Filed under: Sedan , Toyota The Toyota Avalon may not have the sportiest image on the market. Heck, it doesn’t even have the sportiest image in the Toyota lineup. But the Japanese automaker is out to fix that perception, at least a little bit, with the launch of the new Touring Sport Edition. Announced together with some minor updates to the entire Avalon line – consisting primarily of enhanced safety and infotainment systems – the Avalon XLE Touring Sport Edition celebrates the 20th anniversary of Toyota’s large sedan line. Setting this special edition apart are a black paintjob, HID headlights, LED daytime running lights, 18-inch alloys (similar in design to those on the Scion FR-S ) and an interior decked out with perforated leather with dark blue trim… plus, of course, the requisite special badges inside and out. Only 2,500 units will be offered with a $37,170 sticker price that puts it near (if not quite at) the top of the Avalon range that’s capped by the $41,700 Avalon Hybrid Limited. Pricing has increased on most models by around two percent, and you can scope out all the details of the updates to the full range in the press releases below . Continue reading Toyota Avalon celebrates 20 years with Touring Sport Edition Toyota Avalon celebrates 20 years with Touring Sport Edition originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 27 Oct 2014 09:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Government/Legal , Safety , Toyota National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Administrator David Strickland has released a letter defending the agency’s handling of investigations into claims of unintended acceleration by Toyota owners. Republican Senator Charles Grassley has said questions remain about what caused unintended acceleration instances in the Japanese manufacturer’s vehicles, specifically whether or not the trouble was caused by electronic glitches. Grassley specifically questioned whether NHTSA had the experience necessary to diagnose the defect. The senator also wondered why NHTSA investigators called in NASA scientists for assistance during the investigation. Strickland, meanwhile, has responded by saying NHTSA did, in fact, have the requisite experience and that NASA was called upon for a second opinion. The administrator underscored the fact that neither NHTSA nor NASA could find an electronic reason for the claims of unintended acceleration. As you may recall, the government agency concluded in early 2011 that faulty gas pedals and floor mats were to blame for the runaway syndrome. According to The Washington Post , Grassley’s letter stemmed from tips from whistleblowers who claim the runaway vehicles were actually caused by errant strands of solder within the pedal assembly itself. Those strands could reportedly cause shorts within the system. Strickland responded by saying NHTSA investigated the solder issue, otherwise known as “tin whiskers,” and found the issue to cause no more than a jumpy throttle, a stance Toyota agrees with.