Toyota calling for independent, industry-wide Takata airbag testing

Toyota calling for independent, industry-wide Takata airbag testing

December 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Safety , Toyota The initiative is still very new, and there’s no set timeframe for this third-party testing to begin. With Takata’s airbag inflator recall expanding nationwide soon , the scope of this safety campaign is only growing, and is set to affect millions of additional vehicles. Toyota thinks that it can help, though. The Japanese automaker has announced an initiative to get all of the affected companies to band together to fund independent, third-party testing of the faulty components. The goal of this work is to “ensure the inflators that require replacement are accurately identified and promptly fixed,” according to Toyota. All of the data would be shared among the participating automakers to better understand the causes of these problems, which still aren’t entirely known , and come up with the best way to repair the affected vehicles. “By combining our collective efforts behind a coordinated, comprehensive testing program, we believe we can achieve greater results. Together we will be better equipped to address this issue more rapidly for all customers,” said Simon Nagata, President and CEO, Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America, in the company’s release. According to Toyota spokesperson Cindy Knight speaking to Autoblog , the initiative is still very new, and there’s no set timeframe for this third-party testing to begin. The automaker’s first step is simply getting the word out that it’s looking for partners.

Owner reflects on his $20.91 Toyota unintended acceleration settlement check

Owner reflects on his $20.91 Toyota unintended acceleration settlement check

November 29, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Government/Legal , Toyota , Ownership Where General Motors and Takata have grabbed many auto safety-related headlines this year with their problems with ignition switches and airbag inflators, a few years ago, a similar sort of scrutiny fell on Toyota for unintended acceleration. After multiple settlements with various parties totaling billions of dollars , the issues seem largely behind the Japanese automaker now. Owners are actually starting to receive their money, but it isn’t exactly breaking the bank. Payouts are expected to be between $37 and $125 per person. Computer science student Jonathan Sourbeer received a check for just $20.91, and he considers what that money actually means in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal . Sourbeer’s biggest gripe is that the roughly 85 lawyers in the case are receiving $227 million in attorneys’ fees and expenses, while the 25 primary plaintiffs and class representatives receive a total of just $395,270. According to the Frequently Asked Questions about the settlement, Toyota set up a $250 million fund to pay affected owners, as well . The money isn’t for injuries or damages but for alleged economic loss to the vehicles. However, Sourbeer says he feels no personal suffering and still has the same car. In addition to the settlement, the automaker obviously has its own legal fees to deal with, as well.

Toyota prices fuel cell sedan at $70k in Japan, coming to US and Europe next summer [w/video]

Toyota prices fuel cell sedan at $70k in Japan, coming to US and Europe next summer [w/video]

June 26, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Sedan , Technology , Toyota Toyota has finally unveiled its FCV hydrogen fuel cell sedan and its Japanese price. We won’t have to wait too long to see the first of these revolutionary vehicles on the roads. It will go on sale in Japan in April 2015 and will come to the US and Europe later that summer. In Japan, the FCV will be priced at roughly 7 million yen before taxes ($68,810 at current exchange rates). However, Toyota makes it clear in the press release that we shouldn’t try to extrapolate US MSRP from that figure, saying that official pricing for the US and Europe has not yet been determined. As will be the case in the US, sales in Japan will be limited to parts of the country that already have a hydrogen refueling infrastructure (that means you, California). The production version of the FCV looks almost identical to the concept from last year’s Tokyo Motor Show . There is a new vertical strip of LEDs at each corner of the front air intake and real sideview windows, instead of the nubs on the prototype. The weird squiggles from the rear trim are also gone in favor of a more production-ready look, but the taillights survive the changes mostly intact. The automaker is keeping most of the specs about the FCV a secret for now as well, but it is confirmed a few key details.

Camatte concept puts the Toy back in Toyota [w/videos]

Camatte concept puts the Toy back in Toyota [w/videos]

June 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Concept Cars , Convertible , Japan , Videos , Toyota , Toys/Games It’s been two years since Toyota first revealed its Camatte show car at the Tokyo Toy Show. Though sadly never destined for production, Toyota brought the concept back the following year as the Camatte 57s roadster, and is now returning to the same show with yet another take on the kid-friendly, configurable 1+2 with interchangeable body panels – this time with a slew of features that are fresh not only to the concept itself, but to the industry altogether. This year the Camatte is being showcased in two forms: a bare chassis in the Tech Lab that lets kids see the inner workings of a modern automobile, and another in the Design Lab that lets kids draw their own motif for the concept that is then displayed on an LED hood. The overall approach reminds us of the way Toyota’s budget brand Daihatsu unveiled the Kopen roadster concept at the Tokyo Motor Show late last year, only even more kid-focused and decidedly more light-hearted than you might otherwise expect from one of the largest industrial giants in the world, and could only have been made for a toy exposition. In Japan. Which would explain the ridiculously upbeat videos below , where you’ll also find the brief press release. Continue reading Camatte concept puts the Toy back in Toyota [w/videos] Camatte concept puts the Toy back in Toyota [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 10:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

Unintended acceleration settlement hits Toyota’s Q4 bottom line

Unintended acceleration settlement hits Toyota’s Q4 bottom line

May 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Toyota , Earnings/Financials Depending on how you want to look at things, the US Attorney’s Office $1.2-billion dollar settlement with Toyota in March over its unintended acceleration recall was either a big blow to the company or completely inconsequential. From January to March, net income fell five percent to 297 billion yen ($2.89 billion), compared to 313.9 billion yen ($3.05 billion) a year ago. However, the automaker still posted record full-year profits worldwide. Operating profit also fell in the US by 9 percent to $498.1 million for the quarter, but sales were up by 6 percent to 581,261 vehicles. According to Automotive News , global revenue was still up from January to March by about 13 percent and vehicle sales were up 6 percent to 2.58 million units. However, the payment to the feds did little to hold the company back last year. For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014, Toyota had net income of 1.82 trillion yen ($17.7 billion), compared to 962.1 billion yen ($9.5 billion) in the last fiscal year. Total vehicle sales were also up. The settlement certainly seemed to stagger Toyota for the quarter, especially in the US. But it didn’t do much overall.

Toyota plans biggest stock buyback in over a decade

Toyota plans biggest stock buyback in over a decade

April 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Toyota , Earnings/Financials At the end of December, 2013 Toyota had a cash stockpile of 1.8 trillion yen ($17.5B US). As of March 31, at the end of its current financial year, company coffers are expected to swallow another 1.9 trillion yen ($18.4B US) in net profit – said to be a record sum for the Japanese automaker. In a gesture signaling a turnaround from the horrors of the global recession, Bloomberg reports that Toyota will buy back 60 million shares of its stock, as much as 1.89 percent of the company, for something like 360 billion yen ($3.5B US). It’s the first buyback since 2009 and the largest buyback since 2003, when it spent roughly 390 billion yen ($3.8B US) repurchasing shares. Company president Akio Toyoda founded the Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF), a non-profit that will support international groups working on transportation issues in emerging markets. Half of the stock that Toyota buys, 30 million shares, will be sold to the foundation via the Japanese Trustee Services Bank for one yen per share, the dividend providing the foundation’s initial funding. The other 30 million shares will be canceled, a company spokesman telling Reuters that the company wants to reward shareholders. Industry analysts have been asking Toyota to either return money to shareholders or invest in new factories, but Toyota has ruled out the latter. After getting burned with excess capacity when the financial crisis came, the company is focused on extracting efficiencies from the plants it already has. Toyota has said it plans to complete the buyback by June of this year.

Toyota raises Japanese base wages for first time since 2008

Toyota raises Japanese base wages for first time since 2008

March 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota , Earnings/Financials Toyota is on track for record profits, and in return, its Japanese workers are receiving their first increase in base wages since 2008, plus higher pay based on seniority and a larger bonus for 2014. The Japanese automaker predicts the average laborer will net a 2.9 percent income gain. The average Toyota employee will earn 2,700 yen ($26.28) more each month, a 0.8 percent increase from last year. Workers will also receive about 7,300 yen ($71.09) more monthly based on seniority and promotions. Finally, the company’s union pushed through a median bonus of 2.44 million yen ($23,768) for 2014, the highest in 6 years. The pay boost comes as Toyota forecasts a record 1.9-trillion yen ($18.5 billion) profit for the fiscal year ending on March 31, according to Bloomberg . It has been helped by the Japanese government’s efforts to weaken the yen on international markets and expand inflation. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been asking businesses to increase compensation to end years of deflation and offset upcoming higher sales taxes. Honda and Nissan have also raised their wages there in recent months. Toyota raises Japanese base wages for first time since 2008 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 14 Mar 2014 11:29:00 EST.

From Concept to Production – Lexus Expands Lineup with All-New Lexus NX Compact Crossover

March 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

GENEVA – March 4, 2014 – When the Lexus LF-NX concept was introduced last year at the Frankfurt and Tokyo Motor Shows last year, customer feedback was positive. Customers who liked the LF-NX will be happy to know the production version, NX, derived from the concept will be revealed at the 2014 Beijing International Auto Show next month.

Toyota reveals brace of customized concepts at Tokyo Auto Salon

Toyota reveals brace of customized concepts at Tokyo Auto Salon

January 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Aftermarket , Concept Cars , Toyota , Tokyo Auto Salon The Tokyo Auto Salon kicked off this weekend, filling the slot in the Japanese car scene that SEMA does in North America or Essen does in Germany with tuned and modified versions of domestic automobiles. Of course, Toyota wouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to show just how far its JDM models can be taken, and to that end brought no fewer than 34 customized vehicles to the Makuhari Messe in Chiba City. Among the highlights is the Harrier G Sports Concept, a modified version of the new crossover that debuted just a couple of months ago at the more mainstream Tokyo Motor Show , with a blacked-out snout that makes it look like a Lexus RX with a bloody nose. There was also a similarly modified Vitz RS G Sports Concept, fitting sports seats and a firmer suspension to the hatchback better known on this side of the Pacific as the Yaris . Toyota’s Japanese in-house tuning division GRMN modified the domestic Mark X sport sedan, replete with 3.5-liter V6 and six-speed manual, with an optimized suspension, brakes and Torsen limited-slip differential. It was joined by the GRMN 86 Concept that brings Gazoo Racing’s experience on the N

Lexus Unveils All-New RC Coupe

November 25, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

TOKYO (Nov. 20, 2013) — Lexus unveiled its striking new production-ready RC coupe, scheduled for launch in 2014, at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. The RC raises Lexus’ profile with a broader audience, injecting emotional appeal into the Lexus DNA which has become well known for building quality, refinement and reliability.

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