Filed under: Government/Legal , Recalls , Safety , Toyota Toyota is going to be back in the spotlight, as the first of its unintended acceleration lawsuits is headed for trial. This case covers a Los Angeles sushi shop owner, Noriko Uno. According to the what the family told The Detroit News , Uno only put about 10,000 miles on her 2006 Toyota Camry in four years. Uno was apparently afraid of high speeds, avoiding the freeway and taking a route home along LA’s surface streets to avoid them. On August 28, 2009, Uno’s Camry suddenly accelerated to 100 miles per hour, eventually striking a telephone poll and a tree and killing her. The family contends that Uno attempted to step on the brakes and pull the emergency brake, neither of which brought her speed under control, while Toyota maintains that improperly installed floormats and driver error have been behind the majority of the 80 cases expected to be heard in court. In Uno’s case, The Detroit News is expecting the trial to focus on the lack of an override if the gas and brake pedals were pressed at the same time. Brake overrides were installed on Toyota’s European fleet. The Uno family attorney will need to prove to the jury that it wasn’t driver error that killed Noriko Uno. Uno’s case will be a bellwether case, which other state courts will use to predict potential outcomes for similar lawsuits.
Filed under: Concept Cars , Geneva Motor Show , Lamborghini , Toyota , Volkswagen , Alfa Romeo , Design/Style , McLaren We’ve returned from a very busy week in Switzerland, and in going back over all of our 75 stories from the Geneva Motor Show , our editors have gathered up their personal favorite debuts from the European expo. The wonderful thing about the Geneva show is just how wide of an array of vehicles are on display – everything from funny little one-off EVs to the most exotic of supercars to, well, truly ridiculous displays of coachbuilding . And because of that, this list of our editors’ favorites might not be as predictable as you think. But we don’t want to give anything away just yet. Scroll down to have a look at our team’s favorites from Geneva. Continue reading Editors’ Choice: Top Five 2013 Geneva Motor Show Debuts Editors’ Choice: Top Five 2013 Geneva Motor Show Debuts originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 08 Mar 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: New York Auto Show , Aston Martin , Audi , BMW , Land Rover , Mazda , Mercedes-Benz , Porsche , Scion , Toyota , Volkswagen , Ferrari , Renault , Peugeot With the Chicago and Geneva auto shows not even out of the way yet, the automotive world’s sights are set on the New York Auto Show for the naming of the 2013 World Car Awards , and the top 10 finalists for World Car of the Year and World Performance Car were recently announced and will be voted on by 66 journalists from around the world (including our own European Editor, Matt Davis ). Vying for the top award are the Audi A3, 2013 Range Rover, 2014 Mazda6, Mazda CX-5, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Peugeot 208, Porsche Boxster/Cayman, the trio of Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT86, Volkswagen Golf and the Volvo V40. Since its inception, past winners of this award include Volkswagen Up! (2012), Nissan LEAF (2011), Volkswagen Polo (2010), Volkswagen Golf (2009), Mazda2/Mazda Demio (2008), Lexus LS 460 (2007), BMW 3 Series (2006) and the Audi A6 in the award’s inaugural year. The competition is no less fierce for the performance car of the year with the Aston Martin Vanquish, Audi RS5, BMW M6, BMW M 135i, Ferrari F12Berlinetta, Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG and SLS AMG, Porsche Boxster/Cayman, Renault Clio Sport and the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT86. This award was first handed out in 2006 with previous recipients including Porsche 911 (2012), Ferrari 458 Italia (2011), Audi R8 V10 (2010), Nissan GT-R (2009), Audi R8 (2008), Audi RS4 (2007) and the Porsche Cayman S (2006). The top three finalists for each award will be announced at the Geneva Motor Show on March 5, and the winners will be revealed on March 28. Continue reading 2013 World Car of the Year finalists announced 2013 World Car of the Year finalists announced originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 01 Feb 2013 18:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Japan , Toyota , Earnings/Financials Toyota is expecting to see a sales increase of around two percent next year, according to Automotive News . The Japanese manufacturer is set to retake its position as the world’s largest automaker this year, and 2013 may see the company’s global sales step to 9.91 million vehicles. That figure includes sales from subsidiaries like Hino Motors and Daihatsu Motor Company. Much of that projection depends on US sales increasing to balance out a 15-percent decline in Japan . The Japanese government allowed subsidies for fuel-efficient vehicles to expire in September, and Toyota sales have slackened as a result. Globally, new vehicle sales are expected to crest 80 million units for the first time in 2012 despite economic woes in the European Union. Next year, Toyota expects to see its overseas operations enjoy an eight percent rise in sales to 7.87 million units while Japanese deliveries are projected to decline to 2.04 million vehicles. The company predicts sales in Asia, meanwhile, will be driven largely by Indonesia. Interestingly enough, the company has not settled on a sales target for China . Toyota already forecasting record sales in 2013 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Dec 2012 14:16:00 EST.
Filed under: Europe , Ford , Hyundai , Mercedes-Benz , Subaru , Toyota , Volkswagen , Volvo , Renault , Peugeot Electric cars may have won the European Car of the Year award two years in a row now ( Opel Ampera in 2012, and Nissan Leaf in 2011), we can say without reservation that the 2013 ECotY will be a petrol-burning, internal combustionizer. That’s because not a single electric vehicle made it to the contest’s final round. But eight other cars did. At the top of the alphabetical list is Ford’s Fiesta -based, B-Max MPV. Five doors, good ride and fuel-efficient, award-winning engine choices are some of the reasons it makes the list. Next is the Hyundai i30 , known as the Elantra GT Stateside , with either five or three doors, a roomy cabin and a 1.6-liter CRDi engine. The nominating committee commends the handsome hatch for improved exterior aesthetics and a multilink suspension that “shows in ride and handling.” Mercedes gets the next spot with its hot hatch: the turbocharged A-Class , followed by another hatch, the Peugeot 208 . The next finalist is from another marque we haven’t seen in the States for quite some time – the fourth-generation Renault Clio , followed by the Subaru / Toyota dynamic duo of BRZ and the GT86 . The last two contenders are the all-new Volkswagen Golf and the svelte Volvo V40 . The European Car of the Year will be announced in early March after the jury has tallied its votes.
Filed under: Coupe , Performance , Toyota Every sighting of a MkIV Toyota Supra compels a wistful pause and the rhetorical query, “Ah, Toyota … what happened?” The FT-HS concept has been adorning auto show plinths since 2007, taking rumblings of a Supra successor everywhere it went. Last December, four years of hoping out loud led to Motor Trend reporting a Supra return with a 3.5-liter V6, perhaps to be ready in 2015. For any chance of that happening, the Toyota GT 86 / Scion FR-S needed to do well. Seven months later Toyota’s little 300-horsepower coupe is still accelerating enthusiast hearts, and in May of this year MT added hybrid mechanicals, 400 horsepower, a CVT from the Lexus RX and a $60,000 price to its earlier report of a Supra redux. A new report in Asia One doesn’t divulge details, but does make it appear that a new Supra is inevitable: at a European event for the FR-S, chief engineer Tetsuya Tada said, “The president (Akio Toyoda) has asked me to make a successor to the Supra as soon as possible.” This could be revisionist history, but the larger plan according to Tada has been that the GT 86/FR-S is the middle child in Toyota’s sports car strategy, with a lower-tier entry like a new MR2 and an upper-tier entry like the Supra on the company’s mind since the beginning. According to the engineer, reasoning for the sports car push is that Toyota needs to add “driving fun” to its green-car credentials, and it needs to create a stronger bond with buyers that continues beyond the dealership. Tada said both new sports cars would take at least five years to develop and Asia One predicts that the Supra (or whatever it’s eventually called) will come first, but Tada gave no indication of where it stands in the development process and he doesn’t know when they’ll be ready. We’re of the opinion that tomorrow isn’t too soon. Toyota planning Supra, MR2 successors within five years?
Filed under: Budget , Marketing/Advertising , Videos , Hatchback , Toyota Cats generally don’t like car rides. Cats universally detest veterinarians. Yet to showcase the die-for-it allure of the Toyota Corolla in New Zealand (which isn’t our Corolla but the European Auris ), ad house Saatchi and Saatchi asked, ” What lengths would a cat go to for a ride if they loved it?” The answer is the 90-second tale of a cat who intentionally puts himself through seven feline hells to feed his need for another ride in the new hatchback. To the vet. Implausible, yes. Humorous, also yes. You can watch the ad below . Continue reading This cat thinks the Toyota Corolla is to die for This cat thinks the Toyota Corolla is to die for originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 17 Oct 2012 15:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Minivan/Van , Europe , Paris Motor Show , Hatchback , Toyota After the mini-people mover’s introduction in 2010, the 2013 Toyota Verso signals a significant mid-cycle refresh for the model. Changes for the 2013 Verso include visual updates to the front and rear – new headlights, LED running lights, taillights etc. – as well as other exterior tweaks. The inside has been refined as well, with more soft-touch materials, satin chrome trim and cool new lighting; just what the small, modern European family needs to motor in happiness. Getting it all right is important, too, if Toyota hopes to meet its own lofty sales goals for the MPV – the company stated that it wants to sell 50,000 Versos in 2013, which would give the vehicle five percent of the European market for its segment. Take a closer look at the freshened 2013 Toyota Verso , live on its stand at the Paris show , in our gallery of images . Full details are available in the press blast posted below. Continue reading Toyota debuts 2013 Verso with a new nose and high hopes Toyota debuts 2013 Verso with a new nose and high hopes originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 29 Sep 2012 16:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Sept. 17, 2012 — Following the unveiling of Lexus’ award-winning hybrid 2+2 sports coupe concept, the LF-LC at the 2012 Detroit Motor Show and its European debut at the Geneva Motor Show, a new, mid-sized coupe concept, the LF-CC makes its World Premiere at the 2012 Paris Motor Show.
Filed under: Car Buying , Ford , GM , Hyundai , Kia , Toyota , Earnings/Financials The annual “Car Wars” report by Merrill Lynch analyst John Murphy predicts that, despite their seizing of U.S. market share over the last few tumultuous years, Korean brands Hyundai and Kia will give it all back and then some to companies like Ford , General Motors and Toyota by 2016. Murphy bases his predictions not on tea leaves or crystal balls, but rather the rate at which automakers launch new products. Ford will replace 26 percent of its product line over the next four years, a number that represents 46 percent of its volume, while General Motors will replace 25 percent and Toyota 24 percent. On account of these new product launches, Murphy says Ford can expect to add 0.8 percentage points of market share, General Motors will recover 0.5 points and Toyota will add another 0.3 points. Other automakers that won’t be so aggressive in turning over their lineups with new models include Chrysler , Honda , Nissan and the European brands, which Murphy surmises will all remain flat in terms of market share. Hyundai and Kia, meanwhile, will be introducing fewer new models than the rest and therefore, Murphy predicts, will see a 0.5 decline in U.S. market share. Of course, these are all just predictions and can be blown to bits with the next unforeseen economic crisis or natural disaster, just like the last three years were. And there are other factors that might affect market share for each automaker during the next three years, including the availability of raw materials, exchange rates, union contracts, recalls and a million another minor things that might grow to become big things, not the least of which is consumers deciding they actually like all those new products being launched.