Filed under: Hybrid , Crossover , Toyota , First Drives Midsize crossovers like the Toyota Highlander tend to play a thankless role in the life of today’s modern family. That’s really too bad. With the ability to hold several hyperactive kids and tons of cargo while keeping everyone safe and comfortable in all kinds of climate conditions day in and day out, they’re true heroes in the lives of hundreds of thousands of families across the country. Yet their car-apathetic owners often immediately forget about them as soon as their work is done. And nearly all midsize crossovers are thoroughly ignored by enthusiasts whose eyes begin to glaze over at first mention of the phrase “third row.” Toyota is looking to soften the blow somewhat by giving its midsize crossover, the Highlander, a big redesign for the 2014 model year. With a bold new look, updated suspension and a refreshed interior focused on comfort and convenience, Toyota aims to make the Highlander sportier to drive and more striking in appearance, because, as the marketing team explains, “families are going places and they want to get there in style.” So has the Highlander finally ditched the dull and become something truly desirable to own without sacrificing its heroic nature? I headed to Carmel, CA for some seat time along the gorgeous Pacific Coast Highway to find out. Continue reading 2014 Toyota Highlander 2014 Toyota Highlander originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 17 Dec 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Government/Legal , Safety , Technology , Lexus , Toyota So far, the lawsuits brought forth against Toyota for unintended acceleration have gone both ways: the automaker was found not at fault in a 2009 California crash and liable for a 2007 crash in Oklahoma . Both cases involved a Camry and resulted in fatalities. With a big chunk of these UA cases (around 200) set to his the docket of US District Judge James V. Selna in Santa Ana, California, Bloomberg is reporting that the judge has halted the lawsuits until March after Toyota and its lawyers have had extra time to try and settle the cases. According to the article, Toyota is looking to take care of the cases out of court with an “intensive settlement process.” Having already paid out $1.6 billion in “economic loss” suits , this latest settlement process is aimed at the wrongful death and personal injury cases allegedly associated with unintended acceleration. A hearing for the settlements will be held on January 14 with conferences on the matter commencing in February. There is no word as to when lawsuits may start back up if settlements can’t be agreed upon. Judge halts Toyota unintended acceleration cases, triggers time for settlement negotiations originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 16 Dec 2013 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Plant processes, such as painting vehicles, require very pure H 2 0. Typically 25 percent of the water coming into a facility doesn’t make the cut. But by implementing a system called reverse osmosis that separates impurities before the manufacturing process, Toyota has increased usable water from 75 to 90 percent at several of its plants. Let’s hear it for not going with the flow!
Dashing through the snow in a 270-horse all-new Highlander.
Dec. 12, 2013 –
TORRANCE, Calif., (Dec. 2, 2013)
Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota , Australia With Ford and General Motors both announcing an end to production in Australia , the country’s auto industry is in a bad way. With the exit of two big players, there’s increased concern that a third Australian manufacturer, Toyota , will be forced out, as well. “We are saddened to learn of GM Holden’s decision. This will place unprecedented pressure on the local supplier network and our ability to build cars in Australia,” Toyota Australia said in a statement. The GM closure of Holden production will be the direct end to 2,900 jobs, but will also force a dramatic reduction in the size of the country’s supplier network, as there will simply be fewer cars to build. In the same statement, Toyota Australia said it would work with suppliers and local government to figure out whether continuing production Down Under was even feasible. According to Automotive News , a representative for the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union told reporters it was “highly likely” that Toyota would also close up shop within the next few years. Toyota fears supplier pressure in Australia with GM pull out originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 11 Dec 2013 13:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Budget , Sedan , Safety , Toyota Many Toyota vehicles haven’t been performing well in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s ( IIHS ) small overlap frontal crash test, and the Camry is one of them. The 2012 and 2013 Camry both received “Poor” ratings, IIHS’ lowest rating, in the test, which spurred Consumer Reports to take the car off its “Recommended” list. In response to the low ratings in the small overlap frontal test, and in a bid to maintain its best-seller status, Toyota will make changes to the Camry to improve its IIHS safety rating and to enhance its design, The Detroit News reports . The Camry performed well in the moderate overlap frontal, side, roof strength and head restraints and seats crash tests, receiving “Good” ratings, IIHS’ highest rating, in all four tests. That was enough for IIHS to award it a Top Safety Pick rating, just not TSP+. Bill Fay, head of Toyota’s US division, reportedly says, “It’s still a five-star car. It still does very well in all the IIHS tests. It did not in [the small overlap frontal crash test], and we’re busy making the necessary adjustments so that we can address that.” Most Toyota models haven’t been put through the small overlap frontal test, but those that have haven’t received better than a “Marginal” rating, IIHS’ third-best rating. The Corolla received a “Marginal” rating , while the midsize Prius V , along with the Camry, earned “Poor” ratings . The RAV4 compact crossover also earned a “Poor” rating in the test.