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2023 Toyota Tacoma's Start-Stop Error Message Signals the Demographic Shift to Minimalist Trucks

After an owner posted an error message on his dashboard, more owners share how their brand new Tacomas are also showing that message. The message in question seems to make these trucks “less fun.”


For the young enthusiast’s mind, having a brand-new truck brig a whole new frontier to experience. Whether it’s using it to tow something, turning it into a pavement princess, or simply using it for work, Tacoma owners want to enjoy their trucks.

Here’s where things get a little grey-ish. The everyday owner isn’t going to go out with his brand new $50k dollar truck and do burnouts like he’s 16. However, maybe for the younger demographic that likes these trucks, it may be the case. Toyota is big on two things: efficiency and safety. Even on their sports car lines, they try to smuggle in some efficiency and safety points like any responsible auto maker would.

So, what’s the problem? If Toyota is focusing on efficiency and safety, should that not suffice the wants of the Tacoma demographic? Unfortunately no. I recently saw an owner of a 2023 Toyota Tacoma post a picture of his dashboard with an error message saying, “Drive-Start control malfunction, see dealer.” That sounds pretty serious right? He asked what this meant and here’s what most people said.

“You pressed the gas and brake pedal at the same time.” Apparently, the computer in the car sees this as an error if you press both pedals at the same time. I did a little more research and the same problem came up with drivers who wanted to do burnouts in their brand new 2023 Toyota Tacoma. Before we get into this topic, I want to first disclaim that Torque News and our reporters do not advocate for reckless driving or malpractice of these cars.

Now this may not be the only reason why you get that message. Kevin Tyrell said, “I had that happen to me brought it to dealership they ordered the part it was fixed the following day.” This could also result in getting your truck undercoated. Most undercoats are a pretty dark film which can get on some parts, thus making the computer think that you are pressing both pedals at the same time.

Owner’s Reactions To 2023 Toyota Tacoma’s “Start-Stop” Error Message Shows That The Demographic Wants a More Minimalist Truck

Interestingly this error message can mean a lot of things. Some owners said it was the entire wiring harness. Some said it was just a fuse. In my professional opinion, I would recommend taking it to the dealer regardless. However now the question stans, should Toyota really be making these trucks that high-tech if owners want a simple yet modern ride?

The answer is no. Toyota knows that the demographic for the Tacoma are people who want a simple yet modern bare bones truck. This means that these high-tech features are not very much liked by owners. One owner even said that he switched back to his 2006 Tacoma with a manual transmission because he didn’t like the way the new ones would yell and beep at him for his driving skills.

By no means is Toyota going to release a truck similar to what consumers really want but I think they should at least consider some sort of trim or package which eliminates all of the unnecessary features that the majority of drivers don’t want. I personally haven’t driven the 2023 Tacoma but from what I have read, what Torque News has written, and what my friends who are owners tell me, it’s a solid truck. The only problem is it feels like a high-tech sedan with a bed instead of a “do it all” pickup.

What do you think? Would you buy the new 2023 Toyota Tacoma if it was a little less “tech-heavy” Let us know in the comments below.

Harutiun Hareyan is reporting Toyota news at Torque News. His automotive interests and vast experience test-riding new cars give his stories a sense of authenticity and unique insights. Follow Harutiun on Twitter at @HareyanHarutiun and on YouTube at Toyota Time for daily Toyota news.