Toyota recalls slew of models for possible airbag calibration defect

Toyota recalls slew of models for possible airbag calibration defect

January 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Budget , Hybrid , Sedan , SUV , Truck , Recalls , Safety , Hatchback , Toyota Toyota is recalling sixteen models from the 2009 to 2013 model years over a potential issue with passenger seat airbag calibration. In spite of the large number of different Toyotas covered by the recall, just 3,235 units are included. These were vehicles installed with accessories like leather seat covers and headrest DVD systems by Southeast Toyota Distributors, and during the modifications the passenger seat occupant sensor system might not have been calibration tested. If the sensors aren’t set up properly, the passenger airbag might not work as it should. Affected models include: Avalon, Camry, Camry Hybrid, Corolla, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Highlander, Highlander Hybrid, Prius, Prius V, Rav4, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra and Venza. Scroll down for the relevant model years for each. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that the recall will begin this month. Southeast Toyota will inform owners, at which time they can take their Toyotas to dealers for testing and repair. The complete bulletin from the NHTSA with more information is below . Continue reading Toyota recalls slew of models for possible airbag calibration defect Toyota recalls slew of models for possible airbag calibration defect originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Jan 2013 13:01:00 EST.

Toyota to name Prius developer Uchiyamada its next chairman?

Toyota to name Prius developer Uchiyamada its next chairman?

January 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs , Japan , Toyota A report in Japan’s Nikkei newspaper cited by Automotive News claims that the father of the Prius , Takeshi Uchiyamada, will take the role of chairman at Toyota . Currently Toyota’s vice chairman, Uchiyamada joined the automaker in 1969, and in 1994 became the chief engineer of the Vehicle Development Center that birthed The Hybrid to Rule Them All. He said of it , “When we started, the purpose wasn’t to do a specific car project. It was to make a vehicle suitable for the 21st century.” A specialist in vehicle noise, vibration and harshness, Uchiyamada’s leadership on the Prius helped continue his quiet run to the top of the company; he remains a huge fan of hybrids , but has been reticent about the place of electric vehicles in the current marketplace. If the move is confirmed – it might happen as soon as this year , according to Reuters – Uchiyamada would replace Fujio Cho, Toyota’s chairman for the past six years, who would move to an advisory role. Cho spent seven years overseeing Toyota’s manufacturing operations in Kentucky as well as spearheading manufacturing efforts in Texas, France and China. C ompany president Akio Toyoda would maintain day-to-day charge of Toyota. Toyota to name Prius developer Uchiyamada its next chairman? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Jan 2013 09:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .

Toyota Announces 2013 Model Year Prices for Camry and Camry Hybrid, Prius c and Scion xB

December 8, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

TORRANCE, Calif., Dec. 7, 2012 – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today announced manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) for the 2013 Camry and Camry Hybrid mid-size sedans, Prius c

Car thieves avoiding Toyota Prius

Car thieves avoiding Toyota Prius

November 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hybrid , Hatchback , Toyota The National Insurance Crime Bureau has taken a closer look at how often car thieves target the Toyota Prius . As it turns out, the most popular hybrid on US roads has a very low theft rate, and when it does get stolen, law enforcement are quick to return the machine to its rightful owners. All told, 2008-2012 Prius models saw a theft rate of one in 606 vehicles compared to one in 78 for all models on the road from the same model year period. Just 2,439 Prius hybrids were stolen in the US between September 4, 2000 and June 30, 2012. Not surprisingly, California holds the dubious honor of taking the lion’s share of those thefts, with 1,062. Florida took second place with 127, followed by New York, Washington and Texas. Toyota has sold 1.2 million Prius models in the US, which means the vehicle constitutes more than half of all hybrid vehicles on the road today. You can take a look at the full NICB press release below for more information. Continue reading Car thieves avoiding Toyota Prius Car thieves avoiding Toyota Prius originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 Nov 2012 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .

