Filed under: Budget , Sedan , Safety , Toyota All is right again in the Toyota kingdom. The Japanese manufacturer’s bread-and-butter sedan, the Camry , has been put back on Consumer Reports’ “Recommended” vehicle list, following improved performance in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s crash testing. You’ll recall that the 2012 and 2013 Camry were infamously booted from the list due to “Poor” ratings in IIHS’ notoriously tough small-overlap crash testing. Toyota vowed – just last week actually – to fix the ratings. As the Toyota brand’s head, Bill Fay, said last week, “It’s still a five-star car. It still does very well in all the IIHS tests. It did not in [the small overlap frontal crash test], and we’re busy making the necessary adjustments so that we can address that.” Now, though, those redesigned cars have been tested, earning an “Acceptable” rating in the overlap testing. According to Consumer Reports , Camrys built from November 2013 on feature new internal structures that improve the car’s crash test scores enough to make it a “Recommended” buy. IIHS has also elevated the car back to a position in its Top Safety Pick category, although it falls short of the new gold standard, the Top Safety Pick + rating. Toyota also made changes to the structure of the Prius , another model that failed to score well on small-overlap testing.
Filed under: Budget , Sedan , Safety , Toyota Many Toyota vehicles haven’t been performing well in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s ( IIHS ) small overlap frontal crash test, and the Camry is one of them. The 2012 and 2013 Camry both received “Poor” ratings, IIHS’ lowest rating, in the test, which spurred Consumer Reports to take the car off its “Recommended” list. In response to the low ratings in the small overlap frontal test, and in a bid to maintain its best-seller status, Toyota will make changes to the Camry to improve its IIHS safety rating and to enhance its design, The Detroit News reports . The Camry performed well in the moderate overlap frontal, side, roof strength and head restraints and seats crash tests, receiving “Good” ratings, IIHS’ highest rating, in all four tests. That was enough for IIHS to award it a Top Safety Pick rating, just not TSP+. Bill Fay, head of Toyota’s US division, reportedly says, “It’s still a five-star car. It still does very well in all the IIHS tests. It did not in [the small overlap frontal crash test], and we’re busy making the necessary adjustments so that we can address that.” Most Toyota models haven’t been put through the small overlap frontal test, but those that have haven’t received better than a “Marginal” rating, IIHS’ third-best rating. The Corolla received a “Marginal” rating , while the midsize Prius V , along with the Camry, earned “Poor” ratings . The RAV4 compact crossover also earned a “Poor” rating in the test.
Filed under: Truck , Recalls , Safety , Toyota When you build as many cars and trucks as Toyota does, you’re bound to run into the occasional recall . In the past month alone, the Japanese auto giant has recalled over 800,000 Camry, Avalon and Venza models over problems with the air-conditioning units, and 10,000 more before that over windshield wiper issues. Now Toyota has issued another recall notice, but this time for far fewer vehicles. The recall revolves around the engine valve springs in the 2013 and 2014 Tacoma , specifically those fitted with the standard 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine and not the optional 4.0-liter V6. The issue is that the valve springs are prone to cracking and breaking over time, and results from improper maintenance of the manufacturing equipment used by one of the two suppliers that outfit Toyota with the components in question. All told, some 4,000 vehicles will be subject to the voluntary recall, the owners of which will receive notice by mail. If you think that could be you and want to get a jump on the problem, you can read the announcement below and call Toyota yourself. Continue reading Toyota recalls 4,000 Tacoma pickups over valve springs Toyota recalls 4,000 Tacoma pickups over valve springs originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 07 Nov 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Government/Legal , Safety , Toyota , Earnings/Financials A jury has decided that faulty software was to blame for a crash involving a 2005 Toyota Camry that killed one woman and injured another. This is the first time Toyota has been found liable by a jury in a lawsuit involving sudden acceleration claims. Toyota has maintained that driver error is the most likely cause for cases of sudden acceleration. Shortly after the jury in the case, which took place in Oklahoma and centered around a crash that injured 76-year-old Jean Bookout and killed her passenger, Barbara Schwarz, reached a verdict that would see Toyota paying $3 million in compensatory damages, a confidential settlement was reached. The jury, which had found Toyota liable for “reckless disregard” for public safety, had yet to decide what punitive damages Toyota would face. Toyota said in a statement, “While we strongly disagree with the verdict, we are satisfied that the parties reached a mutually acceptable agreement to settle this case. We will continue to defend our products vigorously at trial in other legal venues.” This verdict could have widespread implications for several more cases that have yet to be heard in court where lawyers are expected to argue that software was to blame for sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles. These cases fall into a different legal category than the ones Toyota settled for $1.4 billion earlier this year. Toyota’s brief statement can be found below . Continue reading Toyota settles for $3M after being found liable in sudden acceleration case Toyota settles for $3M after being found liable in sudden acceleration case originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 26 Oct 2013 09:55:00 EST.
