Filed under: Chicago Auto Show , Truck , Toyota , Design/Style , Off-Road To the general public, Toyota is often thought of as a maker of bland but dependable cars, crossovers and SUVs that get their owners and a whole herd of whatever from Point A to Point B. Generally speaking, they’re fuel efficient, comfortable and affordable. What the general public may not realize, however, is that Toyota enjoys a very strong history of going off road, too. The legendary Land Cruiser arguably established the trend, helping explore remote parts of the globe, while various guerilla warfare outfits and world military branches have unwittingly joined up with the boys from Top Gear to help cement the Hilux pickup’s reputation for invincible performance. Now, though, Toyota is launching a new line of trucks and SUVs in the US that are even more explicitly targeted at hitting the trails. Meet the TRD Pro Series. Featuring the 4Runner , Tacoma and Tundra , each Pro Series vehicle features TRD-tuned springs with Bilstein shocks, a TRD front skid plate, a TRD shifter, black wheels, branded floor mats and a “TOYOTA” grille badge, the latter of which harkens back to classic models. TRD Pro Series vehicles will be offered in the new Inferno paint color shown above, as well as Black and Super White. The Tundra benefits from softer TRD springs that also provide a two-inch lift and a better ride in the rough, while the truck itself rides on 18-inch wheels with Michelin ORP tires. Each truck gains an extra two inches of wheel travel in front and 1.25 inches in back, while a TRD dual exhaust should generate a nicer sound than the trucks’s standard V8 engine.
Filed under: Budget , Hybrid , Minivan/Van , Sedan , Truck , Recalls , Safety , Toyota When we reported yesterday on Toyota’s stop-sale order of certain 2013 and 2014 models due to an issue with the fabrics on models with heated seats not conforming to flammability regulations, one of our many questions was how many vehicles were affected? More importantly, how many of those cars have already found homes? Kelley Blue Book has the troubling statistics. Every 2013 and 2014 Avalon features heated seats. 6.2-percent of 2013 and 4.5-percent of 2014 Camry sedans, meanwhile, were sold with heated seats. That doesn’t seem as bad as 100-percent of the larger Avalon, until you consider the Camry’s huge volume – the 5.6-percent average still accounts for a lot of cars. Sienna minivans are heavily affected as well, with a total of 37-percent of 2013s and 46-percent of 2014s fitted with butt warmers. The stop-sale only affects 7-percent of 2014 Corolla models, but like the Camry, that number is rather misleading due to the sheer volume of cars Toyota moves. You can see the entire breakdown of percentages by clicking on the inset image. According to Karl Brauer, a senior analyst for KBB, this problem comes at the worst possible time.
Filed under: Minivan/Van , Sedan , Truck , Safety , Toyota , Luxury Toyota has issued a stop-sale order on six of its core models due to concerns about the flammability of certain seat fabrics. The issue rests not with the cloth and leather covers themselves, but with a piece of seat heater beneath them that fails to meet US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for flame retardancy. There have been no reports of fires or injuries from the affected cars, which include some of Toyota’s biggest volume sellers. 2013 and 2014 Camry , Camry Hybrid , Avalon and Sienna models equipped with heated seats are included in the stop-sale, as are 2014 Tundra pickups and Corolla sedans. The exact number of vehicles with the non-compliant materials are still being tabulated, according to The Detroit Free Press . According to a Toyota spokesman, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been notified, although it remains to be seen if a recall will be issued. Outside of a full recall, though, it’s unclear how Toyota will deal with vehicles equipped with the flammable materials that have already found homes. In the meantime, Toyota is reportedly developing a fix for those vehicle still sitting on dealer lots. UPDATE : John Hanson, National Manager, Environmental, Quality, and Safety Communications for Lexus, has confirmed to Autoblog that no Lexus models are affected by this seat fabric issue. We have not yet heard back from Scion, but we’ll update this post as soon as we do .