Next Toyota Prius to get electric all-wheel drive

Next Toyota Prius to get electric all-wheel drive

November 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hybrid , Technology , Hatchback , Toyota If rumors are to be believed, big changes are in store for the next Toyota Prius . UK outlet Auto Express recently spoke with a Toyota engineer who leaked details concerning the development of the popular hybrid’s successor. According to that engineer, “The next Prius will redefine the hybrid as we know it.” The forthcoming Prius will be constructed on a new C platform, good for a 70-kilogram (153-pound) reduction in weight. The car’s current 1.8-liter engine will be modified, and the electric motor and power inverter will be downsized. But, according to the Auto Express source, it will deliver more power. It will also be more fuel efficient – which we kind of assumed – however, the source is claiming 90 miles per gallon fuel economy (on the UK cycle, we imagine, so something closer to 75 mpg here). If true, that’s definitely impressive. While the standard Prius will get these drivetrain changes, the plug-in version will remain largely the same. That said, both models will receive an electric motor that drives the rear wheels, as part of an e-4WD system. According to the source, Toyota would be, “targeting snowy areas” and said that the rear wheels will be driven at speeds “up to 37 mph.” Interestingly enough, Toyota will stick with nickel-metal hydride battery for the Prius, with lithium-ion fitted for the plug-in model.

Toyota recalling 670k Prius models in US, 2.77 million vehicles worldwide [UPDATE]

Toyota recalling 670k Prius models in US, 2.77 million vehicles worldwide [UPDATE]

November 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hybrid , Government/Legal , Recalls , Safety , Hatchback , Toyota Automotive News reports Toyota is recalling a total of 2.77 million vehicles worldwide for faulty water pumps and steering system issues. A total of 670,000 of those are 2004-2009 Prius hybrids sold in the US. Those vehicles are headed back to the dealer, where technicians will inspect the intermediate shaft in the steering column for deformed splines and replace the shaft if necessary. Around 350,000 of those same models will also be inspected for a faulty electric water pump. In some cases, the motor driving the pump could stop, causing the electric motor to overheat and stop functioning while being driven. Toyota has not received any reports of accidents as a result of either problem, and says the inspections and replacement work should be completed in around one hour. The recalls also affect 496,000 vehicles in Europe and a further 1.5 million in Japan. All told, the steering shaft recall covers 10 models worldwide, including the Corolla and Wish models manufactured in Japan between 2000 and 2009. Five models are affected by the water pump recall, though we’re still waiting for confirmation from Toyota as to which they are. You can read the full Toyota press release below , covering the US-spec Prius issues, for more information.

Toyota looking to alter Prius styling

Toyota looking to alter Prius styling

November 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hybrid , Hatchback , Toyota , Design/Style Love it or hate it, the Toyota Prius might be the most recognizable car on the road these days with its slippery, wedge-like design. Originally used to optimize aerodynamics, the unique shape of the second-generation Prius quickly made the car an icon, so Toyota kept the same basic look on the latest, third-gen model. According to an interview with Chris Hostetter, group vice president for strategic planning of Toyota Motor Sales USA, in Bloomberg , Toyota might be looking to alter the Prius’ signature shape in the name of increasing sales across the model’s lineup. It sounds like a replacement for the current model is still at least a year away, but the next design could be a stark departure from the Prius we know today. While there is no indication as to what direction Toyota could take, the report does rehash the Toyota NS4 Concept sedan that was displayed earlier this year in Detroit . Whatever it looks like, the next Prius will certainly be tasked with not only keeping existing hybrid customers interested but also drawing in new ones as well. Since growing the Prius to include the Plug-In , C and V , sales have almost doubled this year with 200,114 Prius-branded cars sold in the US through October. Bloomberg says that on a global scale, the four models accounted for almost 700,000 units through September eclipsing the previous Prius record of 509,399 units sold back in 2010. With Toyota expecting the Prius to be its top-selling car by the end of the decade, this recent trend could easily continue upward for the with a more mainstream design. Toyota looking to alter Prius styling originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 05 Nov 2012 14:30:00 EST.

