TORRANCE, Calif., (Feb. 14, 2014)
Filed under: Acura , Buick , Cadillac , Chevrolet , Honda , Lexus , Mercedes-Benz , Scion , Toyota For the first time since 1998, J.D. Power and Associates says its data shows that the average number of problems per 100 cars has increased . The finding is the result of the firm’s much-touted annual Vehicle Dependability Study, which charts incidents of problems in new vehicle purchases over three years from 41,000 respondents. Looking at first-owner cars from the 2011 model year, the study found an average of 133 problems per 100 cars (PP100, for short), up 6 percent from 126 PP100 in last year’s study, which covered 2010 model-year vehicles. Disturbingly, the bulk of the increase is being attributed to engine and transmission problems, with a 6 PP100 boost. Interestingly, JDP notes that “the decline in quality is particularly acute for vehicles with four-cylinder engines, where problem levels increase by nearly 10 PP100.” Its findings also noticed that large diesel engines also tended to be more problematic than most five- and six-cylinder engines. Among individual brands, Lexus has taken the prize for most-dependable nameplate for the third year in a row, registering just 68 problems per 100 vehicles. Mercedes-Benz , Cadillac , Acura and Buick rounded out the top of the class with 104, 107, 109 and 112 PP100, respectively. Broken down into specific models, General Motors brands continued their success, winning eight dependability awards for its 2011 models, including prizes for the Chevrolet Volt , Cadillac Escalade and Buick Lucerne . Toyota followed that up with seven prizes split between its Lexus, Toyota and Scion nameplates, while Honda tallied six wins.
Filed under: Hybrid , Recalls , Toyota Toyota has announced a set of voluntary recalls covering 960,000 Prius , RAV4 , Tacoma and Lexus RX350 models in the United States to address two separate issues. Worldwide, Toyota will have to recall a total of 1.9 million Prius cars. The Prius recall affects about 700,000 2010-2014 models in the US, due to a fault in the motor/generator control ECU and hybrid control ECU software. It says that the current software could result in high temperatures on certain transistors and possibly damage them. When it fails, the error forces the car into failsafe mode. Toyota says that in rare circumstances, it could even shut the hybrid system down while the car is being driven. Toyota spokeswoman Shino Yamada told Automotive News that the software update should take about 40 minutes, and dealers would start to be notified about affected vehicles today. She also told them that the first reported glitch occurred in May 2011 in the US when the system overheated and the car entered failsafe mode. The affected cars were built between March 2009 and Feb. 5, 2014, according to Automotive News .
TORRANCE, Calif. (Feb. 3, 2014)
Filed under: Government/Legal , Safety , Toyota , Earnings/Financials According to those all-too-nebulous “people familiar with the matter,” Toyota is close to a settlement with the US federal government to end a criminal probe over its long-running unintended acceleration fiasco. Though Toyota has never admitted guilt, the deal could reportedly crest a billion dollars and would likely include a criminal deferred prosecution agreement, and while we’re not legal experts, The Wall Street Journal explains that such a deal would “[force Toyota] to accept responsibility while avoiding the potentially crippling consequences of federal criminal convictions.” The report from WSJ also suggests that Toyota is facing charges that it “made false or incomplete disclosures” to various government agencies regarding possible defects to its cars. Such charges may include mail and wire fraud violations. Toyota has already paid out fines totaling $66.2 million to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration because it failed to report safety defects in a timely manner. This deal with the federal government is not related to the billion-dollar class-action settlement reached with Toyota owners over falling vehicle values, and it’s also different from the roughly 400 lawsuits still in courts alleging personal injury of wrongful death due to cases of unintended acceleration. In other words, don’t expect to hear the end of such courtroom verdicts and settlements anytime soon… Toyota nearing $1B settlement of unintended acceleration criminal probe originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 09 Feb 2014 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Torrance, Calif., (Feb. 5, 2014)
CHICAGO (Feb. 6, 2014) – Toyota today announced it has begun to export U.S.- assembled
Filed under: Chicago Auto Show , SUV , Truck , Toyota , Off-Road With a rich history of creating off-road worthy trucks and SUVs and a somewhat bland impression of its brand overall, Toyota has wisely created a line of TRD Pro Series vehicles to spice up its showrooms and newly engage customers. Debuting at this year’s Chicago Auto Show before rolling into dealers this fall, the TRD-tuned vehicles include the 4Runner , Tacoma and Tundra , all with added rough-road gear and amped-up looks. The TRD Pro Series trucks might end up, in many cases, as lifestyle accessories for outdoorsy types, but that doesn’t mean they’re all show. TRD springs and Bilstein dampers are set up for off-road performance, while skid plates will protect the softish underbellies of these would-be rock-crawlers. The trio all get lifted over stock height, as well, with two-inch gains for the Tundra and Tacoma (lovingly referred to as “Taco Supreme” in the Toyota press release), and an inch-and-a-half rise for the 4Runner. We detailed all of the changes to the Pro Series vehicles in our original announcement post , and you’ll also find more granularity of information in the Toyota press release below . Before you dive in, however, be sure to take in our set of live, action-packed images from the Chicago Show floor. Continue reading Toyota demos its TRD Pro Series line [w/video] Toyota demos its TRD Pro Series line [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 07 Feb 2014 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Toyota Racing Development (TRD) Celebrates 35 Years in the U.S. with Next Chapter in Off-Road Performance Accessories
CHICAGO, Feb. 6, 2014 – - Their “minds are always racing.” In their 35 year existence, Toyota Racing Development – U.S.A. (TRD) has lived by their mission “to deliver an authentic high-performance experience by adding value to create passion and enthusiasm.”
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.