Toyota, Honda, Mazda and Nissan recall 3.4 million vehicles for faulty airbags

Toyota, Honda, Mazda and Nissan recall 3.4 million vehicles for faulty airbags

April 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Government/Legal , Recalls , Safety , Honda , Mazda , Nissan , Toyota Most vehicle recalls that take place these days are a result of some problem that happens during the manufacturing process by the automaker, but as we see here, parts suppliers can also factor in to problematic safety issues. Automotive News is reporting that a total of 3.4 million vehicles produced by Japanese automakers between 2000 and 2004 are being recalled globally due to faulty airbags produced by an outside supplier, Takata Corp. According to the report, vehicles from Toyota , Honda , Nissan and Mazda are being recalled because of passenger front airbags that do not inflate properly. Globally, Toyota is said to be recalling around 1.73 million cars including 510,000 in the US composed of Toyota Corolla , Matrix , Sequoia and Tundra as well as the Lexus SC430 for the 2001 through 2003 model years; this is the second time this year the 2003 Corolla and Matrix have been recalled for an airbag problem. Honda is recalling 1.14 million models, Nissan another 480,000 and Mazda 45,463. The article says that Takata supplied faulty airbags to non-Japanese automakers, but it did not specify which ones. Honda and Toyota have released information on their own websites about the recall, while Nissan and Mazda have not yet commented. Read official press releases from Honda and Toyota , below, and look for updates as we have word from the others. Continue reading Toyota, Honda, Mazda and Nissan recall 3.4 million vehicles for faulty airbags Toyota, Honda, Mazda and Nissan recall 3.4 million vehicles for faulty airbags originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 11 Apr 2013 09:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .

Japanese automakers ramping production for renewed American sales

Japanese automakers ramping production for renewed American sales

November 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Honda , Mitsubishi , Nissan , Toyota The 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan took quite the toll on the automotive industry in that nation. Not content to lean on that tragedy as excuse for slagging sales, the Japanese automakers are planning on a major production expansion in North America. The aim is to reclaim the market share lost from the Tsunami-based dip, and overcome a dollar/yen exchange rate that makes exporting to America unprofitable. Following the Tsunami, Japanese automakers ramped up production in their North American facilities to compensate, but according to Automotive News , Nissan , Honda and others have all reported plans for still-further increased production in the year ahead. As part of this ramp-up, Mazda will open a facility in Salamnca, Mexico before March of 2014. Part of that increase in output is 50,000 units of a Toyota-badged compact car, which Mazda will produce . Other Mexican production facilities opening include a Honda plant, which will open in Spring 2014 in Celaya, and a Nissan plant, set to open later this year in Aguascalientes. Nissan also said that it will need another plant in North America within the next five years. According to Nissan Boss Carlos Ghosn, the company aims to raise its stake in the US market from 8 percent to 10, and adding production will help achieve that goal. Even Mitsubishi is aiming to boost production at its Normal, Illinois plant.

Four Wheeler crowns Ultimate Factory 4×4… who wins?

Four Wheeler crowns Ultimate Factory 4×4… who wins?

November 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: SUV , Truck , Ford , Jeep , Nissan , Toyota , Off-Road , Ram Nearly every automaker doing business in the SUV or pickup truck segments offers a package designed to improve the off-road capabilities of its wares. But, of course, not all such factory kits are created equal. How, then, to separate the wheat from the chaff? Gather each of them up and put them through their paces, naturally. The folks from Four Wheeler and PickupTrucks.com joined forces to run just such a comparison test, with the winner named the Ultimate Factory 4×4. A total of seven vehicles showed up to the fight: the 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor , 2013 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon , 2012 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X and Xterra PRO-4X , 2012 Ram Power Wagon , and 2012 Toyota 4Runner Trail and Tacoma TRD T|X Baja Series . With the contestants in place, the whole crew put each vehicle through a battery of tests that included skidpad and acceleration measurements, a hillclimb, a rocky stairstep course and a rock garden. Considering the nature of the beasts, on-road ride and comfort were not part of the routine. So, which four-wheeler ended up on top? Click here to read the results, and don’t act like you’re surprised by the victor.