Filed under: Truck , Plants/Manufacturing , Toyota , Off-Road Toyota may be expanding its pickup truck production at its San Antonio, TX factory following calls from dealers for more Tacoma and Tundra models, according to a new report from Automotive News . The San Antonio plant is currently able to produce 250,000 trucks on two shifts with overtime, while a secondary facility in Tijuana, Mexico can build an extra 50,000 Tacomas. Despite this capacity, and the fact that Tundra is a slow seller relative to the full-size trucks from Ford , Ram and Chevrolet / GMC (not to mention the Tacoma being part of a segment with diminishing sales), Toyota franchisees apparently can’t get enough of the trucks. “Dealers are telling us they could sell more Tacomas and Tundras,” said Bill Fay , the general manager of the Toyota Division. “We are evaluating our footprint and capacity.” According to AN, Toyota has moved over 248,000 trucks through November. Whether the Japanese brand will expand, though, remains an open question. “We have 2008 and 2009 fresh in our minds, when the pickup market dropped from 2.5 million to 1.1 million,” Fay told AN. “But we also need to be flexible for three years down the road from now.” With the launch of the restyled Tundra resulting in 101,744 units sold so far in 2013 and Fay predicting 137,000 Tundras finding a home in 2014, Toyota faces a difficult decision – short dealers who are aching for more trucks or make a big investment and risk a low return. Toyota mulling more Tundra, Tacoma capacity in TX originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 17 Dec 2013 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Car Buying , Audi , Chevrolet , Dodge , Infiniti , Jeep , Lexus , Subaru , Toyota Toyota and Lexus stormed the 2014 Kelley Blue Book Best Resale Value Awards, winning a combined 18 categories including best brand and best luxury brand. This marks the third year in a row that both automakers have won the Brand and Luxury Brand resale value awards. In all, Toyota won 11 categories and Lexus won seven. Honda made a good showing, as well, winning two segments ( Accord Plug-In Hybrid and Civic Si ) and putting one car on the top-10 Best Resale Value list ( CR-V ). Chevrolet did even better, winning two segments (with the V6 Camaro and the Corvette ) and placing three cars on the top-10-overall list (again, the Camaro and Corvette, plus the Silverado 1500 ). The other winners came from Jeep , Dodge , Infiniti , Subaru and Audi . To give you a clearer picture of the Toyota and Lexus domination, their 18 mentions represents more than half of the 34 awards (including the top-10-overall list). Here’s the Top 10 Cars list: Chevrolet Camaro Jeep Wrangler Chevrolet Corvette Toyota FJ Cruiser Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Toyota Tacoma Dodge Challenger Toyota Tundra Honda CR-V Toyota 4Runner Head on below for the press release, where you can find the full results of KBB’s Best Resale Value Awards. Continue reading Toyota, Lexus dominate KBB’s Best Resale Value Awards Toyota, Lexus dominate KBB’s Best Resale Value Awards originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 19 Nov 2013 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
LAS VEGAS (Nov. 4, 2013) – After a pull on the handcrafted stainless steel drawer, onlookers will imagine the steak sizzling. West Coast Choppers owner Jesse James drew inspiration from Texas restaurateur Tim Love to build an 8-foot combination KitchenAid
Filed under: Aftermarket , SEMA Show , Videos , Toyota , Specialty , Design/Style Toyota has six vehicles that it’s bringing to the Specialty Equipment Market Association ( SEMA ) show next week, all of which were developed by and for people who live active lifstyles. Four of them are the result of the Toyota Dream Build Challenge, which tasked a team of athletes and vehicle customization shops to build Toyota sedans, pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles in seven weeks that would enhance performance in their respective sports. We’ll lead off with the CamRally Camry , developed by NASCAR driver Parker Kligerman, Kyle Busch Motorsports and Mooresville, NC shop Detroit Speed, Inc. for the Dream Build Challenge, because it appeals to us gearheads (sure, call us one-sided). It was totally transformed into a rally vehicle, and it has to be the most badass Camry we can remember seeing. The sedan is always a bit flaccid-looking in stock form, but the CamRally’s wide body and other exterior upgrades and the turbocharger make us forget about that, as do its stripped, painted interior and Sparco race seat. We’re not going to judge a vehicle based on its name, because the ‘Let’s Go Moto’ Tundra , a creation spurred by Joe Gibbs Racing Motocross (JGRMX) teammates Josh Grant and Justin Brayton for the Dream Build Challenge, is a great addition to any dirt biker’s arsenal – and we could see ourselves towing a track car behind it with a set of tools, tires and other equipment stored in the bed. JGRMX’s shop and N-Fab handled the build. The other two Dream Build Challenge vehicles are the Oakley Ultimate Dream Ski 4Runner , created by freestyle skier Simon Dumont and Herbst Smith Fabrication, and the Crusher Corolla , developed by pro BMX rider Drew Bezanson, Skull Candy and Motorsports Technical Center. Head here to vote for your favorite Dream Build Challenge vehicle.