event one must exit the vehicle. And, this is a nuisance simply wishing to exit the vehicle when there is no emergency. This is a failed component of not just the Toyota Tacoma, but numerous other Toyota vehicles. I have entered today's date as to when this occurred; however, this vehicle has been having the problem mentioned above for the last two years.

- San Mateo, CA, USA

problem #35

Feb 282014

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 67,000 miles
The contact owns a 2009 Toyota Tacoma. The contact stated that the day time running light system failed which caused the lens to fracture and the bulbs to burn. The turning signals that are connect to the daytime running lights also failed. The contact replaced the daytime running light bulbs several times; however, the failure was not corrected. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The daytime running light system was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 67,000.

- Clarksville , TN, USA

problem #34

Sep 022013

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 93,545 miles


Both left and right dtrl lenses are melted from heat from the bulb, I am worried about an electrical short, or fire. Dealer says it is cosmetic and does not want to replace headlight assemblies since vehicle is out of warranty. I believe this is a safety issue that Toyota motor company should address with urgency.

- Lake City, AR, USA

problem #33

Feb 152014

Tacoma 4-cyl

  • 500 miles
The daytime running lights have melted the lens and the high heat has also cracked and distorted the main head light lens on my 2009 Toyota Tacoma.

- Conyers, GA, USA

problem #32

Jul 032012

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 39,000 miles
The drl (daylight running lights) bulbs were designed to close to the lens cover and the bulb is to hot. It burnt / melted the lens on both the right and left headlights. It leaves a dark spot ( approx 2.5 inches in diameter). It happened when the outside temp was hot (greater than 105 deg F) and the running lights were on (they come on automatically when truck is started). I have looked on line (google search) and a lot of people are experiencing there headlights having a melted / burnt spot on both the right and left sides. The local dealer says there is no fix or recall currently. I have read that some people were getting this problem fixed if the mileage or time was within the warranty. Mine occurred after. I believe this could be a fire concern and the burnt spot is semi blocking the performance of the drl. The drl is so people can see you coming. There needs to be a recall!

- Gilbert, AZ, USA

problem #31

Dec 292013

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 65,000 miles


The day time running lights that also doubles as turn signals are burning a hole through the plastic lens inside the headlights and cracking the lens as well. These are a known issue with Toyota and they put out a T-sb-0129-11 on September 7th, 2011 and called it an "appearance concern". it is also a fire hazard as I don't believe the lenses should be melting.

- Fullerton, CA, USA

problem #30

Jan 312013

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
Airbag warning light on and horn does not work. After researching, learned this is an airbag clock spring (otherwise known as a spiral cable) issue that has a related recall for 2005-2009 Toyota Tacoma under campaign number 12V-092. That recall applies only to 7 channel circuit spiral cables and not the 16 channel ones. The 7 channel circuits are steering wheels without the audio controls, where the 16 channel circuits have steering wheel audio controls. Toyota dealer wants to charge $400 for part, plus labor. Absolutely ridiculous when this is an obvious problem that is occurring regardless of the channel circuit type. My daughter has a 2008 Toyota Tundra with exact same problem.

- Rifle, CO, USA

problem #29

Nov 082013

Tacoma 4WD 4-cyl

  • 83,000 miles
The air bag sensor came on in my '09 Toyota Tacoma. The vehicle was brought to a mechanic and a diagnostic test was run. The diagnosis was a faulty air bag spiral cable. This identical issue forced a recall of 481,000 Tacoma, including '09 vehicles. However, I was told that my truck did not fall within the VIN # database that is covered by the recall. This is resulting in an out of pocket repair costing $500. I find it hardly coincidental the exact same design flaw that affected nearly 500,000 vehicles just popped up in my vehicle. Without spending the $500, my barely 4 year old truck will not pass inspection in the state of MA. I bought a Tacoma based on it's reputation for reliability. Currently I am breaking the bank just to make it legal to drive on the road.

- Springfield, MA, USA

problem #28

Nov 122012

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 70,000 miles
Daytime running light bulbs on both headlight assemblies have burned straight through the orange plastic covers, causing them both to bubble, and crack in half. This is now causing the entire headlight assembly to fog over! bought truck brand new from dealer so these are the original, factory equipped headlamp assemblies. They have never been changed.

