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Toyota dominates Consumer Reports annual Top Picks list

Toyota dominates Consumer Reports annual Top Picks list

February 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Etc. , Toyota Two years after Consumer Reports smacked Toyota by pulling its coveted Recommended label from the Japanese automaker’s vehicles in the wake of safety concerns , the venerable consumer products testing magazine has slipped back into its comfortable role of being one of Toyota’s biggest fans. In announcing its annual Top Picks list, CR lauded five Toyota models as best-in-class, meaning the once beleaguered brand captured fully half of the category awards. The five triumphant Toyota models included the Camry Hybrid (hybrid), RAV4 (small SUV), Sienna V6 (family hauler), Prius (green car), and Highlander (Family SUV). It is the first time since 2003 that a single automaker has scored five class awards. Honda , the last automaker to do so, did not land a single vehicle on the list for the second time in three years. Other vehicles landing a spot on the list include the Ford Mustang (sporty car), Hyundai Sonata (affordable family sedan), Infiniti G (sports sedan), Subaru Impreza (small car), and Chevrolet Avalanche (pickup truck). CR says it evaluates vehicles for their road test performance, as well as reliability and safety, requiring that winners rank at least near the top of their category on the organization’s overall road test scores while having average or better reliability on reader surveys and performing “well” on crash tests. Click past the jump to read the full press release. Continue reading Toyota dominates Consumer Reports annual Top Picks list Toyota dominates Consumer Reports annual Top Picks list originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 29 Feb 2012 11:30:00 EST.

Lexus Launches New Facebook Page with Cover Photo and Timeline

February 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

TORRANCE, Calif. (Feb. 29, 2012)—Today, Lexus is among a small group of brands to unveil a new Facebook

Toyota Confirms Prius Plug-In’s Eligibility for an Additional State of California Consumer Incentive and Its EPA Mileage Rating

February 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

TORRANCE, Calif., February 23, 2012 – As the 2012 Prius Plug-in models begin to arrive at dealerships, Toyota Motor Sales, Inc. announces that it has been approved for the State of California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Program (CVRP).

New Discovery Documentary Examines Safe Driving For All Ages

February 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Silver Spring, Md. – February 24, 2012 – Discovery Channel and Discovery Education, in partnership with Toyota, present LIFE BEHIND THE WHEEL , airing Saturday, March 3 at 8am e/p, a comprehensive look at safe driving habits from generation to generation.

NHTSA investigating side airbag problems

NHTSA investigating side airbag problems

February 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Etc. , Government/Legal , Safety , Chrysler , Ford , GM , Honda , Kia , Nissan , Subaru , Toyota The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a number of vehicles for potentially faulty side airbags , according to The Detroit News . The airbags may have been manufactured with an ineffective mix of inflation gasses, which could leave the bags flat in the event of a collision. The defective hardware has found its way into models from Toyota , Honda , Subaru and Nissan , and has resulted in the recall of around 2,700 units so far. If NHTSA finds the defective airbags in other vehicles, that number could swell substantially. The defective airbag inflators were manufactured by a Autoliv, a Swedish supplier. According to the report, Autoliv shipped a total of 10,500 faulty inflators to manufacturers as well as two other airbag makers. Chrysler , Ford , General Motors , Kia and Suzuki all purchased the defective parts, though it’s unclear exactly which models were equipped with the Autoliv pieces. Ford, GM and Chrysler have all said their airbag inflators work differently than those used by other automakers. The companies haven’t seen any failures in extensive testing.

Toyota releases new FT-Bh teasers ahead of Geneva

Toyota releases new FT-Bh teasers ahead of Geneva

February 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Concept Cars , Hybrid , Geneva Motor Show , Etc. , Toyota Toyota has let slip a few additional teasers for the company’s FT-Bh concept headed to the Geneva Motor Show in March. As you may recall, the vehicle is an engineering study designed to evaluate what kind of emission reductions can be accomplished in the city car segment without resorting to exotic materials or science-fiction drivetrains. Toyota says the concept emits around 50 percent less CO2 than your run-of-the-mill supermini thanks in part to the fact that it tips the scales at a feathery 1,763 pounds. The hybrid’s aerodynamic shape and efficient powertrain also contribute to the reduction. While the FT-Bh isn’t headed to production any time soon, there’s a good chance some of the vehicle’s tricks may show up on consumer models in the near future. Hit the jump to check out a short teaser video and the press release, and be sure to stay tuned for our live Geneva Motor Show coverage. Continue reading Toyota releases new FT-Bh teasers ahead of Geneva Toyota releases new FT-Bh teasers ahead of Geneva originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 22 Feb 2012 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

