Toyota studied million-mile Tundra while developing new model

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In 2016, Toyota bought a 2007 Tundra with over a million miles from its original owner. At the time, the Japanese company said it was giving Victor Sheppard a new Tundra in exchange for his million-mile truck to help its engineers gain insight into how various parts had held up during the development of the recently unveiled model. Six years later, Toyota shared insights into the lessons it learned during this process.
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Toyota chief engineer Mike Sweers first looked for components that showed signs of wear. The driver's seat was in good condition, especially considering that Sheppard was 6ft 6" tall and weighed 425 pounds when he hit the million-mile mark, according to the company. The mechanical parts were also solid: the truck achieved a million miles with its original engine and transmission. The two biggest problems found were that the odometer had stopped at 999,999 miles and that the cargo box showed serious wear and tear from years of transportation.
Sweers and his team decided to build the new tundra's bed out of composite material to address this problem. This makes it lighter and stronger, and the rust that can result from scratches, dents and dings is no longer an issue. Toyota torture-tested the bed before releasing it for production; It dropped rocks, cinder blocks and a V8 engine into the back of the tundra and failed to make a dent in the box.
Not all of the improvements Toyota made to the third-generation Tundra are related to durability. The company also improved fuel economy by replacing the last-generation model's V8 with a V6 that's either naturally aspirated, twin-turbocharged or part of a hybrid system, and it upgraded the rear suspension system with coil springs for a more comfortable ride and off the pavement .
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