Toyota Tundra recalled over fire-prone headlamps

A faulty circuit is being blamed -- the safety campaign covers nearly 160,000 full-size trucks from the 2018-2021 model years.

Chris Paukert Former executive editor / Cars
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015. Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.
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2020 Toyota Tundra
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2020 Toyota Tundra

If your Tundra isn't equipped with halogen headlamps, fear not. This recall isn't for you.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

Toyota is recalling 158,489 full-size Tundra pickup trucks over headlamps that could trigger an electrical fire. The recall covers select 2018-2021 model-year trucks. According to the automaker's filing with NHTSA, an incorrectly designed electrical circuit can result in everything from inoperable headlamps to fires due to overheating.

Vehicles not fitted with halogen headlamps are unaffected by this recall campaign.

According to the filing (PDF), a problem can occur when the low beams and high beams are operated simultaneously, a condition made possible by the faulty circuit. When the high beams are "subjected to repeated extended use," especially when the vehicle is parked or driving at low speeds, there may not be adequate airflow to cool the halogen lights. This could lead to the wiring insulation and bulb connector melting. If left unattended, the resulting open headlamp circuit may trigger a fire that could "propagate to other parts of the vehicle."

Toyota is aware of 18 incidents, six of which have resulted in fires.

Toyota dealers will inspect and update the vehicle's engine wiring harness, the headlamp connector and bulb, as well as the headlamp assembly as necessary. All repairs will be carried out free of charge. Tundra owners who have already paid for related headlamp fixes will be eligible for reimbursement.

The campaign does not appear to be related to a July 2020 recall of 184,000 Tundra models from the 2018-2020 model years over dim blinkers.

Toyota has announced it will reveal its next-generation Tundra full-size pickup on Sept. 20.

2022 Toyota Tundra teasers give a glimpse of what's to come

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