Paice drags Hyundai, Kia into long-running hybrid patent fight with Toyota

Paice drags Hyundai, Kia into long-running hybrid patent fight with Toyota

February 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Government/Legal , Technology , Hyundai , Kia , Toyota With all the news coming out recently about the small claims lawsuit over the Honda Civic Hybrid , readers may have forgotten the name behind a long-running legal issue over Toyota’s hybrid system: Paice . The latest development is that Paice and the Abell Foundation (an investor in Paice) have sued Hyundai and Kia over the gas-electric technology used in the Optima and Sonata hybrids (pictured), which shares some parts with Paice says infringes its patents, just as it says Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive does. Read up on the details of Alex Severinsky’s story here . According to Automotive News , Paice claims that Hyundai and Kia should have known that Toyota was dealing with legal issues – especially since Paice has been contacting Hyundai about the issue – and says that the Korean automakers are infringing upon three patents that Paice owns. Toyota and Paice settled their long-looming hybrid patent infringement case in 2010 after eight years, during which time the courts routinely rejected Toyota’s request to dismiss the case. Toyota eventually paid royalties to Paice for the Prius , Highlander Hybrid and Lexus RX400h models it sold. Paice drags Hyundai, Kia into long-running hybrid patent fight with Toyota originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 21 Feb 2012 10:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

Toyota Belgium offering adventurous location-based RAV4 discounts

Toyota Belgium offering adventurous location-based RAV4 discounts

February 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Etc. , Europe , Marketing/Advertising , Videos , Crossover , Toyota Toyota Belgium has just launched a new campaign for the Toyota RAV4 Black Edition that allows participants to earn discounts for the vehicle based on their location. Smartphone users download the RAV4 Adventure Discount App, travel to a so-called adventurous location within Belgium and sign in with the application. The app then calculates a discount based on just how daring you are. While far-flung wilderness locations are an obvious choice for big discounts, Toyota has hinted there are plenty of adventurous spots in city locales as well. The campaign seems pretty brilliant to us, though we have to wonder how many RAV4 buyers will be willing to cover hill and dale in pursuit of a few extra hundred euros off of their bottom line. So far, it appears the app and the discounts are only good in Belgium, though it wouldn’t surprise us if Toyota used a similar marketing ploy in other markets. Hit the jump to check out an ad for the app after the jump, complete with a mustachioed woodsman. Continue reading Toyota Belgium offering adventurous location-based RAV4 discounts Toyota Belgium offering adventurous location-based RAV4 discounts originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 21 Feb 2012 16:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .

Power-Packed Lexus Exhibit Bound for 2012 Chicago Auto Show

February 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

CHICAGO, Ill., January 30, 2012 – In line with its new brand attitude, Lexus is looking to make a ‘super’ impression on Chicagoans at this year’s 2012 Chicago Auto Show.

University study shows recalls have hardly hurt Toyota

University study shows recalls have hardly hurt Toyota

February 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Etc. , Recalls , Safety , Toyota If you think Toyota is still reeling from negative opinions stirred up by the company’s rash of recalls in 2009, North Carolina State University has some news for you. According to a new study conducted by researchers at the institution, the recalls had “little to no impact” on how buyers see the Japanese automaker. Robert Hammond, an assistant professor of economics at NCSU, says the research specifically looked at the used car market to negate the impact of outside factors like incentives, marketing campaigns and models not associated with the recall to begin with. The idea was that examining average prices of models affected by recalls associated with sudden acceleration would give researchers an idea of how willing buyers were to pay for the vehicles. Overall, used cars covered by the recall campaigns saw their price decline by a mere two percent. The figure is within the statistical margin of error for the study. So, what’s behind the slow in Toyota sales? Despite an abundance of fleet sales last month that saw the company’s figures swell by 7.5 percent over January 2011, Toyota still fell well behind the industry average. With production back on track after last year’s earthquake tragedy, the company may have some explaining to do.

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