GM, Ford sales increase sharply in China as country turns away from Japanese brands

GM, Ford sales increase sharply in China as country turns away from Japanese brands

November 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , China , Chevrolet , Ford , GM , Honda , Nissan , Toyota American automakers that conduct business in China have benefited from growing anti-Japanese sentiments among Chinese buyers, as most recent sales numbers indicate. According to Automotive News , a territorial dispute over uninhabited islands have resulted in Chinese consumers rejecting vehicles from Toyota , Honda and Nissan in increasing numbers. Meanwhile, sales of General Motors cars and minivans in its largest market grew 14 percent in October, to 251,812. Ford moved 60,518 units in China, representing a 48-percent increase in sales compared to the same month a year ago. Meanwhile, Toyota, Honda and Nissan sales have all taken nosedives. Toyota reported that its sales fell 44 percent last month, following a 49-percent drop in September. The latter two companies both announced their worst month-to-month decline in sales, dating back to 2007 for Honda and 2008 for Nissan. Still yet to be announced are Volkswagen sales in China. The German automaker has been battling GM for the top sales spot in China this year, and it outsold GM last quarter for the first time in eight years. When we last checked in on the two companies, GM had a slight year-to-date lead of 77,000 units.

Toyota, Nissan, Honda to assist in $2.55B bailout of chipmaker Renesas with Japanese gov.

Toyota, Nissan, Honda to assist in $2.55B bailout of chipmaker Renesas with Japanese gov.

October 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Honda , Nissan , Toyota , Earnings/Financials According to a Reuters report, the Japanese government and several of the country’s largest manufacturers are joining forces to rescue troubled electronics manufacturer Renesas Electronics. Toyota , Nissan , Honda , Panasonic , Canon and Denso are set to contribute a combined $637.9 million to a $2.55 billion deal that will see the group gain control of the company. Robert Bosch GmbH is also considering investing in the electronics manufacturer. Why are so many varied corporations interested in Renesas’ future? The company is the world’s leading supplier of microcontroller chips. Even so, the strengthening yen and heavy competition from South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Company has seen Renesas suffer through five years of financial losses. As a result, the company has laid off 12 percent of its workers and currently has plans to either sell or consolidate more than half of its domestic manufacturing facilities. Toyota, Nissan, Honda to assist in $2.55B bailout of chipmaker Renesas with Japanese gov. originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Oct 2012 09:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .

General Motors and Volkswagen may benefit from anti-Japan protests in China

General Motors and Volkswagen may benefit from anti-Japan protests in China

September 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: China , Japan , Buick , Cadillac , Chevrolet , GM , Honda , Nissan , Toyota , Volkswagen The unrest in China may have positive consequences for automakers like Volkswagen and General Motors , according to Automotive News . As protesters continue their streak of violence, many owners of Japanese vehicles are leaving them home for fear of damage. Protesters have vandalized Japanese businesses and those that sell Japanese goods, including car dealerships, as well personal property. Reports indicate some owners are swapping their Toyota badges for those of Chinese automaker BYD in hopes of fooling vandalism-minded mobs. Nissan , Toyota and Honda have all reported attacks on their dealerships, and China’s Passenger Car Association has predicted Japanese automakers may lose their market lead to those based in the U.S. and Germany. General Motors sold a total of 1.84 million vehicles in China under a total of three brand names, while Volkswagen moved 1.49 million units this year. By comparison, Nissan has sold just 485,000 vehicles. The protests mark the 81st anniversary of the Manchurian Incident, which saw Japanese forces invade China. General Motors and Volkswagen may benefit from anti-Japan protests in China originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 21 Sep 2012 11:01:00 EST.

PickupTrucks.com holds Ultimate 4×4 Challenge

PickupTrucks.com holds Ultimate 4×4 Challenge

September 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Truck , Videos , Ford , Nissan , Toyota , Off-Road , Ram The crew at PickupTrucks.com has busy lately. In addition to wrapping up their global pickup shootout in Australia, the site also took the time to pit four factory off-road kings against each other. After extending invitations to every manufacturer to send out their most capable pickup, the Nissan Frontier PRO-4X , Toyota Tacoma Baja , Ram Power Wagon and Ford F-150 SVT Raptor all showed up to play. General Motors , meanwhile, declined to join the party. Each of the participants threw down in a total of 10 scored events with separate scoring, including old standbys like 0-60, 60-0, payload capacity and fuel economy. But Pickuptrucks.com also partnered up with 4Wheeler Magazine to put the bruisers through some legitimate off-road tests. Each pickup took on a tough sand hill climb as well as a stair climb and a rock scramble. While we weren’t surprised to see the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor take top honors, we were shocked to see where the Power Wagon wound up on the list. How’d the big Mopar place? You’ll have to scroll down to watch the video wrap-up.

