Toyota Still Most Valuable Auto Brand on Interbrand’s 2014 Best Global Brands Report

Toyota Still Most Valuable Auto Brand on Interbrand’s 2014 Best Global Brands Report

October 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

TORRANCE, Calif. Oct. 9, 2014 – Playful campaigns, commitment to women leaders and its zero-emission “Car of the Future” Fuel Cell Vehicle are just a few of the reasons Interbrand ranked Toyota the 8 th most valuable global brand in its annual report .

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid

September 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hybrid , Sedan , Toyota , Quick Spins Toyota offers many flavors of its refreshed 2015 Camry , but those who choose to lower their operating cost-per-mile, squeeze 500-plus miles out of each tank of fuel or run a very efficient and reliable sedan in their taxi fleets will only be interested in one: the Camry Hybrid. The exterior of the 2015 Camry Hybrid is nearly indistinguishable from its gasoline-only counterparts, with the same all-new sheetmetal and bumpers. The Hybrid is offered in LE, SE and XLE trims, meaning customers are offered base, sport or luxury configurations, respectively. While Toyota expended quite a bit of effort resculpting and improving the 2015 Camry Hybrid, one area it didn’t touch was the powertrain – it is virtually identical to last year’s model (just like the gas version). Under the hood is a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine (156 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque) and an electric tractive motor (141 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque). Combined, and running through Toyota’s unique Hybrid Synergy Drive electronic continuously variable transmission, the two produce 200 horsepower (Toyota does not list a combined torque figure, and we’ve asked for clarification). A 1.6 kilowatt-hour nickel-metal-hydride battery, packaged behind the rear seats, provides energy storage. The test car featured here is the Camry Hybrid SE in Blue Crush Metallic, with the optional moonroof, wireless charging and Entune premium audio with navigation and app suite. Driving Notes Toyota offers several different driving modes for the Camry Hybrid. The standard mode is Drive, which incorporates hybrid/EV driving automatically.

‘Car of the Future’ Is Here. Now.

June 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

ASPEN, Colo., June 27, 2014 – Driving helps make lives safer, greener and more convenient at Toyota’s “Experience the Future of Mobility” exhibit, open now at the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival. Toyota is staging the North American debut of its “Car of the Future” at the annual conference. Unveiled earlier this week at a press conference in Japan, the zero-emission hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) will be available for sale to customers in California in summer 2015.

Tesla pulling plug on Toyota RAV4 EV battery deal

Tesla pulling plug on Toyota RAV4 EV battery deal

May 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing , Crossover , Toyota , Earnings/Financials , Tesla , Electric The future of the Toyota RAV4 EV appears to be in doubt. Tesla supplies the EVs battery packs, and it says that production ends later this year. ” Toyota is expected to end the current RAV4 EV model this year,” Tesla said in its quarterly financial filing obtained by Bloomberg . “Our production activities under this program are expected to end in 2014,” the company said. This timeline fits closely with the original production plans for the RAV4 EV. When the $100-million project was first announced, Tesla said that it expected to supply battery packs for the vehicle from 2012 to 2014 . Building components for the Japanese automaker continues to bring in money, though. In the company’s Q1 2014 letter to shareholders , it said: “Automotive revenue included $15 million of Toyota powertrain sales.” According to Bloomberg , Toyota has sold just 1,594 RAV4 EV models from 2012 through April 2014. Initially, the business had estimated that it would sell 2,600 units of the electrified crossover . Toyota has not officially said that it plans to end production of the RAV4 EV yet.

Toyota recalling 1.9M Prius models globally for software update

Toyota recalling 1.9M Prius models globally for software update

February 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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 .

Toyota responds to video of Highlander ramming house [w/video]

Toyota responds to video of Highlander ramming house [w/video]

April 19, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Safety , Crossover , Toyota There are, as they say, two sides to every story, so after we posted a video on Monday showing what an owner claimed to be a case of unintended acceleration causing her Toyota Highlander to crash into a house twice , Toyota reached out to us revealing some additional information about the incident. Following this crash, which took place back in November, Toyota had this Highlander inspected and pulled data from its Event Data Recorder (EDR), or Black Box as we’ve come to call it. Not only was this the first time we’ve seen a claim of unintended acceleration like this caught on video, but now, also a first, we have actual data showing what the vehicle itself recorded during this frightening ordeal. Brian Lyons, Toyota Communications Manager for Safety and Quality, first gave us some information about the Highlander in question, including the fact that it was a 2012 model. The 2012 Highlander came from the factory with a brake override system, meaning it was not part of the company’s initiative in 2010 to add the system to all 2011 models. Also, after looking at the data from the EDR, he said – as many of you pointed out in the comments for the previous post – that the “brake pedal was never touched.” In the video, you can see that the crossover’s brake lights never come on, and the EDR’s data backs this up. The data pulled from the EDR – posted in the gallery below as two images – shows the two “events,” which were recorded each time the vehicle impacted the house. In the first event , the data provided by Toyota shows that 3.6 seconds before the impact, the vehicle began to slow down before speeding up to almost 15 miles per hour as it slammed into the house. In the second event , which resulted in a more violent collision with the house, the Highlander reached speeds of almost 30 mph with the engine racing at 4,400 rpm. In both images, it shows that the brake switch was in the “OFF” position the entire time, indicating that the driver was not attempting to press the brake.

