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177k Toyota Camry Hybrids being recalled for brake issue [UPDATE]

177k Toyota Camry Hybrids being recalled for brake issue [UPDATE]

August 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hybrid , Sedan , Recalls , Safety , Toyota UPDATE : The limited service campaign issued by Toyota, and reported on by Consumer Reports, is actually unchanged from our earlier report in July . New reports led us to believe that there was further action regarding the Camry Hybrid brake fluid reservoir issue, but ultimately the same campaign was at the root of it. We apologize for indicating otherwise. It looks like Consumer Reports might be getting part of what it wants regarding the Toyota Camry Hybrid and its braking system. Toyota is issuing what it calls a limited service campaign, rather than a full recall, covering about 177,500 of the hybrid sedans from the 2007 through 2011 model years because of an issue with the cars’ brake fluid reservoirs. The models have a filter separating two chambers of the brake fluid reservoir, and the part can get clogged over time. If this happens, the fluid level in one of the chambers can get too low and eventually cause the power assist to fail. There are multiple warning lights on the dashboard that illuminate over time if the filter gets obstructed, though. The company is replacing the entire reservoir with an improved unit, and the fix takes about two hours to perform. Consumer Reports recently began asking for a recall on these models for the potentially clogged filters.

177k Toyota Camry Hybrids being recalled for brake issue

177k Toyota Camry Hybrids being recalled for brake issue

August 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hybrid , Sedan , Recalls , Safety , Toyota It looks like Consumer Reports might be getting part of what it wants regarding the Toyota Camry Hybrid and its braking system. Toyota is issuing what it calls a limited service campaign, rather than a full recall, covering about 177,500 of the hybrid sedans from the 2007 through 2011 model years because of an issue with the cars’ brake fluid reservoirs. The models have a filter separating two chambers of the brake fluid reservoir, and the part can get clogged over time. If this happens, the fluid level in one of the chambers can get too low and eventually cause the power assist to fail. There are multiple warning lights on the dashboard that illuminate over time if the filter gets obstructed, though. The company is replacing the entire reservoir with an improved unit, and the fix takes about two hours to perform. Consumer Reports recently began asking for a recall on these models for the potentially clogged filters. The magazine also reported a second issue with the ABS brake actuator that could lead to a difficult to depress brake, but Toyota has increased the warranty on the part to 10 years or 150,000 miles. Toyota spokesperson Cindy Knight explained why this isn’t a full recall to Autoblog via email. “If Toyota determines that an issue presents an ‘unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety,’ per the Safety Act, the company will conduct a safety recall,” she said.

New version of Toyota FT-1 Concept gets racy for Gran Turismo 6

New version of Toyota FT-1 Concept gets racy for Gran Turismo 6

August 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Concept Cars , Videos , Toyota , Toys/Games Gran Turismo 6 has been the preferred marketing springboard for quite a few brands and concept cars since its debut last winter. Specifically the GT Vision concept idea – allowing manufacturers a built-in place to offer up new, original, drivable content – has enticed the likes of Mercedes , Nissan , Volkswagen , Toyota and more to dream big on the digital stage before pulling the sheets back on real concept cars. In fact, Toyota teamed its live reveal of the FT-1 Concept at the Detroit Auto Show with an in-game launch of the car, just this past January. Looking for a second bite at the GT6 apple, Toyota has just released a teaser video for a new, FT-1 Vision GT version of the same concept. The company isn’t giving us much to go on save for the 30-second video, saying only that the concept was penned by Toyota’s Calty Design Research team in California, and that it will “soon be available for download.” By the looks of it, the new FT-1 seems to be more of a racecar than the original, without obvious changes to the basic form. No word on whether or not there’s a physical concept car in the offing at a yet-to-be-named auto show. Stay tuned. Continue reading New version of Toyota FT-1 Concept gets racy for Gran Turismo 6 New version of Toyota FT-1 Concept gets racy for Gran Turismo 6 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 07 Aug 2014 16:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

