There's A Toyota Tacoma Key Shortage

Trucks / 8 Comments

Not the ideal situation but far from terrible.

Toyota is perhaps the only automaker that hasn't greatly suffered from the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage. But this doesn't mean it's 100 percent immune. These chips are required for a long list of vehicle systems, such as Bluetooth, navigation, and even windshield wiper control. But there's another semi-critical component not everyone is aware of: keys. Not the old school standard car key, of course, but rather remote keyless entry keyfob, and that's the problem afflicting the 2021 Toyota Tacoma.

CarsDirect got a hold of a recent letter sent to fleet customers by the automaker informing them that Tacoma built between January 20 and March 15 of this year will come with one keyless entry unit and one standard key. Normally, Tacomas come with two of the former. The letter specifically pins the blame "due to the chip shortage." That's not entirely correct.

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Members of the Tacoma World truck forum have managed to uncover the real source: a fire at a Tier 2 supplier. An image from a letter notifying dealers about the fire made its way to the forum, and it states the fire has caused enough damage to push back a "full recovery" until sometime this summer. Considering Detroit truck makers have no choice but to initiate factory downtime and have even built some Chevy Silverados, for example, without a fuel management module all because of a lack of those crucial chips, the Tacoma is getting off lightly.

Furthermore, Toyota already has a plan in place to supply a second remote to buyers at a later date. Toyota hasn't confirmed these plans and refused to elaborate further.

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Bear in mind that finding a new or high-quality used Tacoma these days is becoming more difficult. Demand for the mid-size truck has never been higher and dealers can't keep inventory in stock for long. It's not exactly a bad problem to have though it still causes understandable buyer frustration. Toyota has since eliminated Tacoma incentives in certain parts of the country.

But why is Toyota not suffering a semiconductor chip shortage? Because it learned several harsh lessons a decade ago following the nuclear meltdown disaster at its Fukushima nuclear power plant following the deadly tsunami. One key takeaway was to stockpile critical components, such as these chips, as future insurance.

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Source Credits: CarsDirect Tacoma World

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