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Toyota fixes Tacoma’s most annoying issue for 2016

For 2016, Toyota finally adds what owners have been asking for a long time.

When Mike Swears, Tacoma chief engineer was asked about the new V6 Tacoma, and how different it was from the prior generation he said that it was an all-new truck except for “maybe a seatbelt bracket.” That means the new Tacoma has a new tailgate handle, and the old, non-locking one is no more.

Yes, as crazy as it sounds, we checked with Toyota and no prior Tacoma came with a factory locking tailgate. Since pickup tailgates are removable without tools, this put the Tacoma’s tailgate at risk of theft. As we detailed in our prior story, this led to a cottage industry of aftermarket solutions to this dilemma. Owners have used everything form zip-ties to elaborate power locks mounted in the cabin to get that tailgate to be secure. No more. Toyota confirmed to Torque News today by e-mail that “The new 2016 Tacoma will have locking tailgates as standard equipment on all models.”

A locking tailgate may seem like a very small detail, but it is indeed the small details that move a vehicle from just good to great. Take a look at the image above. If you enlarge it or stare closely you will see that to the left is the rear-view camera eye, and to the right is a silver key-hole.

Now, if Toyota would only fix the lack of a diesel engine Tacoma fans would finally be satisfied.


John Woitinnek (not verified)    June 18, 2015 - 10:30AM

Still haven't quite fixed the appearance. Particularly the ugly rear wheel well. Why does it still face the wrong way? The 1985 styling with a retro feel would be nice. This truck is still hideous.

Scott (not verified)    June 19, 2015 - 8:39PM

In reply to by John Woitinnek (not verified)

As long as Sweers is in charge I have very low expectations .He showed what he was made of with the last Tundra, when Toyota flushes him we will know they are serious.

Tyler (not verified)    June 22, 2015 - 8:12PM

Psst. My 2002 DC limited tailgate came with a lock. Ordered it with the bed extender and you do need tools to remove it.

Luis Morato (not verified)    February 8, 2016 - 8:43PM

They might have fixed the most annoying issue for North America, but for us poor saps in Latin america Toyota has chosen to ignore and continue to discriminate us by NOT including the Tailgate lock, but for the most expensive model! Here we are today buying an expensive truck, compared to the competiton, and yet we find the hard way that a there is a black market for stolen tailgates thriving because of Toyota's Negligence. No support from Toytota dealers either. Came to find out a Tailgate is an ACCESORY item to them!

I guess I should have waited for the Colorado....

Eric (not verified)    March 16, 2016 - 9:41PM

I have a 2016 and I feel like an idiot! I locked my tailgate and I can't find key now. There doesn't seem to be a way to unlock the tailgate from inside cab. I may have to call Toyota for another key.

Nuke (not verified)    August 27, 2020 - 12:33PM

In reply to by Humph (not verified)

I bought a used 2016 Taco TRD and I'm at the dealer right now post sale cause my ignition key doesn't work in my tailgate. They're trying to find a replacement or cut me a new one right now. Evidently there isn't a standard regarding tailgate keys on 2016's.