Filed under: Government/Legal , Japan , Safety , Toyota Automotive News reports Toyota may have known about the problem behind the company’s recall of 7.43 million vehicles . The recall covers faulty window switches that may get stuck or catch fire if improperly lubricated. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received its first complaint about the issue some four years ago, which singled out American supplier, Tram Inc., and its Japanese parent company, Tokai Rika Co., as being to blame for the trouble. The faulty switches in question were described as emitting a strange smell and were sent back to the supplier for analysis. Tokai Rika couldn’t discern a cause for the failure. Toyota dropped the case in that instance, but continued to monitor the switches. Similar reports flared up once again in 2010, this time with the components actually smoking, and Toyota launched a full-fledged internal investigation that eventually led to the recent recall. The campaign covers nearly 2.5 million vehicles in the US alone. Why did it take Toyota so long to launch the recall? The company says it was trying to discern why the switches were failing before it issued a fix.
Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center Launches Seven New Projects and Four New Partnerships with Leading Academic and Research Institutions
Washington, DC, September 13, 2012 – At a Safety Research Forum here yesterday, Toyota announced the expansion of its groundbreaking partner-based automotive safety initiative with the launch of seven new research programs in partnership with leading research institutions from across North America.
Filed under: SUV , Safety , Videos , Toyota , Off-Road Disaster can strike just about anywhere, but the likelihood – and severity – often increases the further you are from civilization. That’s what one couple in Washington State found out when they went camping with their Toyota 4Runner along the Barlow Pass in the northern Cascade mountains. When a storm approached they sought shelter, but fortunately didn’t hide inside their Toyota . A hundred-foot-tall hickory tree fell on it, crushing the back portion of the SUV. With emergency and park services apparently refusing to help, it took them a while to get a few friends out their with chainsaws to cut the tree away from the Toyota. But once they did, they were astonished to find the truck not only started, but drove them back into town where they were able to call for a tow. Of course, the truck was virtually irreparable, but the very fact that it got them to safety after being crushed by a giant tree has the owners looking at another 4Runner – and with good reason. Are we surprised by the Toyota’s fortitude? After that now-legendary Top Gear Hilux abusefest , nothing surprises us. Scroll down to watch a video of the crumpled Toyota in action, then follow the link to the forum for more images.
Filed under: Motorsports , Audi , Chevrolet , Nissan , Toyota , Racing If you don’t want to know who finished where in the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, then you should head to another post this instant… With Peugeot’s withdrawal from the world’s greatest endurance race, everyone was looking to the rookie Toyota team and its two petrol-hybrid TS030 race cars to provide some kind of worthy competition for the two diesel-hybrid Audi R18 e-tron quattros and two Audi diesel R18 Ultras. And they did. Five hours from the drop of the green flag, Nicolas Lapierre in the No. 7 Toyota passed Benoit Treluyer in the No. 1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro on track to take the lead. At almost the same time, Anthony Davidson in the No. 8 Toyota was getting launched into the air when a GT Pro-class Ferrari turned into him heading into Mulsanne Corner. Both drivers had massive impacts with the tire barrier, ending their races, and Davidson is now lying in the hospital with two fractured vertebra. Worse yet, the second Toyota had fallen to second due to a pit stop during the safety car period, and on the restart it crashed into the Nissan DeltaWing .
Filed under: Technology , Audi , Chrysler , Toyota Apple expects nine different carmakers to begin including a “Siri button” on their steering wheels within the next 12 months, the company announced this week. Of course, the news came as a surprise to some of the carmakers, according to Business Insider . After Apple announced plans to further integrate it’s Siri voice recognition software to a button on the steering wheel, some carmakers said they were unaware of those plans. Audi told Fast Company , which contacted all nine carmakers mentioned by Apple, that it was not sure if the project could be completed in a year. A Chrysler spokesman said the company did not have any plans to announce anything. Toyota was equally as vague: “(T)here are no particular applications planned at this time.” Building a Siri button certainly makes sense and, no doubt, will happen in the coming years. It’s also smart business. Instead of an automaker spending money developing voice recognition software, let Apple do it and integrate that system into a vehicle. Already, carmakers have moved to integrate smartphones into cars, putting apps on phones onto center console screens and finding ways to piggyback services from a phone into the car. USB ports on a car are simply expected nowadays.
Filed under: Hybrid , Etc. , Safety , Technology , Hatchback , Toyota Nevada has officially granted Google a license to test autonomous vehicles on public streets. The tech giant underwent demonstrations in both Las Vegas and Carson City to prove its vehicles are as safe or safer than those piloted by mere humans. The state requires two people to be in the test vehicles at all times, including at one occupant in the driver’s seat and another monitoring the vehicle via an onboard computer. If anything goes wrong, the human “driver” can take over by simply applying the brakes or taking hold of the steering wheel. As of right now, Google has only applied to license three vehicles. Each one will carry a red license plate with an infinity symbol. According to Bruce Breslow, Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles director, vehicles with autonomous capability could be on the road within three to five years. When that happens, the machines will wear green plates. Google allowed to test self-driving car on Nevada public streets originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 09 May 2012 18:00:00 EST.
Filed under: Government/Legal , Safety , Technology , Videos , Lexus , Toyota CNN revealed a confidential memo written in Japanese on the Anderson Cooper 360 show last night that it contends shows Toyota engineers found an electrical problem that caused sudden unintended acceleration in a pre-production test vehicle. The news organization commissioned three separate translations of the documents, though Toyota has objected to the accuracy of each. Findings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and National Research Council have both supported Toyota’s original explanation of sudden unintended acceleration being caused by either sticky gas pedals, trapped floor mats or human error. Toyota has never admitted that electronic or software issues were to blame for any reported cases of SUA, and every investigation into the matter has failed to identify the automaker as responsible. Toyota does admit the document in question was not provided to the federal government during their investigations, but explains that “the test and document had nothing to do with unintended acceleration, or a defect, or a safety flaw of any kind.” Rather, Toyota insists the document refers to pre-production testing of the company’s adaptive cruise control system on a version of the Lexus LS 460 sold in Japan and Europe. A Toyota electrical engineer told CNN that the cruise control system acted exactly as it should when they input an abnormal signal, and that the test resulted in further refinements to the system. We’ve embedded the CNN video report after the jump , which also includes anecdotal testimony from one Lexus owner who claims that she has experienced SUA in the period since federal investigators released their findings. Toyota inspected her vehicle and provided data from sensors in her car that showed in her case, acceleration was caused by pedal misapplication. You can also read Toyota’s official response just below the video. Continue reading CNN reveals Toyota memo that purports to show sudden acceleration caused by electronics CNN reveals Toyota memo that purports to show sudden acceleration caused by electronics originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 02 Mar 2012 10:30:00 EST.
Filed under: Etc. , Government/Legal , Safety , Chrysler , Ford , GM , Honda , Kia , Nissan , Subaru , Toyota The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating a number of vehicles for potentially faulty side airbags , according to The Detroit News . The airbags may have been manufactured with an ineffective mix of inflation gasses, which could leave the bags flat in the event of a collision. The defective hardware has found its way into models from Toyota , Honda , Subaru and Nissan , and has resulted in the recall of around 2,700 units so far. If NHTSA finds the defective airbags in other vehicles, that number could swell substantially. The defective airbag inflators were manufactured by a Autoliv, a Swedish supplier. According to the report, Autoliv shipped a total of 10,500 faulty inflators to manufacturers as well as two other airbag makers. Chrysler , Ford , General Motors , Kia and Suzuki all purchased the defective parts, though it’s unclear exactly which models were equipped with the Autoliv pieces. Ford, GM and Chrysler have all said their airbag inflators work differently than those used by other automakers. The companies haven’t seen any failures in extensive testing.
Filed under: Sedan , Government/Legal , Recalls , Safety , Crossover , Toyota According to a report from The Associated Press , the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a probe into possible driver-side door fires in 2007 Toyota Camry sedans and RAV4 crossovers. A total of 830,000 vehicles may be affected. Six fires have been reported to NHTSA, all stemming from the door-mounted power window switch. Five of the fires are said to have been minor, with one resulting in the total loss of a Camry that burnt to a crisp before firefighters were able to respond. It’s important to note that this is not (yet) a recall. NHTSA opened an investigation on Monday, February 6, and a recall could potentially be announced depending on NHTSA’s findings. Toyota has said in a statement that it is cooperating fully with the investigation. Feds investigating Toyota Camry and RAV4 over door fires originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 10 Feb 2012 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Recalls , Safety , Acura , Honda , Toyota Honda has surpassed Toyota for the largest number of recalled vehicles in 2011. Wards Auto reports that Honda expanded an airbag recall to encompass a total of 2.5 million million vehicles last year, pushing the total number of recalled units to 3.9 million vehicles over 17 campaigns. Previous estimates put Toyota at the head of the recall pile with 13 campaigns covering 3.5 million vehicles. The airbag recall covers some of the most popular Honda models, including Civic , Civic Hybrid and Accord sedans manufactured between 2001 and 2004, as well as the CR-V and Pilot . The Acura CL and TL were also included. Toyota, meanwhile, found itself correcting issues with accelerator pedals and floor mats associated with the company’s unintended acceleration woes. Toyota had found itself leading the largest number of recalled vehicles for two consecutive years prior to 2011. Airbag recall forces Honda past Toyota in total recalls for 2012 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 10 Jan 2012 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink