Filed under: Etc. , Marketing/Advertising , Toyota Ever wonder where automakers get the names for their cars? You’re not alone. The sitcom Seinfeld opened Episode 94 – the one where George Costanza buys a Chrysler LeBaron instead of a Volvo – with a bit about nameplates like Integra, Supra and Impreza. Toyota , clearly, is not exempt from choosing evocative but enigmatic names for its models, and now the Japanese automaker is taking us through the etymology of some of its nameplates. Names like Supra may require no clarification, but what about Camry ? That comes from the Japanese word kanmuri for Crown (which is, incidentally, the name of another Toyota sedan). Yaris ? According to the company, it’s “an amalgamation of words from Greek mythology and German. In Greek mythology, ‘Charis’ was a symbol of beauty and elegance.
Filed under: Recalls , Safety , Lexus , Toyota Toyota is re-notifying owners and expanding its Takata airbag inflator recall for some regions. The renewed campaign covers 247,000 examples of the Toyota Corolla , Matrix , Sequoia , Tundra and Lexus SC430 that are located in southern Florida, along the Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, the US Virgin Islands, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa. All of the models come from the 2001-2004 model years and have potentially faulty Takata-made inflators on the front passenger side. According to the company, testing shows the problem warrants “immediate action,” and its press release says, “this action intensifies Toyota’s efforts to reach customers and remedy previously recalled vehicles, and a small number of newly included vehicles.” According to Toyota, it submitted some recalled inflators to Takata for testing, and it found a high probability of rupturing in high humidity areas. The automaker said it had no reports yet of injuries or fatalities related to the problem. This is Toyota’s third inflator recall this year. In June, it called in for repair the same vehicles from the 2003-2005 model years in high-humidity areas , and it conducted a separate campaign nationwide for the parts in additional models. In April 2013, it also announced a fix campaign for 1.73-million vehicles worldwide for the same issue. To fix the problem, Toyota will send a letter to owners this week, and dealers will replace the inflator. If the part isn’t ready, dealers will deactivate the passenger side airbag and will advise owners that no one should sit there until repaired.
Filed under: Recalls , Safety , Acura , BMW , Buick , Cadillac , Chevrolet , GM , GMC , Honda , Infiniti , Lexus , Mazda , Nissan , Pontiac , Toyota The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation are taking the unusual step of issuing a followup press release urging owners of certain recalled vehicles “to act immediately” to fix their cars and trucks. The problem in question concerns the repair campaigns for rupturing Takata airbag inflators issued in June and covers a long list of models from Toyota , Lexus , Honda , Acura , Mazda , BMW , Nissan , Infiniti , Buick , Cadillac , Chevrolet , GMC , Oldsmobile and Pontiac . While NHSTA doesn’t specifically say why the recall is vital in the new release, Toyota’s own explanation in its newly announced renotification campaign earlier today sheds some new light on the topic. According to the Japanese automaker, in testing, Takata found a possible link between the rupturing airbag inflators and high humidity. NHTSA is advocating that all owners pursue repairs immediately if they haven’t already done so already. This is especially crucial for those drivers especially in Florida, Puerto Rico, Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, Virgin Islands and Hawaii because of the humid conditions there. We don’t need to tell you how dangerous an inadvertent airbag deployment could be – even in a stationary vehicle – but adding to the Takata issue is fears that the deployment could lead to s hrapnel being sprayed into the cabin . If you’re unsure whether your vehicle is covered under this campaign, NHTSA has a new VIN lookup tool for all recalls recently that could be handy in this situation. Scroll down for the full list of potentially affected models and the agency’s statement – there are upwards of nearly five million vehicles that could be affected. Continue reading NHTSA urges owners of recalled Takata airbag vehicles to take immediate action NHTSA urges owners of recalled Takata airbag vehicles to take immediate action originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:30:00 EST.
Filed under: Etc. , Japan , Videos , Toyota UPDATE: A previous version of this post included an incorrectly converted price figure. The text below has been updated with the correct information. Some Japanese automakers focus purely on cars, while others dabble in all sorts of motorized transportation. Honda , for example, makes everything from motorbikes to jet aircraft. But while Toyota may be known principally for automobiles, it also makes a line of boats . And this is the latest. The new Toyota Ponam-31 motor yacht is built around an aluminum hull with a flybridge and cockpit rear deck layout, similar to the Carver 32 on which this writer spent his childhood summers. It measures 31 feet overall and is powered by a pair of 3.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engines derived from the Land Cruiser Prado (known in these parts as the Lexus GX 460 ) but marinized for nautical application. Toyota has even equipped its new Sports Utility Cruiser with such features as Drive Assist and a Virtual Anchor System.
Filed under: Aftermarket , Coupe , Performance , Japan , Toyota Toyota is finally making good on its Griffon concept from last year with this limited-edition 14R-60 that basically hops through the Toyota Racing Development catalog to imagine the ultimate lightweight GT86 (the continental relative to the Scion FR-S / Subaru BR-Z ). Unfortunately, it’s not coming stateside, and even if this modded Toyobaru were coming here, you might not want to pay the rather steep price. Like the concept, the 2.0-liter boxer engine still makes the same 197 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. However, the drivetrain isn’t entirely untouched thanks to a new air filter, engine oil cooler, a reinforced clutch, lightweight flywheel, and mechanical limited-slip differential from TRD. The six-speed transmission is also tweaked, with different gearing in first and second and an altered final drive ratio. To keep things planted the suspension gets a new coilovers, a V-shaped tower brace in the front and another in the rear. Improved deceleration comes thanks to upgraded brakes. There also are even more goodies on the outside, including a complete body kit that includes a carbon-fiber roof and massive rear spoiler. The stock wheels are replaced with 18-inch forged magnesium units, as well. Inside, buyers get a pair of TRD-branded race seats with four-point harnesses and some Alcantara trim.
Filed under: Truck , Toyota , Design/Style Americans certainly have a fondness for pickup trucks with the Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado frequently being among the top sellers each month , and that attachment is famously strong in the Lone Star State. We already saw Chevrolet unveil its Colorado Sport concept at the State Fair of Texas. Not to be outdone, Toyota debuted its new the 2015 Tundra Bass Pro Shops Off-Road Edition there, as well. All of the Tundras use a 4×4 CrewMax SR5 configuration with the Tow Package, and they all come with Toyota’s 5.7-liter V8 with 381 horsepower and a six-speed automatic gearbox. What actually sets these vehicles off as the Bass Pro Shops special edition is the 20-inch matte black wheels, tubular side steps, a spray-on bedliner, stainless steel exhaust tips and fender flares. To promote the connection with the store, there are Bass Pro Shops-branded floor mats and company decals on the bed. Of course, pickups are meant to get used, and to make sure of that, buyers also receive a package containing fishing, hunting, camping or marine gear worth about $1,000. The special edition trucks will only be available in the Gulf States of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas beginning this October, and they’ll carry a price of $43,975. Continue reading 2015 Toyota Tundra Bass Pro Shops Off-Road Edition a Gulf-State exclusive 2015 Toyota Tundra Bass Pro Shops Off-Road Edition a Gulf-State exclusive originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 27 Sep 2014 09:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Minivan/Van , Toyota , First Drives It’s hard to love a minivan, but it’s very, very easy to use one. More than any other kind of vehicle – save a panel van, perhaps – the minivan is the most appliance-like of four-wheeled transportation devices. And most minivan buyers don’t need to love their purchases; they just need to use them. So when it comes to a minivan’s driving dynamics, who cares? Well, we do. So we perked right up when Toyota talked about refinements it made to the 2015 Sienna , starting with some 142 added spot welds made to the body structure. Normally not stop-the-presses stuff, but Toyota says the added reinforcements prompted Sienna engineers to recalibrate the springs and shocks for improved handling, and our very limited wheel time along the (admittedly benign) roads on the Big Island of Hawaii revealed the 2015 Sienna SE model’s handling to be tidier and more engaging than you’d expect for a porky, 4,560-pound, eight-passenger box on wheels. Driving Notes Styling has been updated for 2015 in the most minor of ways. Headlights and taillamps are new on most models, as are revised grille inserts for LE, XLE and Limited grades. SE and Limited trims get long, skinny LED running lamps underscoring the headlamp bezels.