How Sandy (may have) set 17 plug-in hybrids on fire

How Sandy (may have) set 17 plug-in hybrids on fire

November 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hybrid , Safety , Technology , Toyota , Fisker , Electric , Luxury Can Hurricane Sandy’s flood waters be blamed for the fiery destruction of 16 Fisker Karmas and a Toyota Prius ? On Halloween we guessed saltwater had somehow led to a short circuit that overheated the cars’ batteries and fire, which may be exactly what happened. “We can’t be certain exactly what happened at the port,” Russell Datz, a Fisker spokesman, tells the New York Times Wheels blog. “But we think being submerged in 13 feet of saltwater had something to do with it.” Toyota spokeswoman Cindy Knight tells Wheels that the Prius likely went pyro because “saltwater got into the electrical system.” Saltwater, as you probably know, is highly conductive and when it comes into contact with something like an electric car’s battery, could cause a short circuit and a fire. Daniel Abraham, chemical scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, gave the blog a more technical explanation. Salts in the water break into positive and negative ions that act as conductors and could have connected the batteries’ positive and negative terminals. Next came a short circuit and then, possibly, a fire. No one so far thinks the Karma batteries’ lithium cores were to blame. Even though lithium will burn on contact with water, the metal used in hybrid batteries is pretty well protected and isn’t likely the source of the fires. So still no official cause of the fires, but an investigation is ongoing.

Tekked-Out Prius, Rowdy Camry round out Toyota’s SEMA offerings

Tekked-Out Prius, Rowdy Camry round out Toyota’s SEMA offerings

November 2, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Aftermarket , SEMA Show , Toyota From the same Dream Build Challenge that brought the DragQouia to the SEMA Show, NASCAR stars Clint Bowyer and Kyle Busch also got involved with the competition hoping to win $50,000 for their respective charities. Instead of building trucks like their NHRA counterparts, Bowyer had a Prius built for the contest while Busch stuck with a car he’s very familiar with, the Camry . Bowyer’s Tekked-Out Prius is probably about as cool-looking as a Prius can get with its lowered stance, custom body kit, side cameras replacing the door mirrors and black-and-blue paint job matching the car’s techie persona. Inside is where most of the mods took place with a totally redone interior including new fabrics throughout (including leather and Alcantara) and plenty of cabin tech such as the 17-inch touchscreen computer built into the passenger side of the instrument panel. Bowyer’s charity of choice is the Emporia Community Foundation which goes to benefit Bowyer’s hometown of Emporia, Kansas. Named after Busch’s apparent alter-ego (Rowdy Burns from Days of Thunder ), the Rowdy Camry shows how mean a midsize Toyota can look with styling upgrades like a wide body kit, rear diffuser with integrated exhaust outlets and a ram air hood. The blacked-out Camry also has a lowered suspension and rides on staggered-width 18-inch wheels, and it was was built for the Kurt Busch Foundation. Scroll down for more information about both of these cars. Continue reading Tekked-Out Prius, Rowdy Camry round out Toyota’s SEMA offerings Tekked-Out Prius, Rowdy Camry round out Toyota’s SEMA offerings originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 Nov 2012 19:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .

Autonomous car support subject of political attack ad

Autonomous car support subject of political attack ad

September 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hybrid , Government/Legal , Technology , Videos , Hatchback , Toyota It’s election time and auto bailouts are not the only thing politicians are talking about. Down in Florida, one group has connected a candidate’s support for automated car testing to, well, nothing. And that makes him evil. The Committee to Protect Florida has taken Rep. Jeff Brandes (R-Fla.) to task for proving automated cars did not operate by “witchcraft” instead of working on other things in the St. Petersburg area. The commercial attempts to instill fear in the program and make it sound like these machines are running amok on Florida’s streets. (Note the sound effects at the end of the video.) The attack ad features a Toyota Prius running a stop sign and nearly hitting an older woman using a walker as the narrator goes on about how silly these newfangled machines might be. Then the commercial flashes the question, “Will Driverless cars REALLY stop for pedestrians?” Maybe. And if they don’t, everyone should blame Jeff Brandes.

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