Don’t get stuck in a “bear jam” is advice to live by for the 3 million annual visitors to Yellowstone National Park. But if you do become entangled in traffic caused by an elusive yet exciting bear sighting, take the time to chat up the ranger perched nearby in a Toyota Prius.
Filed under: Minivan/Van , Sedan , Recalls , Lexus , Toyota , Luxury The year of the recall continues, but this time it isn’t from General Motors . Toyota is announcing two, separate recalls affecting a pair of its models. First, Toyota is recalling 370,000 Sienna minivans from the 2004 to 2011 model years that are registered or originally sold in cold-weather states. The problem is that the spare tire carrier assembly cable can be splashed by water contaminated with road salt and cause corrosion. There is a splashguard in place to prevent this, but it sometimes gets lost in “normal usage,” according to the company. If the cable does break, then “the spare tire may separate from the vehicle.” This is actually the second repair for this problem for some of these vehicles. In 2010, Toyota issued a recall on 600,000 Siennas from the 1998 to 2010 model years. At the time, it installed a new splashguard and sprayed the area with an anti-rust chemical. However, according to Toyota spokesperson John Hanson speaking to Autoblog, the campaign worked for the 1998 to 2003 models but wasn’t sufficient for the newer ones. For the latest recall, the vehicles are getting the entire cable replaced with a stainless steel unit and a new splashguard.
Filed under: Car Buying , Sedan , Toyota , Earnings/Financials We’ve been watching for some time now as Toyota has piled more incentives on the hood of its Camry sedan, and Automotive News reports that the we’re not the only ones with raised eyebrows. The current Camry hasn’t even been on the market for two years, but the family sedan segment is more hotly contested than it has been in years. It’s that high level of competition that has led the automaker to uncharacteristically add more money on the hood in order to assure it maintains its long-held title of America’s Best-Selling Car, a mantle it has owned for a dozen years. It’s ramping up fleet sales, too. According to the analysts at TrueCar , Toyota has bumped incentives per unit every month this year, now totaling some $2,750 as of May, a 38-percent hike over this time last year. That’s more spiff money than the segment’s other best sellers, the Nissan Altima ($2,400), Ford Fusion ($2,300) and Honda Accord ($1,400), all of whom have actually decreased their incentive spend by 20- to 40-percent over the same period. The ramp up in incentive spending and fleet sales has analysts concerned that Toyota will tarnish the Camry’s historically sterling resale value. ALG pegs the 2013 Camry’s current 36-month residual value at 54.4 percent, well ahead of the segment average’s 50.9 percent (but shy of the Accord’s 55.6 percent). However, analysts are concerned that as the current generation ages, their resale values will eventually plummet if incentives continue to increase as Toyota looks to keep the Camry’s best-selling car crown going forward. Automotive News cites R.L.
Filed under: Motorsports , Lexus , Toyota A new report in from the website Club Lexus claims to have insider knowledge about a return to Formula One racing by Toyota , this time under the auspices of the Lexus brand. Toyota competed in F1 from 2002 through the 2009 season. That final year saw the team return competitive, if inconsistent results, but the larger economic woes in the automotive market made a decision to pull the plug relatively easy at the time. Now, citing recent interviews with Toyota executives and insider sources, Club Lexus says that the move to re-enter F1 for the 2014 season is “all but finalized.” The choice to go with the Lexus nameplate over Toyota makes some sense, too, considering the success that rival Infiniti has had in recent years through its partnership with Red Bull Racing. Further, the emerging Lexus identity as a performance car builder, with a strong background in hybrid vehicles, could help the F1 move resonate with buyers. A few technological factors and formula changes within F1 offer some credence to the Lexus rumor, too. F1 will increase the available capacity of KERS from 60kW to 120kW, a change that theoretically benefits the hybrid-savvy Toyota. What’s more, 2014 will see a switch from the current 2.4-liter V8 engines to 1.6-liter turbocharged V6s. A Lexus team that goes racing in 2014 will be on a level playing field with the rest of the grid then, with all teams adjusting to and continuing to develop the new engines. Toyota may return to F1 under Lexus banner originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 03 Apr 2013 08:43:00 EST.
NEW ORLEANS — (March 2, 2012) – Two days before Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Courtenay LaRoche fled to Texas with her two children. Thinking it may be “just another storm that would blow over,” she packed only two sets of clothes for each family member. It wasn’t enough; her home was destroyed. Now, over six years later, her life is about to change again – only, this time, for the better.