Filed under: Government/Legal , Safety , Toyota , Earnings/Financials The Toyota settlement recently submitted to US District Judge James Selna for approval will cost the company anywhere from $1 billion to $1.4 billion. All to settle the class-action suit brought against it for economic losses stemming from claims of unintended acceleration . This suit only addresses the perceived loss-of-value that Toyota owners and lessees feel they have suffered, alleging their cars were the victims of unintended depreciation even if they did not directly suffer from the alleged cases of unintended/sudden acceleration. This is a separate case than the wrongful death suits brought about by the unintended acceleration brouhaha. When the settlement was announced, this was the overview of its payouts: Toyota will install brake override systems in all 3.25 million vehicles subjected to the floor mat entrapment recall . Another fund of $250 million will compensate current owners whose vehicles are not eligible for the free brake override system. A fund of $250 million will compensate former Toyota owners who sold their cars from September 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010 for lost value. Education grants valued at $30 million will be made to independent academic institutions to further study auto safety and enhance driver education. All 16 million current Toyota owners will be eligible for a customer care plan that warrants certain parts allegedly related to unintended acceleration for three to 10 years. Car and Driver attempts to break down where all that largesse is going, and who’s going to get large off of it.
TORRANCE, Calif., (Dec. 5, 2012) – The Scion FR-S earned recognition today from Car and Driver, the world's largest automotive publication, as part of its “10Best” cars of 2013 . The magazine highlights the best cars for under $80,000 available on showroom floors in January 2013. Scion introduced the FR-S earlier this year to positive industry reviews and consumer excitement. The FR-S shares its spot on the list with the Subaru BRZ.
Filed under: Sedan , Safety , Technology , Toyota , Luxury Automotive News Europe reports that Toyota is set to debut a pair of pre-crash safety systems. The company hopes the tech will help reduce the likelihood of high-speed crashes and accidents caused by pedal misapplication . One of the systems uses millimeter-wave radar to calculate the risk of a collision. Like the Volvo City Safety technology, when the vehicle senses an impending crash, it alerts the driver with both audio and visual cues. A new brake booster can then be activated to help deliver twice the braking force typically available. Toyota also hopes to prevent parking collisions with an additional automatic braking system. Using sonar, the vehicle can detect whether the car is approaching a stationary obstacle too quickly and apply the brakes as necessary. It also features a fail-safe that will automatically slow the vehicle if the driver shifts gears while the accelerator is applied or “abnormal shifting” is detected. Word has it the manufacturer will debut the tech on a “high-end Toyota-brand sedan,” but specifics beyond that are not known. Toyota developing new pre-crash braking aids originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 25 Nov 2012 13:34:00 EST.
Filed under: Safety , Technology , Toyota In recent years, Toyota vehicles have been involved in a number high-profile accidents blamed on ” unintended acceleration .” And whether the root cause of these incidents boils down to driver error or faulty mechanicals, Toyota is working to address the issue. One of two new systems in development at Toyota goes by the name of Intelligent Clearance Sonar. The technology is meant to reduce parking lot collisions by detecting objects out of the driver’s sight. If an imminent collision is detected, the ICS system will automatically hit the brakes, reduce engine power and sound an alarm. Toyota’s other new safety system is Drive-Start Control. According to the automaker, if the system senses that the wrong gear has been selected from Park while the driver is pressing on the accelerator, a warning is flashed on the dashboard and engine output is reduced “to limit a sudden start or acceleration.” There are a number of scenarios where the system might kick in – for example, if a driver bumps into something while reversing, panics and shifts into a forward gear without letting up on the accelerator, DSC would take over. While such research is commendable, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has called for making such systems mandatory in coming years. And more and more automakers are investigating and/or committing to developing electronic failsafes to deal with unintended acceleration. Last month, Nissan announced a camera-based system designed to curb pedal misapplication. Toyota says the systems will be available on future vehicles soon, a development that could give it a leg up on the competition if/when new federal rules are approved.