Filed under: Honda , Kia , Toyota , Volkswagen , Earnings/Financials While it’s arguably been around the longest, the dominance of the four-door sedan has been under threat for many years. As a further sign of the hurtin’ that SUVs and crossovers have put on today’s four-doors, a new report from Automotive News points to the increasing use of incentives by brands reliant on cars and light on CUVs and pickups. Honda , Toyota , Volkswagen and Kia have all been stung by double-digit increases in their incentives-to-transaction price ratio, according to AN, which cites data from TrueCar. Honda’s ratio is up 14 percent, while Toyota, VW and Kia are up 18, 15 and 19 percent, respectively. ” Most of the incentive growth we have seen is in product segments with low demand – midsized or large sedans ,” TrueCar President John Krafcik told AN. “As this trend goes on, the brands with three-sedan strategies are going to be in worse shape on incentive spending than the crossover brands.” Krafcik backed up his argument with this fun fact: Honda sales were up just two percent in August, compared to Jeep , whose sedan-free fleet saw sales jump 49 percent in the same period. The move towards CUVs isn’t too hard to figure out, with AN pointing out the increasingly fuel-efficient high-riders that are overtaking showrooms. That’s bad news for both sedans and the manufacturers that produce them. UPDATE: A previous version of this story listed John Krafcik as CEO of TrueCar. That is incorrect.
Filed under: Sedan , Toyota , First Drives Every car has its definitive year. Whether it be the Chevrolet Corvette , the Ford Mustang , or yes, even the ubiquitous Toyota Camry , 10.2 million of which have been sold since 1983, every car has its year. For the Camry, that year was 1992. With son-of- Lexus styling, a clear sense of purpose and a parent company that had hit its stride as the purveyor of faultlessly reliable family transportation devices, the Camry got its legs in 1992. It’s a car that even your mom is likely to remember, even if she never owned one herself. The Camry you see here represents the closest Toyota has come to emulating the magic formula that made the 1992 model the stuff of legends. Compared to the 2014 model, some 2000 of the car’s 6,000 parts are new, most of them involving things you can see or touch (on the outside, for example, only the roof carries over from 2014). It’s not a full redesign, but nevertheless it’s a stunning development considering the predecessor upon which it’s based only survived two model years. That’s a testament to both the hyper-competitive nature of the family sedan segment and the lukewarm critical response that the outgoing car garnered. But that’s in the past now – after driving this 2015 model, we suspect the new car’s changes will be thorough enough to continue pulling in new customers by the hundreds of thousands each year for the foreseeable future.
Filed under: Truck , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota The Toyota Tacoma may be getting on in age, but that isn’t stopping the Japanese manufacturer from ramping up production at the pickup’s Baja California factory. The Mexican plant will soon be home to another 300 jobs as it increases total capacity by 41 percent. The increase is slated for April 2015. The move is a curious one, considering the Tacoma’s age and the fact that General Motors is preparing what, on the surface, appear to be two very competent challengers. The factory increase could be in preparation for the 2016 Taco ( spy photos shown above), which is expected to represent a significant overhaul of the long-serving truck. Toyota’s decision to increase capacity could also be due to the factory building freeze implemented by President Akio Toyoda , according to Automotive News . Toyoda put a hold on new factories until 2016, asking executives to squeeze as much production as possible out of remaining factories before bringing any additional facilities online. What do you think Toyota is up to? Is this just preparation for next-gen Tacoma production? Might a different vehicle altogether take up the additional capacity?