We purchased the Tacoma (22 miles) the end of March 2014. Noticed vibrations at highway speeds, been back to the dealer 7+ time (they only documented 5). The dealer aired the tires, balanced the tires, balanced them again, road force balanced them twice and tried a different set of wheels and tires.
On our own, we had the tires replaced, driveshaft balnced/trued and a host of other adjustments and tweaks.. nothing changed the vibration felt in the cab, floor, doors and seats.
Toyota calls it a characteristic, they also call the slow speed shudder the same thing, a characteristic, only there is no "fix" for the high speed vibration.
Anyway, back and forth with the dealer (Toyota of Murfreesboro, TN.), then back and forth with Toyota Corp, no satisfaction and they both were terrible to deal with. Close to 1,000 miles driving back and forth to the dealer and mechanics/specialists.
On to dealing with NCDS (National Center for Dispute Settlements) to gather information and schedule the arbitration. The hearing was held at the selling dealer, Toyota sent a regional GM, Dirk Hammersmith. The dealer had their service manager sit in as well. We documented every phone call, email and visit to anybody regarding the truck, we thought we were well prepared. Dirk spent most of his time stating how all manufactures build thousands of vehicles every year and they all have different "characteristics", some are addressed/fixed, some are within engineered specifications and left as is.
He then spent several minutes discrediting a Toyota service manager that sent me an email stating the vibration is a known issue and there is no fix for it according to Toyota. And another service Toyota service tech that "really wasn't sure what kind of vibration I was referring to", even though he accompanied me on several test drives during this process.
We received the "verdict" today, our claim was denied... seems that everybody is in agreement with Toyota. as long as nobody calls the vibration a problem/issue/manufacturing defect and DOES call it a characteristic, it's totally acceptable!
I've talked to a couple of local Tacoma owners, they have felt the high speed (45/75mph) too. The dealer told them, after re balancing the tires a couple times.. that the tires are not the greatest, difficult to get perfectly balanced. The dealer told them to run the tires till it's time to replace them, a new set of will smooth everything out.
Anybody else experiencing any vibrations at 45 mph and then intensifies around 75 mph?
Trying to find an attorney (we contacted over 40 firms) that is willing to take a LL case in TN is a huge waste of time. Apparently TN is pro business, not pro consumer (or pro employee either) so the odds of winning this type of case is not good. The attorney also informed me that Toyota will drag the process out, for years in some cases and the consumer usually gives up and the firm gets nothing (fee reversal, no win-no pay) such is the world of big business.
We have tried new tires, different wheels and tires, balancing and truing the 2 piece drive shaft and installing a custom made 1 piece aluminum drive shaft too. The tires have all been road forced balanced with the proper adapters and equipment.
The TSB for low speed vibration was installed (mine did not have it, but in some cases the mid speed vibe was eliminated) and caused it to vibrate at around 25mph. The dealer re-installed the original springs. and most of the low speed vibration is gone..
The vibration at 45 mph and the high speed vibration 70 mph on up past 80 mph remains.
I am taking it to a different Toyota dealer Monday, he does know the history and has spoken to the Toyota field service tech that originally ruled that this vibration is a characteristic of the truck. So he's not really sure if they can help either, not unless they feel it's unreasonably bad.
The other approach we are going to take is speaking with the lender, maybe they'll do something... I don't know.
Everyplace I take it, tire store, alignment shop, transmission shop, suspension shop... they all say it's a good looking truck, then they go for a ride and the vibrations start, then it's they say "this is a damn shame, I can't believe Toyota is telling you this is normal for a Tacoma to shake like this!" So it' not just me that's taken back by Toyota's decision to call it a characteristic.