CVTs expected to more than double in popularity

CVTs expected to more than double in popularity

July 31, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Sedan , Honda , Nissan , Toyota Belts and pulleys will continue to replace traditional gears in the coming years as more carmakers turn to Continuously Variable Transmissions to suck the fun out of future machines increase fuel economy. According to a new Automotive News report, by the numbers, about one percent of new vehicles were equipped with a CVT in 2005. By 2010, that number of new vehicles in the U.S. grew to seven percent, thanks largely to Nissan , not to mention an increase in the number of hybrid models sold in America (most of which are fitted with the technology). Experts at IHS Automotive now predict that percentage will more than double by 2016 to 16 percent. The belt-and-pulley transmission can adjust to an engine’s torque in an infinite number of ways, making it more efficient than traditional gearboxes. But CVTs have become the bane of many enthusiasts and critics because of a number of undesirable characteristics – namely the unpleasant ‘rubber band’ sound they emit under hard acceleration. According to Automotive News , Japanese carmakers appear especially interested in adding CVTs to their lineups. Honda is widely expected to offer a CVT on its next-generation four-cylinder Accord , Toyota may include a CVT on its future Corolla , and the CVT stalwarts at Nissan introduced its 2013 Altima earlier this year with an upgraded CVT that helps it achieve 38 miles per gallon on the highway. While CVTs continue to improve, some providing faux programed “shift points” through sport programs or paddle shifters, they remain a non-starter with most enthusiasts we talk to.

Kyushu on the road to becoming Japan’s Motor City

Kyushu on the road to becoming Japan’s Motor City

July 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Nissan , Toyota , South Korea The strong yen has Japanese carmakers looking to optimize every efficiency in order to keep their cars competitive in export markets. One strategy gaining momentum is to do some island hopping, specifically, moving plants and manufacturing to Kyushu, the southernmost main island in the Japanese archipelago. Car production there as a percentage of total Japanese production has doubled from 2001 to 2011, but more startling are the recent increases: Nissan just moved its Note and Caravan production there, Toyota is boosting production there by 600 percent, and total units made in Kyushu climbed 21 percent from 2010 to 2011. The three big factors involved are lower personnel costs, lower auto parts costs and increased productivity because of newer, more efficient factories. Companies can save ten percent on personnel in Kyushu versus traditional manufacturing centers like Aichi and Kanagawa, which are on the main island of Honshu and near major cities like Nagoya and Tokyo. Kyushu is also much closer to the South Korean peninsula, and the weakness of the South Korean won means importing lower-priced Korean auto parts is an even more attractive option. Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun says it could soon be the Detroit of Japan. The prediction could be sped up if intergovernment talks can rework laws on transportation: it’s illegal for trucks with South Korean plates to drive on Japanese roads, so trucks hauling parts get shipped to Kyushu ports and their cargo is transferred to Japanese trucks. Japanese and South Korean officials are working to determine how to allow trucks from across the strait to travel unhindered from Korean auto parts factories to Japanese car factories. Kyushu on the road to becoming Japan’s Motor City originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 22 Jul 2012 12:02:00 EST.

eBay Motors dropping prices hourly on certain cars until they sell

eBay Motors dropping prices hourly on certain cars until they sell

June 29, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Auctions , Chevrolet , Dodge , Ford , Jeep , Nissan , Toyota eBay Motors and AutoNation are quickly establishing a reputation for finding new ways to sell cars online. They teamed up for the first time back in March when they tried selling vehicles for half price on the popular auction site. This weekend they’re back with another unique promotion that will see the price for certain vehicles drop every hour until they’re sold. The reverse auctions began at 12:00 PM EST today and will run through 8:00 PM EST on Monday, July 2. Each day about 10 vehicles will be posted for sale with an initial Buy it Now price that matches their MSRP. Every hour their prices will drop according to a list of prices that accompanies each auction. A 2012 Nissan Rogue that kicks off the promotion, for instance, is dropping by $500 per hour. The good news is that there is no limit to how far prices can drop, nor a reserve they need to stay above. The only limiting factor is the other person out there who’s willing to pay $500 more than you. As for what sort of vehicles will be sold via this promotion, the list includes vehicles from Chevy , Dodge , Ford , Jeep , Nissan and Toyota , and includes popular models like the Camaro , Mustang , F-150 , Fusion , Challenger , Charger , Wrangler , Prius C , Camry and more.

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