What’s in a trademark? Sometimes, the next iconic car name

What’s in a trademark? Sometimes, the next iconic car name

August 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Government/Legal , Buick , Chevrolet , Chrysler , Dodge , Ford , GM , Lexus , Toyota The United States Patent and Trademark Office is a treasure trove for auto enthusiasts, especially those who double as conspiracy theorists. Why has Toyota applied to trademark ” Supra ,” the name of one of its legendary sports cars, even though it hasn’t sold one in the United States in 16 years? Why would General Motors continue to register ” Chevelle ” long after one of the most famous American muscle cars hit the end of the road? And what could Chrysler possibly do with the rights to “313,” the area code for Detroit ? There are a lot of possible answers to these questions, since automakers apply for trademarks for a variety of reasons. While a filing can be the first sign of a new model – or the return of an old favorite – moving to secure a trademark can just as easily be a smoke signal. Frequently, it’s just a routine legal procedure to maintain rights to a famous name so it can be used on t-shirts and coffee mugs. The United States Patent and Trademark Office is a treasure trove for auto enthusiasts, especially those who double as conspiracy theorists. Though there’s strong circumstantial evidence Toyota may in fact be working on a Supra-successor, for now the name is simply a filing that’s weaving its way through the federal bureaucracy. Toyota has let the Supra trademark lapse in the past before reapplying for it.

Toyota Sienna Swagger Wagon rides again with Busta Rhymes

Toyota Sienna Swagger Wagon rides again with Busta Rhymes

August 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Minivan/Van , Marketing/Advertising , Videos , Toyota Let’s face it: there are few things less “gangsta” than a minivan (which goes a long way towards explaining why crossovers have been gradually taking their place as the family-hauler of choice across America, but we digress). The point here is not lost on Toyota , which has embraced the uncool image of the minivan with the Swagger Wagon campaign. We first saw the suburban-goes-urban campaign pop up with the introduction of the new Sienna back in 2010. And now that the Sienna’s been updated for 2015 , the campaign is back again, featuring none other than Trevor Tahiem Smith, Jr. himself… better known to most as Busta Rhymes. The decidedly white-bread video spot that follows may make you cringe, but you’ve got to admit that it’s well done, even if it doesn’t have the charm and freshness of the original . Continue reading Toyota Sienna Swagger Wagon rides again with Busta Rhymes Toyota Sienna Swagger Wagon rides again with Busta Rhymes originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 04 Aug 2014 19:06:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

Toyota GT86 CS-R3 rally car presages for-sale customer racecar

Toyota GT86 CS-R3 rally car presages for-sale customer racecar

August 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Motorsports , Coupe , Toyota , Off-Road , Racing Rallying may enjoy a very strong association with all-wheel drive, but it wasn’t so long ago that the World Rally Championship was populated by cars that slipped and slid across gravel and tarmac using rear-wheel drive. One of those was the Toyota Celica . While the little Celica eventually joined the gravel-spewing masses with an all-wheel-drive rally car, Toyota is returning to its rear-drive rally roots with a modified version of the critically acclaimed GT86 . Called the CS-R3, the new model boasts all the necessary changes to turn the diminutive twin of the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ into a car capable of tackling the tough, twisting paths that are so routinely conquered by the world’s rally cars. That means, of course, the CS-R3 has gotten a power bump. Expected output sits between 240 and 250 horsepower, thanks to a new racing exhaust and manifold, as well as other changes. The ECU has been replaced with an item a bit more suited to racing, while the compression ratio has also been adjusted to boost the output. Power continues to travel to the rear wheels, although a six-speed sequential racing box, complete with a racing clutch and a lightweight flywheel, has replaced the GT86′s six-speed manual. The brakes, meanwhile, are 13-inchers in front and 11.8 inches in back on tarmac stages, while gravel stages demand 11.8-inch rotors at all four corners. Regardless of brake disc size, four-piston front calipers and two-piston rears are standard.

