World Car Of The Year down to its final four

World Car Of The Year down to its final four

March 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Convertible , Coupe , Performance , Europe , Hatchback , Mercedes-Benz , Porsche , Scion , Subaru , Toyota , Luxury Judges for the World Car of the Year Award have narrowed down the finalists to just four vehicles. Out of a total of 42 entries, only the Mercedes-Benz A-Class , Porsche Boxster / Cayman , Scion FR-S / Subaru BRZ / Toyota GT-86 and Volkswagen Golf remain standing. For Volkswagen , this marks the second consecutive year the company has had an entry among the finalists, and the fourth time since 2009. In order to qualify, a vehicle must be on sale on two continents during the span of time between January 1, 2013 and May 30, 2013. A panel of 66 journalists from 23 countries then vote on the finalists. Three vehicles have made the cut for the last round of voting on the 2013 World Performance Car as well, with the Cayman/Boxster and FR-S/BRZ/GT-86 running against the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta . Meanwhile, the Renault Zoe , Tesla Model S and Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid are duking it out for the World Green Car Award. Finally, the World Car Design of the Year Award is up for grabs between the Aston Martin Vanquish , Jaguar F-Type , and the Mazda6 . Check out the full press release below. Overall winners will be presented at the 2013 New York Auto Show .

Toyota settles complaints with states Attorneys General for $29 million

Toyota settles complaints with states Attorneys General for $29 million

February 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Government/Legal , Toyota Toyota announced today that it has reached a settlement with the Attorneys General of 29 states and one US territory that will resolve their complaints relating to recalls performed by the automaker from 2005-2010, including those related to sticky accelerators and malfunctioning floor mats that may have contributed to cases of unintended acceleration. The settlement includes a payout of $29 million to be divided among the states and US territory, as well as a commitment from Toyota “to take steps to make vehicle information more easily accessible to consumers to help them operate their vehicles safely and make more informed choices.” The settlement also has Toyota continuing its rapid-response service teams and quality field offices that were put in place shortly after the largest of the recalls from 2010, as well as a “range of customer care amenities for owners of vehicles subject to certain recalls,” though the press release below isn’t specific about what those amenities might be. This settlement marks the second major step in the last few months that Toyota has taken to settle legal disputes surrounding the unintended acceleration recalls, the first being a $1.4 billion settlement to address economic loss suffered by owners of current and past Toyota vehicles that may have lost value on account of these recalls. Continue reading Toyota settles complaints with states Attorneys General for $29 million Toyota settles complaints with states Attorneys General for $29 million originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 14 Feb 2013 17:43:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

Consumer Reports finds flaw with Lexus ES, GS emergency trunk safety release, alerts NHTSA

Consumer Reports finds flaw with Lexus ES, GS emergency trunk safety release, alerts NHTSA

October 12, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Sedan , Japan , Safety , Videos , Lexus , Toyota , Luxury Consumer Reports has found what it says is a flaw with the emergency trunk release handles in certain Lexus models. During testing, the organization found that the federally mandated emergency handles on new Lexus ES and GS sedans can easily break if pulled toward the user (presumably a person trapped inside the vehicle’s trunk). Once broken, the handles no longer function, creating a safety hazard. CR also checked other vehicles in its fleet, but found no such similar defect. As a result, the watchdog alerted both parent Toyota , which has launched its own internal investigation, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to the issue. Both the automaker and NHTSA are currently determining whether further action needs to be taken. As you may recall, this isn’t the first time Consumer Reports has blown the safety whistle on a Lexus model . In 2010, CR discovered a flaw in the stability control system of the Lexus GX SUV that lead to increased rollover risk during evasive maneuvers. In that case, Toyota quickly issued a recall, complete with a software update to take care of the problem. Watch the video below for a full explanation of the trunk release issue.

Toyota Maintains Industry-Leading Fuel Economy by Putting Cars on a Diet and 2013 Avalon Will Be Lightest in Segment

September 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

TORRANCE, Calif. (Sept. 5, 2012) – While powertrain developments such Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive have helped enhance fuel economy, many of the vehicles across the Toyota product line have improved their efficiency because of a focused effort on weight reduction, and the 2013 Avalon is a prime example.