Filed under: Budget , Sedan , Recalls , Safety , Crossover , Toyota , Luxury Toyota has announced plans to voluntarily recall 803,000 vehicles from model years 2012 and 2013, over concerns with the air conditioning condenser housing. The recall covers the Camry , Camry Hybrid , Avalon , Avalon Hybrid and Venza , although the exact split between affected models wasn’t available. According to Toyota, the condenser can leak onto an airbag control module, which in turn could cause a short circuit. In most cases, this will just lead to an airbag warning light, but in rarer instances, the airbags could fail to deploy or pop out of their own accord. There’s also a concern over a loss of power steering if the airbag control module develops a short. It’s unclear if there have been any injuries or crashes relating to the defects. Toyota will begin informing owners of affected vehicles via first class mail, and will ask them to report to dealerships for recall work, involving the installation of a cover on the condenser housing. Scroll down for the official press release from Toyota. Continue reading Toyota recalling 800k Camry, Avalon and Venza models for AC issue Toyota recalling 800k Camry, Avalon and Venza models for AC issue originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 Oct 2013 15:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Safety , Technology , Lexus , Toyota A number of automakers are working on developing fully autonomous cars , but it looks like the groundwork for such technologies will likely show up first as semi-autonomous systems for both safety and convenience. Following recent announcements from Nissan and Ford in this area, Toyota has now released information for some of its advanced semi-autonomous technologies that could be offered in production cars over the next few years. On the safety front, Toyota’s new pre-collision system with pedestrian-avoidance steering assist is aimed at protecting the folks who aren’t in the car. This system combines visual and audible alerts with automatic brake assist and automatic steering. If warnings don’t get the driver to slow down, the brake assist kicks in if a collision is very likely, but if that is still not able to avoid the impending collision (and if there is enough room to do so), the car can automatically steer itself around the pedestrian. This sounds most beneficial for last-second dangers such as a person accidently stepping out into the road in front of a car. Toyota hopes to have this technology available to customers by 2015. The Japanese automaker is also testing a suite of technologies called Automated Highway Driving Assist (AHDA). The key part of this is a new adaptive cruise control system that uses vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications rather than a radar-based system. This cooperative-adaptive cruise control allows vehicles to communicate their acceleration and deceleration data with other cars, which Toyota says this helps to improve fuel efficiency and traffic flow.
Filed under: Government/Legal , Safety , Toyota Toyota has already paid out millions and billions of dollars in settlements surrounding unintended acceleration , but the first lawsuit in the matter , which headed to a California court in July, has reached a verdict. Following the 2009 death of Noriko Uno, whose 2006 Camry was hit by another car and then sped out of control before crashing into a tree, the jury found that Toyota was not at fault in the crash. Even though the 2006 Camry (shown above) wasn’t involved in any of the unintended acceleration-related recalls and it was not equipped with a brake override, Automotive News reports that the jury’s verdict says there was no defect in the car and actually blames the entire incident on the driver that ran into Uno’s car – to the tune of $10 million. The accident started when the other driver ran a stop sign and hit Uno’s car, and the report says that medical conditions (including diabetes) caused Uno to fail to stop her Camry. The AN article also states that this lawsuit was a bellwether case for around 85 other personal-injury and wrongful-death suits against Toyota, but there are still many impending suits across the country. Scroll down for an official statement on this particular case from Toyota. Continue reading Toyota found not at fault in alleged unintended acceleration crash Toyota found not at fault in alleged unintended acceleration crash originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 11 Oct 2013 15:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Toyota Kick-Off Nationwide Pledge to Encourage Americans to Buckle Up For Life
NEW YORK, NY– September 17, 2013 – Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, a national leader in pediatric medicine, and Toyota announced today the first annual National
Filed under: Budget , Recalls , Safety , Hatchback , Toyota Toyota has announced it is recalling a total of 185,000 vehicles worldwide for a power steering issue. Yaris and (overseas) Vitz models built between November 2010 and March 2012 could suffer a short circuit in their power steering control module if water gets inside. Should that happen, the power steering could fail, increasing effort when turning. The recall also includes the Verso-S and Ractis built from August 2010 to August 2011. The recall covers 130,000 vehicles in Japan and around 22,450 in Europe. Only 74 units are being recalled in the United States. Toyota says if the fault occurs, the vehicle will display the Electronic Power Steering warning light on the dash and a buzzer will sound. The automaker will alert owners by mail and dealers will replace the power steering control module free of charge. You can read the quick press release on the recall below for more information. Continue reading Toyota to recall 185k cars globally, including Yaris Toyota to recall 185k cars globally, including Yaris originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 04 Jul 2013 08:02:00 EST.