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.
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.
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.
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.
Filed under: Recalls , Safety , Hatchback , Pontiac , Toyota The repairs needed for the faulty airbag inflators supplied by Takata continue to expand. Toyota initially announced a recall of 766,300 vehicles equipped with the bad part on June 11 as a followup to a campaign from 2013 . Soon after, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a preliminary evaluation into five automakers who also used the component in their models. Now, NHTSA has released the official announcement of the latest Toyota recall listing 844,277 affected cars, including the newly added 2003-2004 Pontiac Vibe . While NHTSA’s document didn’t include a model-by-model breakdown, General Motors spokesperson Alan Adler estimated to Autoblog that roughly 85,000 Vibes in the US would be covered under the latest recall. Like the rest of the affected models, the airbag inflator could rupture in a crash causing the bag not to work correctly, possibly spraying metal fragments at the occupant. Toyota spokesperson Cindy Knight told Autoblog that the reason for the disparity between the earlier press release and NHTSA document was that Toyota was continuing to comb through VINs to create a list of affected vehicles. The original number was an estimate of that process at the time. Scroll down to the recall report from NHTSA. Continue reading Airbag recall adds 85k Pontiac Vibes to tally Airbag recall adds 85k Pontiac Vibes to tally originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 13 Jun 2014 15:44:00 EST.
Filed under: Car Buying , Acura , Ford , Honda , Hyundai , Subaru , Toyota We often mock Toyota for building boring, soulless cars, but a new study by Consumer Reports suggests that regardless of whether that’s true, the company has some of the best used cars on the market. In its report on used cars from 2004-2013, the Japanese automaker had 11 vehicles among its brands on the list – more than any other automaker. CR breaks the list down by cost and vehicle size, and Toyota has at least one entry at every price point and in nearly every segment. To score a recommendation, a vehicle had to perform well in the magazine’s initial tests and score above-average reliability results. It also tried to only suggest cars with electronic stability control. Of the 28 recommended vehicles, Honda / Acura had the second most mentions at six, and Ford , Hyundai and Subaru managed two each. The Detroit brands also made it to the list, but not in a positive way. Consumer Reports compiled a list of 22 vehicles it wouldn’t recommend because “they have multiple years of much-worse-than-average overall reliability.” General Motors had the most unrecommended models on the list at six, but Chrysler and Ford weren’t far behind, with five cars each from their brands not making the grade. The full list of recommendations is available on CR ‘s website . Toyota tops Consumer Reports best, worst used car values originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Mar 2014 17:14:00 EST.
Filed under: Car Buying , Chevrolet , Ford , Honda , Subaru , Toyota , Tesla According to Consumer Reports , the automotive brands that stand out in the minds of car buyers are, in order: Toyota , Ford , Honda and Chevrolet . This news comes after the magazine polled its readers, asking them to take into account vehicle quality, safety, performance, value, fuel economy, design/style, and technology/innovation – which are the factors that car shoppers are most influenced by. It’s important to note that this award is only about perception. In other words, it’s perceived quality, not actual quality. “Often, perception can be a trailing indicator, reflecting years of good or bad performance in a category, and it can also be influenced by headlines in the media,” said Jeff Bartlett, Consumer Reports deputy automotive editor. The brand that made the biggest jump in perception amongst Consumer Reports readers is Tesla , which posted an impressive 47-point gain to finish in fifth place. Subaru is also notable for finishing in the top 10, despite being one of the smaller manufacturers doing business in the US. Scroll down below for all the details from Consumer Reports , if you’re so inclined. Continue reading Consumer Reports says Toyota, Ford, Honda and Chevy are big winners in brand perception survey Consumer Reports says Toyota, Ford, Honda and Chevy are big winners in brand perception survey originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 05 Feb 2014 06:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
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.
Filed under: Acura , Audi , BMW , Buick , Chrysler , Dodge , Ford , GMC , Honda , Infiniti , Jeep , Lexus , Lincoln , Mazda , Mercedes-Benz , Mini , Nissan , Scion , Subaru , Toyota , Volvo , Ram Consumer Reports has released its annual Auto Reliability Rankings, and surprise of surprises, Japan is dominant. Among brands in 2014, Lexus , Toyota and Acura make up the top three marques, while Mazda , Infiniti , Honda and Subaru sit fifth, sixth, eighth, and tenth, respectively. For those keeping track at home, Japan’s dominance wasn’t complete, though. Audi’s 2014 models helped the German brand jump from eighth to fourth, while Volvo saw a massive, 13-spot improvement, to seventh overall. Even GMC got in on the action, jumping three places, to ninth. Outside of the top 10, America, Europe and Japan saw more mixed results. Scion took the biggest tumble of any brand, falling ten positions to number 11, while Subaru , though still in the top ten, dropped five spots (coincidentally, CR had nothing good to say about Subaru and Toyota’s joint venture, calling the BRZ and Scion FR-S each brand’s least reliable vehicle). Nissan fell nine places to number 22 overall. BMW and Mercedes-Benz each climbed one place, to fifteenth and thirteenth, respectively. The big earners, though, besides Volvo, included Buick , which jumped nine places to number 12.
Filed under: Etc. , Ford , Honda , Toyota It may not be fun, but we all know that slower driving speeds are a good way to maximize fuel economy on the highway. To help prove this point, Consumer Reports did a series of tests to see exactly how much better a vehicle’s fuel economy is at varying speeds. CR used five cars ( Honda Accord four-cylinder, Toyota RAV4 and three different Ford Fusion models), which were each tested at 55, 65 and 75 miles per hour to determine the variations in fuel economy. Not surprisingly, each car surpassed its fuel economy estimates at the slowest speeds. Econ for each also drops off considerably as the speeds increased. Driving the extra 20 mph will knock about an hour off of a 200-mile highway drive, but the test shows that it will also burn an extra two gallons of gas. Calculated out for a 1,000-mile road trip, we see up to 10 gallons of gasoline could be wasted. It would have been interesting to see how a diesel performed in this test, or even how Texas’ new 85-mph toll road plays into this topic. A couple interesting side notes in this tests include the four-cylinder Accord getting the same highway fuel economy at 55 mph as the Fusion Hybrid.