Consumer Reports calls on Toyota to recall older Camry Hybrid models

Consumer Reports calls on Toyota to recall older Camry Hybrid models

August 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hybrid , Sedan , Safety , Toyota Consumer Reports is calling on Toyota to issue an official recall of 178,000 Camry Hybrid sedans from model years 2007 to 2011, claiming that a pair of issues affecting the brakes are so dire they demand a more official action than what the company has undertaken so far. The first issue, as CR tells it, relates to a clog in the brake-fluid reservoir filter, which if left untreated could lead to a number of dashboard warning lights. The “front brake assist could be temporarily lost,” too, according to Toyota’s own notice to dealers and owners of affected models. The company has issued a “service campaign” that will fit a new brake-fluid reservoir free of charge to any affected model brought to a dealer by June 30, 2017. The other issue plaguing the fuel-sipping Camrys is being treated via a warranty extension, and focuses on the ABS brake actuator, a particularly expensive (both in terms of parts, at $1,000, and labor, around $3,000) item that is necessary for the anti-lock braking to function. There’s also a related issue with the brake pedal’s “stroke sensor,” which like the actuator can lead to a very difficult-to-depress brake pedal. The warranty extension increases the coverage of the actuator to 10 years or 150,000 miles (whichever comes first). While both the service campaign and the warranty extension were prompted by a number of complaints and an investigation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration , only the 2007 and 2008 models were investigated. Toyota broadened the scope of the issues, including 2009 to 2011 models, when it announced the service campaign and warranty extension. Despite the company’s actions, CR claims that as of this writing, the 2007 and 2008 Camry Hybrids have still managed to rack up 269 complaints, with 14 reported crashes and five injuries.

Toyota prices TRD Pro Tacoma, 4Runner

Toyota prices TRD Pro Tacoma, 4Runner

August 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: SUV , Truck , Toyota , Off-Road Toyota is finally all set to drop more details about the upcoming off-road ready TRD Pro Series models of the 4Runner , Tacoma and Tundra after first revealing them in February . These trucks and SUV might not get the big engine and other mods that desert-stormers like the Ford F-150 Raptor have, but they are still a nice step up over the stock versions. All of the TRD Pro vehicles come as 4×4 models with Bilstein shocks with remote reservoirs in the rear, TRD front springs, skid plates, black wheels, retro-inspired “TOYOTA” badging and TRD-branded floor mats and shift knobs on the inside. They’re available in three colors: Inferno, Attitude Black Metallic and Super White. The Tacoma hits the market first in early August with prices starting at $35,525, plus $885 for delivery, processing, and handling, for an Access Cab V6 with a six-speed manual. Opting for a five-speed automatic brings things up to $37,390 after the destination fee. A Double Cab with a manual goes for $37,320, or $38,300 for the automatic, after the delivery charges. The 4Runner follows in September with just a single trim priced at $41,110 – $41,995 after the charge – for the V6 and five-speed auto. Toyota is holding off on revealing more about the Tundra for now. It’s coming in the fall, but the company isn’t announcing prices yet.

Autoblog editors come clean about their controversial automotive beliefs

Autoblog editors come clean about their controversial automotive beliefs

August 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Etc. , Dodge , Mazda , Smart , Subaru , Toyota , Electric , Diesel We all have controversial opinions. Be it whether you think the Nissan Juke is actually pretty attractive, manual transmissions aren’t always better, or you honestly didn’t hate the Pontiac Aztek , we all harbor some persuasion, be it big or small, for which we catch copious flak upon expression. In recognizing that all of us here at Autoblog harbor at least one viewpoint that stubbornly goes against the grain of popular opinion among auto enthusiasts, we’ve decided to come clean with them right here, proudly speaking our minds in a mature, structured manner – a striking contrast to how these things tend to come up while debated in the office. We’d also like to invite you to share your unpopular and controversial opinions with us and the Autoblog faithful down in Comments. Don’t be ashamed – this is a safe place. Continue reading Autoblog editors come clean about their controversial automotive beliefs Autoblog editors come clean about their controversial automotive beliefs originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

What you missed on 7.31.14

What you missed on 7.31.14

August 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hybrid , Etc. , Crossover , Porsche , Toyota Our controversial automotive beliefs Everyone’s got an opinion, and some of ours are more unfavorable than others. Whether its one staffer’s pro-vote for the Smart Fortwo, or another’s dislike of a certain Hellcat-powered Challenger, these not-so-popular beliefs are often kept off the pages of Autoblog . Until now. Read our confessions, here. Quick Spin: 2015 Porsche Macan S We already gave Porsche’s Macan Turbo a proper shakedown over in Europe, but back at home, west coast editor Michael Harley was able to take the less-powerful, less-expensive Macan out for a proper drive, on- and off-road. Yes, we hit both track and trail in the new baby Porsche. Have a read in our Quick Spin. CR pushes for Camry recall There’s a potential problem with certain Camry Hybrid models from the 2007 to 2011 model years, but Toyota hasn’t issued a recall – yet. The folks at Consumer Reports are urging the Japanese automaker to call back some of these sedans due to problems with the brakes.

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