Toyota and Discovery Education Challenge Teachers and Students to Help Teens Stay Safe Behind the Wheel
Silver Spring, Md.
Toyota Announces Voluntary Recall of Certain Vehicles For The Driver’s Side Power Window Master Switch
TORRANCE, Calif., Oct. 10, 2012 – Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS), today announced that it will conduct a safety recall involving approximately 2.5 million vehicles to inspect and apply special fluorine grease to the driver’s side Power Window Master Switch (PWMS).
Filed under: Coupe , Performance , Scion , Subaru , Toyota The Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S have been struck by a minor gremlin, but the repair is turning into an episode that ends with “Stay Tuned” rather than a definite conclusion. Automotive News reports that a software mapping hiccup can cause the adaptive engine ECU to get out of whack with the engine, which can, in turn, cause rough idling and stalling. Toyota said the issue does “involve the variable valve timing,” but both Subaru and Toyota say the issue is entirely about the software, that the ECU can develop a “handshake issue” with the engine after having an unfavorable ” reaction to normal mechanical variations ” in a small number of cases. The two automakers diverge on the remedy, however. After 100 miles of learning the powertrain and the driver’s driving style, AN reports that the ECU’s mapping is pretty much baked in. If engine operation exceeds the established parameters, at low revs the engine succumbs to uneven idling and stalling as the ECU tries to recalibrate to a new range of tolerances . Toyota has said that if the issue is suffered by a car with less than 100 miles, the ECU should be reflashed, but that cars with more than 100 miles should have their ECUs replaced. Subaru, though, has said that the ECU doesn’t need to be replaced no matter the mileage – a reflash is all that’s required. It appears that some owners who have had the reflash have suffered the problem again. We don’t have any hard numbers on how many of the coupes are afflicted and how many have been fixed, so it’s impossible to know how big or little the issue is.
Filed under: SUV , Japan , Technology , Toyota Buyers stepping into a 2013 Toyota Sequoia can expect to do so without the choice of a 4.6-liter V8. The big, body-on-frame SUV will roll into showrooms with big 5.7-liter V8 as standard equipment, as the smaller engine has been discontinued. With 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque, the iForce 5.7 liter gives the Sequoia a tow rating of up to 7,400 pounds. The six-speed automatic transmission of last year stays on to shuttle power to either a two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive system that boasts a lockable Torsen limited-slip center differential. Those who feel like spending a little extra cash can step up to Platinum trim for a rash of interior niceties. More importantly, the higher trim serves up an Adaptive Variable Suspension, which offers the driver a total of three damping settings. For the first time, the 2013 Sequoia offers back passengers the luxury of a Blu-Ray player, and Toyota claims the SUV is the first production vehicle in the world to offer high-definition rear-seat entertainment. Toyota’s Entune multimedia system is also newly available for 2013. Check out the full press blast below. Continue reading Toyota Sequoia dumps 4.6L V8 for 2013, adds Blu-Ray player Toyota Sequoia dumps 4.6L V8 for 2013, adds Blu-Ray player originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 19 Sep 2012 07:59:00 EST.
Filed under: Technology , Toyota “Intellitouch” is the name Toyota will apparently use to refer to a new electronic control scheme it is developing. That’s according to Car and Driver , which has spotted the name in a new Toyota trademark application. According to the submission, the name refers to “electronic touch sensitive controllers, sold as an integral part of motor vehicles.” C/D speculates that for Toyota to bother developing a brand name, there must be more to the new gadgets than just touchscreen navigation. In fact, the magazine thinks Toyota is gearing up for Intellitouch to compete with Cadillac’s Cue and Ford’s MyFordTouch and their capacitive touch switchgear. The control setup could also be similar to the gesture-based touchpad systems already offered by Audi and shortly, by BMW . Another Toyota trademark filing is for “EBIN,” a wireless charging system for personal electronics. While inductive chargers have been around for a while, several automakers are rushing to include them in upcoming models. General Motors recently trademarked the name, “Dockspot” for its version. Toyota readying Intellitouch touchpad controllers? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 27 Jul 2012 15:30:00 EST.