- Saint Joseph, MO, USA

problem #27

Sep 012012

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 25,000 miles


Both front marker light lenses are melting and the lamp socket is charred brown. The plastic lens is burnt brown and cracked. After driving for just a half hour, the plastic lens covering the marker light was soft and very hot. The hot marker lights were always on when driving, as as the directional turn signal lights. This a factory design defect. At what temperature will the plastic lens or socket wiring start an electrical fire?...updated 11-06-13

- The Villages, FL, USA

problem #26

Oct 012009

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 150 miles
Without any warning or assistance the Tacoma's radio will, all by itself, randomly change stations, turn itself on/off and increase/decrease the volume. During these occurrences it displays odd characters on it's led screen. When it shuts itself off it's impossible to turn back on until quite sometime later. What's especially disturbing is when it suddenly turns itself on at maximum volume.

- San Diego, CA, USA

problem #25

Oct 152013

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 49,567 miles
My vehicle daytime running lights (drl), are burning through the lenses. The lens in front of the bulb is discolored and seems to be melting and cracking due to overheating. The plastic is dark and looks burned. Because of the defect there is concern for driver safety as there seems to be an obvious fire hazard that has not been addressed by Toyota. This problem exists in both of my front headlights.

- Anderson , SC, USA

problem #24

Aug 262013

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 63,000 miles
Daytime running lights generated enough heat to melt. The interior colored lens on both headlight assemblies, I noticed discoloration and cracks in the colored lens within 1st 12 months. More recently the colored lens began to melt and run, looks as if they were exposed directly to flames. There is also noticeable heat damage to the clear exterior lens cover near the area of the drl. Toyota issued a service bulletin but did not notify owners of the potential fire hazard this may cause. Heat damage has clearly become more severe over time.

- San Ysidro , CA, USA

problem #23

Aug 192013

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 42,000 miles
Daytime running lights (drl) light bulbs along with outside temperatures generated enough heat to cause bubbling and cracked both headlight lenses. This may posed a fire hazard.

- San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #22

Jul 282013

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 30,500 miles
My vehicles daytime running lights (drl), which are located in the headlight assembly, are burning through the lenses. The lens in front of the bulb is discolored and seems to be melting due to overheating. The plastic is dark and looks burned. Because of the defect there is concern for driver safety as there seems to be an obvious fire hazard that has not been addressed by Toyota. This problem exists in both of my front headlights.

- Warner Robins, GA, USA

problem #21

Jul 262013

Tacoma 4-cyl

  • 59,069 miles
Excessive heat from daylight running light bulbs cause my vehicle headlight lenses to slowly burn and crack.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #20

Apr 062011

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 24,811 miles
Headlight housings turn signal/dtrl lens is burned and cracked due to excessive heat from bulb. Apparently from what I have read in forums and other on line sources, Toyota is avoiding this problem by saying no remedy due to factory warranty expired or completely denying it. However, they have made available upgraded replacement parts. I bought this vehicle in March 2011 and noticed this condition right after purchase. It has now worsened to the point they need to be replaced. Vehicle now has 48,381 miles.

- Sarasota, FL, USA

problem #19

Jun 282013

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 54,700 miles
The plastic housing/plastic lens covering the amber daytime running lights and the clear fog lights are burned, melted, cracked and broken. This is not due to any front end collision but due to the extreme heat generated by the original factory-installed light bulbs. The lights are generating so much heat that they are melting, burning and cracking the plastic housing which then breaks under driving stress. Compounding the problem is that there is no way to turn off the daytime running lights when the vehicle is in operation. Either the daytime running lights must be on or the headlights must be on. Therefore, the lights continue to burn the plastic housing. Toyota will not completely cover the cost to repair and replace these defective light systems stating that the vehicle is out of the 3 year warranty. Although the vehicle is one year out of the 3 years manufacturer's warranty this problem did not occur overnight but is the result of 4 years of use. The lens have been progressively getting worse over time. Because the lens are burned, we are concerned that a fire could occur.

- Kenner, LA, USA

problem #18

Feb 152013

Tacoma 6-cyl

  • 41,000 miles
Inside the front left and right headlight assembly is a combination turn signal indicator/ emergency flash indicator/daytime running light. The lense for this combination indicator inside the headlight assembly has melted and affected the integrity of the component. I contacted my local dealership twice and Toyota customer satisfaction by telephone. But they did not offer any additional information for correcting the problem, except for total replacement of the complete assembly at my expense. By the regulations of the federal government with the dot Toyota should comply with part 564 of the safety regulation requirements, and by this should notify owners of the optional replacement parts as a service bullitin with a mailed notification letter. Because of this oversight Toyota has chosen to adapt a stratagy to use an exception to their warranty contract by limiting their responsibility in effect of component exclusions I.e. light bulbs because of Toyota's inabillity to recognise and address this issue with a notification. Many of the dealers and owners who could have corrected the improper matching of the assemblies, before damage to the integrity of the signal indicators required safe operation was lost and Toyota gained considerable financial advantage at the expense of safety.

- Dana Point, CA, USA

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