Toyota in the Hot Seat at Congressional Hearings

Wednesday February 24th, 2010 at 3:22 PM
Posted by: Derek

Aiko Toyoda and Inabi Yashimi swear in at Congressional hearingLawmakers blistered the world’s largest automaker with accusations of greed and insensitivity

After an exchange of pleasantries that included praise from committee members for his willingness to step into a lion’s den, Toyota President and Chief Executive Officer Akio Toyoda, and Yoshimi Inaba, president and chief executive officer, Toyota Motor North America, drew heavy fire from both Democrats and Republicans for the company’s slowness in dealing with safety defects in its autos and trucks that led to deaths and eventually the massive recalls.

“I’m deeply sorry for any accident that Toyota drivers have experienced,” the grandson of the founder of the Japanese auto giant told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He suggested his company’s “priorities became confused” in a quest for growth over the past decade at the expense of safety concerns.

Toyoda told the panel he was “absolutely confident” there was no problem with the electronics of Toyota vehicles and repeated the company’s stance that sudden accelerations were caused by either a sticking gas pedal or a misplaced floor mat. Some outside experts have suggested electronics may be at the root of the problems.

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Toyota Recalls 8,000 Tacoma Trucks

Wednesday February 17th, 2010 at 8:22 AM
Posted by: michael.leroy

2010 Toyota TacomaA broken front drive shaft could end a weekend of four-wheeling prematurely.

GM’s Akio Toyoda voodoo doll must be working, because 8,000 Tacoma pickups are being recalled due to possible cracks in the front drive shaft. The recall is only for the 2010 4WD model. Toyota decided to issue the recall after Dana Holding Corp. issued a report stating up to 34,000 drive shaft components it produced may be defective.

Dana Holding Corp. also supplies drive shaft components to both Ford and Nissan, but the two companies have claimed their trucks are not affected. Toyota has admitted that the cracks in the drive shaft components could lead to a separation of the drive shaft and joint portion.

In a document obtained by Reuters, Toyota has discovered that when the drift shaft fails, it could separate from the joint and hit the road which could potentially cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. This could be a worst case scenario and there are no reports of people being injured as a result of the front drive shaft failing.

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Toyota Recalls 437,000 Priuses, Hybrids Globally

Tuesday February 9th, 2010 at 8:22 AM
Posted by: Derek

2010-Toyota-Prius

TOKYO – Toyota says it is recalling about 437,000 Prius and other hybrid vehicles worldwide to fix brake problems.

“I don’t see Toyota as an infallible company that never makes mistakes,” President Akio Toyoda said at a press conference Tuesday in Tokyo. “We will face up to the facts and correct the problem, putting customers’ safety and convenience first.”

There have been about 200 complaints in Japan and the U.S. about a delay when the brakes in the Prius were pressed in cold conditions and on some bumpy roads. The delay doesn’t indicate a brake failure. The company says the problem can be fixed in 40 minutes with new software that oversees the controls of the antilock brakes.

“Let me assure everyone that we will redouble our commitment to quality as the lifeline of our company,” Toyoda said.

The company is recalling the 2010 Prius gas-electric hybrid — the world’s top-selling hybrid car. The automaker is also recalling two other hybrid models in Japan, the Lexus HS250h sedan, sold in the U.S. and Japan, and the Sai, which is sold only in Japan.

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Global Recall for 2010 Toyota Prius May Be as Early as Tuesday

Monday February 8th, 2010 at 8:22 AM
Posted by: Derek

2010 Toyota Prius

Toyota Motor Corp. is preparing a recall of the Prius hybrid car in Japan as early as Tuesday, followed by similar steps in the United States, Europe and other markets, according to several news agencies, all citing multiple sources

Toyota, which has earned a reputation as the green-vehicle front-runner with the fuel-sipping Prius, has said it is discussing with safety authorities worldwide how to fix a software glitch that delays braking on the model in certain road conditions.

Right now, many Toyota owners are angry, scared and feeling “in the dark” about this massive recall going on. What exactly should you do if you own one of the millions of Toyotas recalled for the floor mat problem or the sticking gas pedal problem?

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Toyota President Apologizes for Global Recall

Friday February 5th, 2010 at 9:22 AM
Posted by: Derek

Toyota logoToyota President Toyoda has faced criticism for his low-profile during the company’s recall crisis

Toyota President Akio Toyoda apologized for safety problems that have left the Japanese carmaker “in crisis” as the group considered a second recall — this time over the brakes on some Prius hybrids.

“Believe me, Toyota cars are safe”, said Toyoda — the grandson of Toyota’s founder — breaking his near-total silence on the recall woes.

Even by Japanese standards — where chief executives routinely make public apologies if their company is in crisis — Akio Toyoda’s comments on Friday were surprising.

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Don't Let a Prius Follow Too Closely Behind You

Wednesday February 3rd, 2010 at 11:22 PM
Posted by: Derek

2010-toyota-priusToyota ordered by Japan to address Prius brake complaints

Toyota Motor Corp., already grappling with recalls totaling 8.1 million vehicles on five continents, has been ordered by Japan’s Ministry of Transportation to investigate a rash of consumer complaints about braking problems in its popular third-generation Prius hybrid vehicle. Specifically the 2010 model as the Japaneses government has ordered Toyota to investigate the car’s braking system.

The Japanese carmaker has received several complaints about braking in the Prius in both Japan and North America since the end of last year. A computerized search for the 2010 Prius on the online data base at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration generated at least 102 complaints against the car.

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Toyota Halts Sale of 8 Models

Wednesday January 27th, 2010 at 9:11 AM
Posted by: Derek

Toyota logo

Updated Jan. 28

Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. is telling dealers to suspend sales of eight models, and halting production of those models, after a recall to correct a problem that could cause the accelerator pedal to stick.

The Japanese automaker said the sales suspension includes the following models:

  • 2005-2010 Avalon
  • 2007-2010 Camry
  • 2007-2010 Tundra
  • 2008-2010 Sequoia
  • 2009-2010 Matrix
  • 2009-2010 RAV4
  • 2009-2010 Corolla
  • 2010 Highlander

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Tommy Kaira tunes 2010 Toyota Prius

Friday January 8th, 2010 at 10:11 AM
Posted by: michael.leroy

Tony Kaira Toyota Prius
JDM tuner gives the plain Prius an aggressive look.

Prius owners looking to hotrod their hybrids should grab their credit card and English to Japanese dictionary. Tommy Kaira, the famous Japanese tuner best known by Americans from Gran Turismo, is now offering a range of performance parts and body kits for the car.

The body kit includes a new front bumper, a rear bumper with diffuser and side skirts. The kit really does manage to improve the rather mundane look of the car and is almost what you would expect if Toyota sold the Prius as a Scion. An odd touch is four exhaust tips which may be going a bit too far.

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CarReview's Best Car Choices of 2009

Monday November 23rd, 2009 at 3:1111 PM
Posted by: ggaillard

New Year 2009-2010 SignpostContributing editors: Greg Gaillard, Alex Kramer, Kurt Gensheimer, Derek Mau

Despite 2008′s desperate measures to help auto manufacturers hold on to business as usual, 2009 brought only radical change leaving many old business practices and brands behind.

We have been spectators in this year of turmoil and watched the industry struggle to reinvent itself.  Two of The Big Three went bankrupt; one emerged with a global partner, the other became lean and focused.  Diesels are now faster than their gasoline counterparts. Nine out of ten EPA mpg champs are hybrids. VW bought Porsche while Porsche was buying VW.  Overall sales were millions of units short of expectations. Manufacturers now pin their hopes on the Chinese market, while Americans pray that the Volt is half as good as it needs to be. Somehow, during all of this turmoil Kia became cool.  What was once unthinkable has happened.

Amidst the mayhem consumer conservatism has redefined value to mean more than MSRP, monthly payments and residuals. Cars had better be good at what they do or people won’t buy them. The industry must meet the new expectation of great cars and real innovation. Tricky marketing and trend analysis will not build the product portfolios of the future.

While the industry was being shaken to its core, 2009 was a banner year for new technologies and remarkable products.  Read on to find out which cars persevered as CarReview’s best choices of 2009

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Posted in Acura, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Dodge, Feature Articles, Ford, Honda, hybrid, Infiniti, Jaguar, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen |Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , || 3 Comments »


Lexus GX 460 Makes Its First Appearance in China at Auto Guangzhou 2009

Wednesday November 18th, 2009 at 5:1111 PM
Posted by: Derek

2010 Lexus GX 460

Tokyo – TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announces it will display 45 concept and production vehicles, in separate Toyota and Lexus brand booths, at the 7th China (Guangzhou) International Automobile Exhibition (also known as Auto Guangzhou 2009), to be held at the Guangzhou International Convention and Exhibition Center from November 23 to 30. The theme for the two booths is “The Environment, Safety, and the Future”.

The Lexus “GX 460”, a midsize SUV, will make its world premiere at a press briefing scheduled for November 23. The SUV is expected to have Toyota’s new 4.6-liter V8, which is rated at 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque in the Toyota Tundra and Sequoia. Also on display for Lexus will be the “ES 240” and other models. The Toyota display will include the new “Crown”, which will go into production and go on sale in China in December this year, the third-generation “Prius” and the “Camry Hybrid”.

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