Filed under: Hatchback , Toyota , Electric 2012 was supposed to be the year the all-electric version of the Toyota / Scion iQ made a splash. Instead, it appears that while it remains technically true that the iQ EV will launch this year, it will be a much, much smaller splash than previously anticipated. According to Reuters , the iQ will have an “extremely limited release.” That’s a kind way to say that the 100 iQ EVs that Reuters says Toyota will now sell in the U.S. and Japan is a much smaller figure than was anticipated. The writing has been on the wall for a while. All the way back in 2009, Toyota hinted that the EV, which can only go 50 miles on a charge, might be destined for car-sharing services , and in 2011, a Toyota spokesperson confirmed the iQ EV would be a ” low-volume vehicle .” Now, the official Toyota line (see below ) is that: Toyota has seen that many customers are not yet willing to compromise on range, and they don’t like the time needed to re-charge the batteries. Moreover, the infrastructure for recharging has not become as widespread as originally anticipated. So, even though Toyota is ready with the iQ EV, we believe a plug-in hybrid solution offers a better way than pure electric for most customer needs in the short- to medium-term, and that is where we will concentrate our commercial activities . Toyota vice chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada tells Reuters , “The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society’s needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge.” Compare this attitude to the one displayed by Daimler , which today has hundreds of Smart Electric Drive vehicles functioning as car-sharing rides through its Car2go program in places like San Diego, CA and Austin, TX. Toyota will still move forward with the launch of the RAV4 EV, and expects to sell around 2,600 of them in the next three years .
Filed under: Car Buying , BMW , Honda , Lexus , Mercedes-Benz , Toyota , Volkswagen , Luxury Perhaps the most frustrating thing about being mired in the 99% is that due to the prevalence of reality-distorting TV and the booming personal security business, we really have no idea what it’s like to be Mitt Romney , Donald Trump or one of the Koch brothers. At least in the olden days, we plebs could point and stare, mouths agape as the robber barons rode through city streets in their jewel-encrusted carriages. But today? Good luck catching a glimpse of Trump’s platinum-dipped Maybach or the plutonium-burning hovercrafts that the Koch’s use to fly to their secret Tea Party Illuminati meetings. What’s that? Rich people buy their cars at dealerships just like we do? Yep, and according to a new study from TrueCar , Mr. and Mrs. Moneybags don’t go in for luxury models nearly as completely as you’d think. TrueCar has released a list of the top 10 most popular cars in the wealthiest zip codes in the U.S.
Filed under: Coupe , Performance , Plants/Manufacturing , Recalls , Scion , Subaru , Toyota The Scion FR-S / Toyota GT86 / Subaru BRZ triplets are being recalled due to an issue not with the car, but with the owner’s manual: pages detailing the operation of the smart airbags contain a misprint. Although it’s classified as a recall, owners don’t need to take their cars to their dealers; Scion and Subaru will be sending the nearly 2,800 owners corrected pages that can be inserted in the manual. If you’d rather have your dealer do the Elmer’s Glue work, they will have corrected pages that they can insesrt in the owner’s manual for you. Two separate issues seem to be affecting the FR-S only, even though it is built on the same line with the BRZ. Toyota issued “tech tips” to dealers to let them know that owners have reported that condensation has been forming inside the taillamp housings. According to an exchange on the FT86Club forum , the coupe’s chief engineer declared that problem fixed after remedying a detail in the production process. Another tech tip regarding body panel issues read, “Some 2013 Scion FR-S vehicles may exhibit a condition where body panel fitting may not meet customer expectations.” It refers to complaints that panels were as much as a quarter-inch out of flush. It isn’t clear how many cars are affected, nor how many owners have formally complainted, but according to a post on TundraHeadquarters.com, Toyota is “looking into it.” Scion FR-S faces teething problems, owner’s manual recall originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Jun 2012 09:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Government/Legal , Toyota Even though Toyota’s unintended acceleration debacle is as ancient as Jurassic fleas for most of us, the California Distric Court of Judge James Selna is still chainsawing through a massive docket of claims. Judge Selna had been considering whether plaintiffs in California, New York and Florida could sue Toyota for economic loss related to the claims of unintended accleraton – the plaintiffs wanted Toyota to reimburse them for the alleged decline in value of their cars. According to a report in Bloomberg , Selna issued a final ruling that the New York and Florida plaintiffs can’t sue for economic loss if they didn’t experience unintended acceleration, or if they didn’t experience “a measurable loss” when selling their cars. California plaintiffs, on the other hand, can sue even if there was no unintended acceleration event or perceived depreciation. The ruling could remove millions of owners from of plaintiffs and make an economic-loss class action lawsuit more difficult, but plaintiffs attorneys have said they’ll try to get the cases tried in New York and Florida courts. However, the ruling doesn’t affect other plaintiffs suing over the same issue in other states. This doesn’t affect the unintended accleration cases, though; three litmus-test trials are scheduled for next year. Judge dismisses most Toyota economic-loss claims from New York, Florida originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 07 May 2012 16:26:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Concept Cars , Budget , Sedan , Hatchback , Toyota , Beijing Motor Show , Design/Style Details on the pair of Dear Qin concepts that Toyota unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show this week are sparse, but they do hint at something interesting coming to every market where the Japanese automaker sells cars. Calling them “global-strategic concepts,” Toyota says the sedan and hatchback versions of the Dear Qin models have “a design aiming to attract more people to the user base.” With that curious statement in mind, the first promotional video for the Dear Qin models (which you can watch by scrolling below ) is both language- and information-free, emphasizing the design of the cars for a global audience. With explosions and lightning, of course. Reports have said that Toyota is working on a new global, front-wheel drive model that is supposed to be launched in 2013. We can imagine these concepts foreshadowing those cars, and hope we get a pair of highly efficient compacts out of the design process. We’ll skip the explosions and lightning, though. Continue reading Toyota Dear Qin hatch, sedan foreshadow new global FWD models [w/video] Toyota Dear Qin hatch, sedan foreshadow new global FWD models [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 24 Apr 2012 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Government/Legal , Safety , Technology , Toyota “We couldn’t find anything, but we’re still blaming the car.” That’s the gist of the statement from a National Academy of Sciences panel headed by New Jersey Institute of Technology physics professor Louis Lanzerotti. The NAS supports U.S. regulators shutting down investigation of Toyota unintended acceleration incidents without finding electronic faults that would cause the behavior. However, at the same time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is planning to call for further oversight and more study to attempt to rule out electronic causes. About the only thing that’s concrete is that crashes happened. To be fair, electronic faults can be tricky to pin down, even with far simpler systems than the networked-computing setups that modern cars universally employ. That’s why event data recording is already part of many automotive systems, along with a high degree of redundancy and fault tolerance. Many carmakers also already program engine management to douse the throttle with brake application in certain situations. Few are more interested in catching intermittent, potentially catastrophic problems than the companies building the cars, and most have already implemented the systems these organs of the state are calling for. Even so, the NAS and NHTSA appear keen to write these tendencies into law.
Filed under: Hybrid , Europe , Technology , Hatchback , Toyota , Electric With the Toyota Prius plug-in set to launch in early 2012 , now’s the perfect time to dive into the interim results from the cars’ trials in London. Here are some details straight from Toyota : Average journey distance has been 7.3 miles, with 59 percent of all journeys covering between 3.1 and 12.4 miles Average speed has been 17.7 miles per hour, with 69 percent of journeys at speeds less than 18.6 mph Initial fuel consumption data indicates performance is 27 percent better than an equivalent diesel Average recharging time is 72 minutes Where drivers have access to a domestic charge point, more frequent recharging occurs Twenty-two percent of drivers have even been able to drive further than the official 12.5-mile range in EV mode. Electric-powered driving so far has accounted for one third of all miles driven in the PHEV demonstration. Working in partnership with EDF Energy, Toyota leased 20 third-generation Prius plug-ins to London-based businesses and organizations to monitor vehicle performance and recharging patterns. Details of journey times, speeds, distances, fuel usage and recharging habits have been logged and analyzed to compile useable data. The three-year trial kicked off last summer, meaning that these interim results are from less than one year of real-world use. Continue reading Toyota says Prius plug-in is “27-percent better than an equivalent diesel” Toyota says Prius plug-in is “27-percent better than an equivalent diesel” originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 26 Jul 2011 10:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Crossover , Toyota , Electric , Quick Spin A Solid Electric CUV, For A Prototype Toyota RAV4 EV – Click above for high-res image gallery Ahh, the joys of driving a prototype vehicle. During the annual Toyota Sustainable Mobility Seminar in San Diego, California this week, Toyota brought in a handful of all-electric RAV4 EVs for us to tool around in, but there were some caveats: The route was decidedly highway-free; when it rained one afternoon, we were told it would be better to wait to drive the cars; and one journalist had a problem with his vehicle that made it sluggish. The biggest asterisk in the whole program, though, was that the RAV4 EVs we were testing are only a pale shadow of what the real RAV4 EVs will be like when Toyota releases them in the first quarter of 2012. Why’s that? Because the current fleet of new RAV4 EVs was an intentional rush job by Toyota’s partner Tesla Motors to get vehicles into auto shows and on the road. A completely separate batch is being built to really get this model ready for production, and it will operate differently than the ones we got to drive this week. Still, we learned a lot about what’s coming by checking out what’s here today. Continue reading Quick Spin: Toyota RAV4 EV … Gallery: Toyota RAV4 EV: Quick Spin Photos copyright (C)2011 Sebastian Blanco / AOL Quick Spin: Toyota RAV4 EV originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Apr 2011 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .