Filed under: Hybrid , Government/Legal , Technology , Videos , Hatchback , Toyota It’s election time and auto bailouts are not the only thing politicians are talking about. Down in Florida, one group has connected a candidate’s support for automated car testing to, well, nothing. And that makes him evil. The Committee to Protect Florida has taken Rep. Jeff Brandes (R-Fla.) to task for proving automated cars did not operate by “witchcraft” instead of working on other things in the St. Petersburg area. The commercial attempts to instill fear in the program and make it sound like these machines are running amok on Florida’s streets. (Note the sound effects at the end of the video.) The attack ad features a Toyota Prius running a stop sign and nearly hitting an older woman using a walker as the narrator goes on about how silly these newfangled machines might be. Then the commercial flashes the question, “Will Driverless cars REALLY stop for pedestrians?” Maybe. And if they don’t, everyone should blame Jeff Brandes.
Filed under: Hybrid , Videos , Hatchback , Toyota , Humor Let’s make this clear from the get-go: we know this is satire, courtesy of The Onion . Of course, like all good comedy, the idea for the new, fictional Toyota Prius Solution model contains a grain of truth. After all, if you aren’t alive, you really can’t add to the world’s environmental problems any more. Any questions? Obviously a riff on the whole “Pious” side of the Prius-driver stereotype as well as taking blind environmentalism to its logical extreme, the Prius Solution manages to put a bloody twist on the Prius “family” branding that the automaker has been promoting since early 2010. It’s kind of gross, so you’ve been warned. That said, anyone who’s been punctured backbone-to-sternum also can’t work to solve world’s environmental problems, but that’s a discussion for another time. Enough talk. Check out the video below . Continue reading Toyota Prius Solution: When you’re dead, you can’t pollute Toyota Prius Solution: When you’re dead, you can’t pollute originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 03 Aug 2012 20:01:00 EST.
Filed under: Car Buying , BMW , Honda , Lexus , Mercedes-Benz , Toyota , Volkswagen , Luxury Perhaps the most frustrating thing about being mired in the 99% is that due to the prevalence of reality-distorting TV and the booming personal security business, we really have no idea what it’s like to be Mitt Romney , Donald Trump or one of the Koch brothers. At least in the olden days, we plebs could point and stare, mouths agape as the robber barons rode through city streets in their jewel-encrusted carriages. But today? Good luck catching a glimpse of Trump’s platinum-dipped Maybach or the plutonium-burning hovercrafts that the Koch’s use to fly to their secret Tea Party Illuminati meetings. What’s that? Rich people buy their cars at dealerships just like we do? Yep, and according to a new study from TrueCar , Mr. and Mrs. Moneybags don’t go in for luxury models nearly as completely as you’d think. TrueCar has released a list of the top 10 most popular cars in the wealthiest zip codes in the U.S.
Wyland Foundation and Toyota Announce Grand Prize Winner of 2012 National Mayor’s Water Conservation Challenge
TORRANCE, Calif. — (June 4, 2012) – The Wyland Foundation and Toyota today announced that Laguna Beach, Calif. resident Nika Shalala is the grand prize winner of the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation, an online competition created by the Wyland Foundation and Toyota to encourage residents in all 50 states to conserve water, save energy and reduce pollution during Earth Month.
Filed under: Car Buying , Hybrid , Wagon , Hatchback , Toyota Think you’re seeing more Toyota Prius models on the road these days? Well, you are. Automotive News is reporting that all those increased Prius sales in the U.S. and Japan (see here and here and here and here etc.) have turned the Prius into the world’s third-best-selling car model for the first three months of 2012. During the first quarter, the Prius sold 247,230 copies around the world. The only cars that sold more during that time were the Toyota Corolla (300,800) and the Ford Focus (277,000). There’s an asterisk on the Prius’ figures: much of that new success is due to the fact that there are a brace of new Prius models, namely the C , V and Plug-in – that have expanded the line, with the C being the “car of the moment in Japan,” according to Automotive News . Sales in the U.S. were up 42 percent in the first quarter. The new models and the increased sales make up what AN calls a “Prius surge,” one that could be capacity constrained in the States.
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: Hybrid , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota Rumors that Toyota would some day build the Prius in the U.S. have bounced around for years, with a location in Mississippi often being cited as the most likely candidate. After that plan was officially scrapped in 2008 , a new version of the same story returned in 2010 when a Toyota executive vice president said Mississippi Prius production could start up in 2016 . Given the on-again, off-again history of the story, we weren’t surprised when not much was officially said about the matter in the last two years. That changed today. Koei Saga, senior managing officer in charge of drivetrain R&D at Toyota, has informed Automotive News that Toyota is now thinking of making the Prius in the U.S. by 2015 and wants to get hybrid drivetrain components – motors, inverters, batteries (likely lithium-ion packs) – from North American suppliers. The base fourth-gen Prius will probably still use nickel-metal hydride batteries, but the batteries made in the U.S. might be li-ion. A 2015 timetable means it is likely that America would make the fourth-gen Prius model, which is due around that time.
Filed under: Hybrid , Wagon , Recalls , Toyota Toyota engineers have worked hard to get the emissions that come out of the tailpipe of the Prius V down to a low level, but that doesn’t mean everything is copacetic with the car’s exhaust system. To fix a known problem, Toyota has announced a service campaign for the Prius V, both in the U.S. and Japan. The Wall Street Journal reports that the problem is with “weak actuators-control mechanisms” in the exhaust-heat-recovery systems that can end up leaking engine coolant, which will then force the car into a “safe” mode. Some second-gen, 2004-07 standard Prius models were affected by a similar problem in the past. The new issue affects about 8,000 vehicles in Japan and 20,000 in North America. Prius V owners will get the problem fixed for free. Toyota announces service campaign to fix exhaust on 28,000 Prius V hybrids originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 16 Apr 2012 08:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Car Buying , Hybrid , Etc. , Toyota How much do hybrid drivers really, truly like their cars? According to R.L. Polk, not all that much – at least not in 2011. Polk has released a new hybrid loyalty analysis that concludes that only 35 percent of people who bought a hybrid bought another one last year. The data comes from car purchases made in 2011, and Polk found that Toyota Prius drivers are the most loyal, both to the gas-electric technology and to Toyota itself. Sixty percent of Toyota hybrid owners bought another vehicle from the automaker, even if it wasn’t a hybrid. A recent J.D. Power Customer Retention Study found that the average brand loyalty was 49 percent, but that doesn’t take powertrains into account. According to Polk, forty-one percent of Toyota hybrid drivers choose to buy another hybrid (from any brand).
Filed under: Hybrid , Marketing/Advertising , Videos , Hatchback , Toyota The curtain’s been lifted on the ad campaign for the Toyota Prius C , and it’s all about the game of life via the boardgame The Game of Life. The first spot is called Malti-poo and in it’s ad-speaky way it targets “city-dwelling millennials” as it “demonstrates key vehicle attributes in a fun and approachable way.” It “embodies the youthful spirit of the vehicle and offers creative content that integrates this iconic childhood game” while it also “offers visual tools and easy ways to share digestible information and collect opinions.” In English: it’s trying to hook first-time car buyers on the notable features of the Prius C in inventive ways. Case in point: the Malti-poo spot will be followed by one called “Dolphin Tattoo,” and platforms will include broadcast television, print, consumer experience and a YouTube channel that provides car buying and financial advice. See below for the ad and the press release describing the campaign. Continue reading Toyota Prius C ad campaign begins with “Malti-poo” spot Toyota Prius C ad campaign begins with “Malti-poo” spot originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 12 Mar 2012 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink