Toyota Announces Voluntary Recall of Certain Vehicles For The Driver’s Side Power Window Master Switch

October 14, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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).

Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ rough idle issues require ECU reflash

Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ rough idle issues require ECU reflash

October 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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.

Toyota bugs out, previews Smart INSECT connected EV concept

Toyota bugs out, previews Smart INSECT connected EV concept

September 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Concept Cars , Technology , Hatchback , Toyota , Electric Like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, the Toyota COMS electric vehicle is becoming the Smart INSECT. Unrelated to Daimler’s Smart brand, the INSECT (yes, it’s an acronym, one that stands for “Information Network Social Electric City Transporter”) is a one-seat electric vehicle that is designed to be connected to its driver and the world. The gullwinged INSECT uses “motion sensors, voice recognition and behavior prediction” to make the driver feel tied to the wheels, as well as to his or her home via the online Toyota Smart Center. The doors can open based on “the movement of the driver’s hand.” The car can also identify faces and “authenticate a driver registered with the vehicle when he or she approaches.” This thing should have antennae. Toyota will first display the INSECT at CEATEC JAPAN 2012 next week (think: Japan’s version of our Consumer Electronics Show ). Earlier reports hinted that Toyota’s then-unnamed small EV would cost around $12,500, but Toyota did not talk about an MSRP in the teaser release issued today. You can find it below . Continue reading Toyota bugs out, previews Smart INSECT connected EV concept Toyota bugs out, previews Smart INSECT connected EV concept originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 28 Sep 2012 16:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

Toyota Sequoia dumps 4.6L V8 for 2013, adds Blu-Ray player

Toyota Sequoia dumps 4.6L V8 for 2013, adds Blu-Ray player

September 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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.

Toyota readying Intellitouch touchpad controllers?

Toyota readying Intellitouch touchpad controllers?

July 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

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.

Toyota dumps four-cylinder Sienna for 2013, details other MY changes

Toyota dumps four-cylinder Sienna for 2013, details other MY changes

July 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Minivan/Van , Toyota The four-cylinder Toyota Sienna is officially a thing of the past. Toyota has opted to ditch the minivan’s entry-level 2.7-liter engine, thereby making the 266-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 standard equipment. The move makes some sense, as the entry-level four cylinder didn’t really manage better fuel economy – the 187-hp powertrain managed 19 miles per gallon city and 24 highway, whereas the V6 gets 18/25. Buyers can look forward to a few small changes for the 2013 model year, including easier-to-clean fabrics on LE trim as well as an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat and four-way power passenger throne. LE guise also delivers three-zone climate control with individual control for the driver, passenger and rear seats. Stepping up to Limited trim will net consumers a standard Blind Spot Monitor, though the tech may also be had on SE and XLE versions as an individual option. Prices have jumped up a bit, starting with the base Sienna at $25,450, or $1,390 more than the 2012 model. Toyota says that on average, prices have increased by around $466 over all trims. The topped-out Sienna all-wheel drive Limited tips the wallet at $41,240 before tacking on any additional options. Check out the press release below .

Judge cautions jurors over Toyota conduct in sudden acceleration case

Judge cautions jurors over Toyota conduct in sudden acceleration case

June 2, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Budget , Sedan , Etc. , Government/Legal , Safety , Toyota Judge James V. Selna has warned jurors in a wrongful death suit about suspicions surrounding Toyota . According to Inside Line, the warning comes tied to the automaker’s conduct during an investigation of a 2008 Camry involved in a fatal crash allegedly caused by unintended acceleration . The single-car accident in Utah claimed the lives of the driver, Pual van Alfen, as well as one other passenger. Two passengers were also injured in the event on November 5, 2010. According to the report, two weeks later, Toyota inspected the sedan without the owner’s presence or consent, including the onboard black box . Judge Selena cautioned jurors that they should treat the testimony of Toyota personnel who participated in the investigation with “greater caution than that of other witnesses.” Plaintiffs argued that without their own lawyers present during the inspection, data from the Event Data Recorder could have been changed or deleted entirely. The Judge said that while there was no evidence that Toyota did so, the fact that the automaker failed to notify the owner of the inspection casts a “cloud of suspicion” over the examination. Judge cautions jurors over Toyota conduct in sudden acceleration case originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 01 Jun 2012 17:59:00 EST.

