Toyota buys million-mile Tundra to study durability
The 2007-model-year pickup has logged an average of 125,000 miles annually.
Toyota has purchased a Tundra that has logged over a million miles from the original owner.
Victor Sheppard purchased the pickup new for the 2007 model year, one of the first Tundra trucks to roll off the company's factory in San Antonio, Texas. It has since tallied an average of 125,000 miles a year, mostly during long-haul work trips between North Dakota, Wyoming and Virginia.
Notably, the Tundra is still running with its original engine, transmission and paint job, with just a few dents hinting at its history.
"Even the seats look just as they were when I bought it. They're not as clean, of course, but they're not busted or worn out," Sheppard said.
Its pristine condition attracted the attention of Toyota's engineers and manufacturing experts, so the company traded Sheppard a new 2016 Tundra for the million-miler. Dissecting the truck will provide a rare insight into long-term durability of every component, ranging from the engine's moving parts to the chassis and body.
Toyota suggests the disassembly and inspection process could take months, and any findings could take a few years to influence next-generation models.