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 .
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
TORRANCE, Calif., (Oct. 20, 2012) – Kyle Busch, whose 104 career wins across all three of its top series make him one of NASCAR’s top drivers, is now hoping to head to the winner’s circle in a different kind of race: the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge ( www.ToyotaRacingDreamBuild.com ). Busch, one of four racing stand-outs pitted against each other in the vehicle-modification build competition, took on a 2012 Toyota Camry SE and remade it into the “Rowdy Edition” Camry, named for his “Rowdy” handle on the racing circuit. The Rowdy Edition Camry is all about style and substance.
TORRANCE, Calif., (Sept. 13, 2012) — Kyle Busch—whose 104 career wins across all three of its top series make him one of NASCAR’s top drivers in terms of diversity—is now hoping to head to the winner’s circle in a different kind of race: the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge ( www.ToyotaRacingDreamBuild.com ). Busch—one of four racing stand-outs pitted against each other in the vehicle-modification build competition—is diving into a 2012 Toyota Camry SE and remaking it into the “Rowdy Edition” Camry, named for Busch’s nickname on the racing circuit, “Rowdy.”
TORRANCE, Calif. (May 24, 2012) – The 2012 Scion tC today was recognized as the Top Rated Sporty Car in the 16th Annual Autobytel and AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Awards.
Torrance, Calif., April 30, 2012—Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., will debut the all new RAV4 EV at the 26 th International Electric Vehicle Symposium (EVS26) in Los Angeles.