Carbon monoxide nearly costs this track day racer his life

Carbon monoxide nearly costs this track day racer his life

May 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Motorsports , Coupe , Performance , Europe , Safety , Videos , Toyota There are plenty of dangers to contend with at a track day . High speeds, inexperienced drivers, faulty equipment and foul weather can all play havoc on an otherwise friendly fender-to-fender weekend. We can now add carbon monoxide poisoning to the list of potential threats. One Finnish Toyota MR2 owner took his machine out for a quick sprint at Ahvenisto just outside of Hameenlinna. After a few minutes behind the wheel, the driver begins struggling to keep control of his car, eventually spinning into the infield. He maneuvers back on track and pulls off, and it isn’t long before he blacks out entirely. Later, he would have no recollection of anything after the car hit the grass. He stays unconscious for nearly 11 minutes before rescue workers resort to smashing his passenger window to gain access. By the time he receives medical attention, his blood was packed with 67 percent carbon monoxide. Any longer in the vehicle’s cabin and the day very well could have been his last.

Google allowed to test self-driving car on Nevada public streets

Google allowed to test self-driving car on Nevada public streets

May 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hybrid , Etc. , Safety , Technology , Hatchback , Toyota Nevada has officially granted Google a license to test autonomous vehicles on public streets. The tech giant underwent demonstrations in both Las Vegas and Carson City to prove its vehicles are as safe or safer than those piloted by mere humans. The state requires two people to be in the test vehicles at all times, including at one occupant in the driver’s seat and another monitoring the vehicle via an onboard computer. If anything goes wrong, the human “driver” can take over by simply applying the brakes or taking hold of the steering wheel. As of right now, Google has only applied to license three vehicles. Each one will carry a red license plate with an infinity symbol. According to Bruce Breslow, Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles director, vehicles with autonomous capability could be on the road within three to five years. When that happens, the machines will wear green plates. Google allowed to test self-driving car on Nevada public streets originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 09 May 2012 18:00:00 EST.

Scion FR-S convertible coming by early 2014

Scion FR-S convertible coming by early 2014

May 9, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Convertible , Performance , Scion , Toyota With an epic chassis and the lowest center of gravity in the business, there’s plenty for enthusiast to love about the Scion FR-S . Except, that is, for those who prefer to take their nimble, affordable sports cars with the roof down. Their choices are rather limited in this price category to the Mazda MX-5 and Ford Mustang , but if the latest reports prove accurate, the FR-S – which is, of course, virtually identical to the Subaru BRZ and sold overseas as the Toyota GT 86 – is preparing to throw its hat in the ring, as well. Long rumored, a convertible version of the jointly-developed “Toyobaru” coupe could stand to boost sales figures and help the bean-counters justify the expenditure on the new platform. However while the speedster concept recently showcased at Long Beach lost its rear seats (along with most of its windshield), Car and Driver predicts that the FR-S convertible will keep the auxiliary pair in the back – though the addition of a folding roof mechanism would likely mean that would come at the expense of most of the trunk room. We’re told to expect the FR-S convertible to arrive sometime late in 2013 or early in 2014, with a price tag that would tack a few grand onto the coupe’s $25,000 MSRP. Look for the same 2.0-liter, 200-horsepower boxer four to carry over with a choice of six-speed transmissions in either manual or automatic configurations. Beyond that, Toyota may be considering basing a larger four-door sedan and coupe off the new platform, which could stand to make the money men back at headquarters – to say nothing of the enthusiasts – even more happy. Scion FR-S convertible coming by early 2014 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 08 May 2012 15:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .

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