J.D. Power: Vehicle dependability at all-time high, Lexus and Porsche lead

J.D. Power: Vehicle dependability at all-time high, Lexus and Porsche lead

February 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Lexus , Porsche , Toyota Each year, J.D. Power and Associates surveys original owners of three-year-old vehicles to find out what kinds of problems they have had experienced over the last 12 months, and then it uses this data to create its annual Vehicle Dependability Study . This means that the models in the 2013 study are 2010 model year vehicles, and J.D. Power rates each make as well as the top individual models based on how many problems were experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100). Debunking the idea that carryover models are more dependable than new or updated models, the 2013 study found that the average carryover model experienced 133 PP100, while all-new or redesigned vehicles for the 2010 model year had 116 PP100; vehicles that received minor changes fared the best with just 111 PP100. The overall average for all makes was 126 PP100, which is the lowest figure since the findings were first issued in 1989. For 2013, Lexus and Porsche remained in the top two spots, respectively (and each experienced fewer problems year over year), but there were plenty of shakeups elsewhere in the list. The biggest mover overall was Ram , which moved up 20 spots from one of the worst performers in 2012 to sitting pretty in the top 10. Other big positive movers include Mazda , Infiniti and Ford . On the opposite side of things, Scion dropped 13 spots, falling from the fifth-best score down to No.

Toyota to name Prius developer Uchiyamada its next chairman?

Toyota to name Prius developer Uchiyamada its next chairman?

January 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs , Japan , Toyota A report in Japan’s Nikkei newspaper cited by Automotive News claims that the father of the Prius , Takeshi Uchiyamada, will take the role of chairman at Toyota . Currently Toyota’s vice chairman, Uchiyamada joined the automaker in 1969, and in 1994 became the chief engineer of the Vehicle Development Center that birthed The Hybrid to Rule Them All. He said of it , “When we started, the purpose wasn’t to do a specific car project. It was to make a vehicle suitable for the 21st century.” A specialist in vehicle noise, vibration and harshness, Uchiyamada’s leadership on the Prius helped continue his quiet run to the top of the company; he remains a huge fan of hybrids , but has been reticent about the place of electric vehicles in the current marketplace. If the move is confirmed – it might happen as soon as this year , according to Reuters – Uchiyamada would replace Fujio Cho, Toyota’s chairman for the past six years, who would move to an advisory role. Cho spent seven years overseeing Toyota’s manufacturing operations in Kentucky as well as spearheading manufacturing efforts in Texas, France and China. C ompany president Akio Toyoda would maintain day-to-day charge of Toyota. Toyota to name Prius developer Uchiyamada its next chairman? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Jan 2013 09:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .

2013 Avalon Marketing Campaign Introduces Consumers to New Face of Toyota

January 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

TORRANCE, Calif. (Jan. 7, 2013) – When Toyota set out to market its all-new 2013 Avalon, the automaker had to find an interesting way to showcase the vehicle’s modern styling, improved performance, innovation and elevated level of craftsmanship to help reposition the flagship sedan in the highly competitive premium mid-size segment. No small task.

Toyota developing new pre-crash braking aids

Toyota developing new pre-crash braking aids

November 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Sedan , Safety , Technology , Toyota , Luxury Automotive News Europe reports that Toyota is set to debut a pair of pre-crash safety systems. The company hopes the tech will help reduce the likelihood of high-speed crashes and accidents caused by pedal misapplication . One of the systems uses millimeter-wave radar to calculate the risk of a collision. Like the Volvo City Safety technology, when the vehicle senses an impending crash, it alerts the driver with both audio and visual cues. A new brake booster can then be activated to help deliver twice the braking force typically available. Toyota also hopes to prevent parking collisions with an additional automatic braking system. Using sonar, the vehicle can detect whether the car is approaching a stationary obstacle too quickly and apply the brakes as necessary. It also features a fail-safe that will automatically slow the vehicle if the driver shifts gears while the accelerator is applied or “abnormal shifting” is detected. Word has it the manufacturer will debut the tech on a “high-end Toyota-brand sedan,” but specifics beyond that are not known. Toyota developing new pre-crash braking aids originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 25 Nov 2012 13:34:00 EST.

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