Filed under: Government/Legal , Toyota , Ownership Where General Motors and Takata have grabbed many auto safety-related headlines this year with their problems with ignition switches and airbag inflators, a few years ago, a similar sort of scrutiny fell on Toyota for unintended acceleration. After multiple settlements with various parties totaling billions of dollars , the issues seem largely behind the Japanese automaker now. Owners are actually starting to receive their money, but it isn’t exactly breaking the bank. Payouts are expected to be between $37 and $125 per person. Computer science student Jonathan Sourbeer received a check for just $20.91, and he considers what that money actually means in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal . Sourbeer’s biggest gripe is that the roughly 85 lawyers in the case are receiving $227 million in attorneys’ fees and expenses, while the 25 primary plaintiffs and class representatives receive a total of just $395,270. According to the Frequently Asked Questions about the settlement, Toyota set up a $250 million fund to pay affected owners, as well . The money isn’t for injuries or damages but for alleged economic loss to the vehicles. However, Sourbeer says he feels no personal suffering and still has the same car. In addition to the settlement, the automaker obviously has its own legal fees to deal with, as well.
Filed under: Recalls , Safety , BMW , Chrysler , Dodge , Ford , Honda , Infiniti , Mazda , Mitsubishi , Nissan , Pontiac , Subaru , Toyota Unfortunately, the government’s list still contains errors. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued an updated list of vehicle models that it’s urging owners to repair under the mushrooming Takata airbag inflator recall. The latest version adds vehicles from new automakers like Subaru and Ford that are missing from the original announcement , and it also removes erroneous entries from General Motors , leaving only the 2005 Saab 9-2X (a reskinned Subaru WRX ), and the 2003-2005 Pontiac Vibe , a joint project with Toyota . According to a statement sent to Autoblog by GM, the inaccurate entries on the earlier version came because, “The original NHTSA advisory incorrectly listed a group of 2002-2003 GM models that were part of a 2002 recall involving airbags made by other suppliers.” This campaign has been spurred by recent discoveries from Takata about the risks from these inflators . It’s possible for the airbags to rupture in a crash and spray shrapnel at occupants. The problem is known to have caused serious injuries and several deaths , and the likelihood of a malfunction has been determined to be especially likely in high humidity areas. The recalls related to the faulty parts go back to at least 2001 , and most of the vehicles on the latest list are also among the same ones from a campaign in June . Since this isn’t a new recall and NHTSA is simply urging people to take action, it’s possible some of these models might already be repaired. NHTSA appears to be having serious problems with the stress the Takata airbag issue is putting on its consumer website. According to The Detroit News , the agency’s VIN lookup service is down , and its daily listing of new recalls is also not working as of this writing.
Filed under: Car Buying , Japan , Toyota Don’t you just hate when your neighbors’ mess becomes your problem? Toyota certainly has good reason to be upset, after an dirty mishap at a steel mill delayed thousands of vehicle exports from its nearby port in Nagoya, Japan, (pictured above) by as much as a month. The messy situation occurred on June 22 when the mill near the port lost power and had to burn off an excess buildup of coke oven gas – which isn’t exactly a situation friendly to living beings or the environment . According to Automotive News , it caused a massive amount of smoke to emit from the plant that fell as soot and tar on about 23,000 vehicles that were waiting to be shipped out. Getting the models properly cleaned off has been quite a task. A team of 5,000 workers were at the port until this week getting them gleaming again. Potential Toyota buyers in North America have no need to fret about getting a sullied car, though. A Toyota spokesperson told Automotive News that none of the vehicles were bound for this continent. The automaker is reportedly considering asking the mill’s owners for reimbursement for the cost of the weeks of cleanup. Paying for the mistake is, after all, the neighborly thing to do.
Filed under: Sedan , SUV , Truck , Recalls , Safety , Hatchback , Toyota Was your Toyota inspected under the company’s recall campaign for faulty airbag inflators last year? You might have another trip ahead to have it repaired again. The automotive giant says that it found “the involved serial numbers provided by the supplier were incomplete, and did not include all of the potentially involved inflators,” according to its official announcement. That means more replacements are needed. Toyota’s April 2013 inflator recall covered the Corolla , Matrix and Tundra from the 2003 and 2004 model years, the Sequoia from 2002 to 2004 and the Lexus SC 430 from 2002 to 2004. At the time, the company said it would need to inspect about 510,000 vehicles in the US but only expected to replace around 170,000 inflators. However, the latest announcement increases that figure to about 766,300 vehicles in the US. Toyota spokesperson Cindy Knight told Autoblog that the new amount is the combination of owners who need to have their vehicle looked at again and those who didn’t come in for the initial recall. The company learned about the problem when Takata, the supplier, provided it with an improved list of the faulty part’s serial numbers. According to The Detroit News , the latest recall affects about 2.27 million vehicles from them worldwide .
Filed under: Car Buying , Chevrolet , Ford , GMC , Honda , Nissan , Toyota The Ford F-Series is hands down the best-selling vehicle in the US, but as it turns out, there are plenty of states where the truck doesn’t reign supreme. Business Insider compiled data from Kelley Blue Book based on 2013 sales figures from January through August to create a map of the top-selling vehicles in each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. Looking at the map, Ford’s truck is the top vehicle in 34 states, but there are states – some surprising, some not – where other vehicles are more popular among consumers. After Ford’s pickup, it’s a battle among midsize sedans, with the Honda Accord being the most popular in Virginia, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island, while the Toyota Camry (the reigning best-selling car in the US) is the favorite among Florida and Maryland owners; the Nissan Altima is one of the surprises on the list as the most popular car in Oklahoma. The Ford Fusion is the top-selling car in Michigan, and it is also the only American-branded car on the list. Rounding out the passenger cars, Massachusetts and Connecticut favor the Honda CR-V , California buyers flock to the Honda Civic and Washington, D.C. buyers prefer the Toyota Corolla . Truck-loving buyers also reside in Maine and Indiana (choosing the Chevy Silverado ), Vermont ( GMC Sierra ) and Hawaii ( Toyota Tacoma ). Regardless of what vehicle is most popular in which state, one interesting observation for all the models on this list is that they all have at least some US production. Head on over to Business Insider to see the whole map.
Filed under: Concept Cars , Coupe , Tokyo Motor Show , Toyota , Design/Style Of all the vehicles Toyota brought to the Tokyo Motor Show , the FV2 might be the most creative. The minimalist single-seat concept is a glimpse at Toyota’s idea of a “fun to drive” vehicle in the future. The FV2 is essentially a pod with a diamond-shaped wheel array (what powers said wheels has not been disclosed), and Toyota says that the technology of the vehicle allows it to gauge the driver’s mood and suggest possible destinations. The interaction between driver and vehicle is also displayed in an augmented reality screen on the windshield, and the car can also act as a mood ring of sorts with exterior colors and patterns that can change based on the driver’s mood. We can just see it now: “Don’t mess with Jim today, his car is red.” Scroll down for a brief press release on the FV2. Continue reading Toyota FV2 Concept is a single-seat mood ring for the road Toyota FV2 Concept is a single-seat mood ring for the road originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Nov 2013 14:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
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.
Filed under: Acura , Audi , BMW , Buick , Chrysler , Dodge , Ford , GMC , Honda , Infiniti , Jeep , Lexus , Lincoln , Mazda , Mercedes-Benz , Mini , Nissan , Scion , Subaru , Toyota , Volvo , Ram Consumer Reports has released its annual Auto Reliability Rankings, and surprise of surprises, Japan is dominant. Among brands in 2014, Lexus , Toyota and Acura make up the top three marques, while Mazda , Infiniti , Honda and Subaru sit fifth, sixth, eighth, and tenth, respectively. For those keeping track at home, Japan’s dominance wasn’t complete, though. Audi’s 2014 models helped the German brand jump from eighth to fourth, while Volvo saw a massive, 13-spot improvement, to seventh overall. Even GMC got in on the action, jumping three places, to ninth. Outside of the top 10, America, Europe and Japan saw more mixed results. Scion took the biggest tumble of any brand, falling ten positions to number 11, while Subaru , though still in the top ten, dropped five spots (coincidentally, CR had nothing good to say about Subaru and Toyota’s joint venture, calling the BRZ and Scion FR-S each brand’s least reliable vehicle). Nissan fell nine places to number 22 overall. BMW and Mercedes-Benz each climbed one place, to fifteenth and thirteenth, respectively. The big earners, though, besides Volvo, included Buick , which jumped nine places to number 12.
Filed under: Sedan , Recalls , Toyota Toyota has announced a voluntary recall covering approximately 10,000 cars in the United States. Affected models include the 2013-14 Camry and Camry Hybrid, 2013-14 Avalon and Avalon Hybrid, and the brand new 2014 Corolla . The problem, as Toyota explains it, is that, “During manufacture of the wiper switch assembly in the involved vehicles, certain contacts on the switch terminal could have been manufactured incorrectly.” This could lead to a short in the circuit when the wiper switch is moved between “off” and “mist,” and thus, cause the windshield wipers to stop working. Not good. Toyota will contact owners via first class mail, and the vehicles can be repaired at dealerships, free of charge. Have a look below for the automaker’s official statement. Continue reading Toyota recalling 10k vehicles to fix wiper switches Toyota recalling 10k vehicles to fix wiper switches originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 11 Oct 2013 18:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink