Recalls and TSBs

2010-12 Toyota Tacoma Audio Distortion – TSB

Toyota released a technical service bulletin (TSB) to address an issue with the stock radio assembly related to audio distortion when playing certain types of music. Do you have this issue?

2010-12  Audio Distortion - TSB

Does your 2010-12 Toyota Tacoma radio distort when playing certain types of music?

The T-SB-0037-13 says, “some 2010 – 2012 model year Tacoma vehicles with Access Cab may exhibit audio distortion, particularly with music containing heavy bass, at higher volume levels, or with Fade set to Rear. An updated radio assembly is now available to address this condition.”

As with most TSBs, this repair is covered under the Toyota Basic Warranty, 36 months or 36,000 whichever occurs first from the truck’s in-service date.

The Fix

  1. First, check the radio to verify the audio distortion issue is present by setting volume to 55 and fade to R4. Then, choose music with heavy bass from any input source.
  2. If the problem occurs, confirm the radio faceplate ID matches one from this list: A518A8, Silver; A518B3, Black.
  3. Next, order a new replacement radio and swap them out.
  4. Lastly, confirm the audio distortion has been fixed.

Even though this is a minor fix for an odd issue, it is nice to see Toyota proactively taking care of its customers.

Does your radio apply to this TSB? Have you had this problem?

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  • mudrock

    Luckily I don’t have this issue with my Tacoma because my truck is a few years earlier than that. My friend has a 2011 Tacoma but he hasn’t had any issues with audio distortion.

  • Somebody

    The new radio will be, of course, just reprogrammed to limit the outputs to within the physical capabilities of the little noise makers up in the ceiling. I.e., not actually a fix, but a cover-up.

    • Tim Esterdahl

      Hmm… Interesting thought! That could very well be the case.


  • Pierre

    My 2010 Toyota Tacoma Access cab’s radio was changed once due to some cutting while on FM station. The work was completed just before the end of the warranty w/o any fee. Unfortunately, after a little while, the new installed radio has done the same thing. Although, this time the dealer couldn’t detect the cutting while I was able. In order to avoid me going to the dealer after and after I simply decided to buy a Pionner at 149.00 to replace my radio!