These are the best-selling cars in wealthy zip codes

These are the best-selling cars in wealthy zip codes

August 10, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , BMW , Honda , Lexus , Mercedes-Benz , Toyota , Volkswagen , Luxury Perhaps the most frustrating thing about being mired in the 99% is that due to the prevalence of reality-distorting TV and the booming personal security business, we really have no idea what it’s like to be Mitt Romney , Donald Trump or one of the Koch brothers. At least in the olden days, we plebs could point and stare, mouths agape as the robber barons rode through city streets in their jewel-encrusted carriages. But today? Good luck catching a glimpse of Trump’s platinum-dipped Maybach or the plutonium-burning hovercrafts that the Koch’s use to fly to their secret Tea Party Illuminati meetings. What’s that? Rich people buy their cars at dealerships just like we do? Yep, and according to a new study from TrueCar , Mr. and Mrs. Moneybags don’t go in for luxury models nearly as completely as you’d think. TrueCar has released a list of the top 10 most popular cars in the wealthiest zip codes in the U.S.

Toyota to build Yaris in France for North America

Toyota to build Yaris in France for North America

June 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Budget , Sedan , Europe , Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Hatchback , Toyota Toyota has already made it abundantly clear the company intends to scale back production in Japan in an attempt to combat the ever-strengthening Yen, and now it looks as if we know one of the ways the automaker plans to do so. Toyota has announced it will manufacture U.S. and Canadian-spec Yaris models in its Onnaing-Valenciennes facility in France . The plant has been producing the Yaris hatchback for European buyers since 2001, though this marks the first time in Toyota history that the automaker has built a vehicle in Europe and imported the model to the States. North American-spec Yaris models differ slightly from their European counterparts. In addition to using different fascia designs front and rear, the NA model comes available with an automatic transmission and a market-specific 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. There is some differentiation in safety equipment between the two models as well. Japanese automakers have recently revealed that building cars in Japan and exporting them around the globe is quickly becoming a money-losing proposition. Honda has made it clear the company is seeking alternatives to producing models like the Fit and CR-Z in Japan due to the high costs associated with exporting the vehicles. Toyota to build Yaris in France for North America originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 25 Jun 2012 17:45:00 EST.

Hot Wheels accused of stealing Icon FJ40 Baja design [UPDATE]

Hot Wheels accused of stealing Icon FJ40 Baja design [UPDATE]

June 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Classics , SUV , Government/Legal , Toyota , Toys/Games , Specialty , Design/Style , Off-Road In a perfect world, all of our favorite companies would get along merrily. But sadly, we do not live in a perfect world. Icon , the company behind some of the most lust-worthy vintage off-roaders and street machines in existence, is accusing toymaker Mattel of stealing the FJ40 Baja Edition design for a Hot Wheels die cast toy. According to the most recent Icon newsletter, Hot Wheels lifted a photo of the heavily modified FJ40, slathered a quick Photoshop job over the image and called it a day. Except Mattel reportedly never asked Icon for permission to use the image or the vehicle design in its marketing or products. Icon reportedly reached out to Mattel to no avail. That’s about when the custom builder turned to its lawyers, prompting the attorney for Hot Wheels to say the company wanted to settle the matter out of court. A month went by before Icon once again tried to reach out. Mattel allegedly dismissed Icon, effectively challenging the smaller company to try to sue the toy monolith if Icon thought it stood a chance. Hot Wheels hasn’t spoken out on the issue.

Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent and Chevy Sonic top Consumer Reports subcompact shootout

Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent and Chevy Sonic top Consumer Reports subcompact shootout

March 23, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Budget , Sedan , Hatchback , Chevrolet , Honda , Hyundai , Nissan , Toyota Consumer Reports has just wrapped up an evaluation of subcompact sedans, and the Kia Rio EX has rolled out ahead of the class. The four-door beat out its corporate clone, the Hyundai Accent and the Chevrolet Sonic to take the top spot. Evaluators pointed to the sharp handling and well-optioned interior in the Rio as reasons for the vehicle’s win. The newly redesigned Nissan Versa and unloved Toyota Yaris filled out the top five sedans. And what of the baby hatchbacks? CR once again credited the Honda Fit as leader of the pack, followed closely by the Versa Hatchback and Rio Hatchback. The organization found fault with the base Chevrolet Sonic’s fuel economy, and found the turbocharged LTZ model to be too expensive. Evaluators also felt the Sonic Turbo “didn’t live up to its sporty aspirations.” We’ll politely agree to disagree on that one. All of the vehicles in the evaluation are either too new or scored too low in CR evaluations to earn a coveted Recommended rating. Hit the jump for a look at the full press release and debate amongst yourselves in Comments.

Customer FAQs for Toyota Venza and Camry Stop Lamp Switch Recall

March 9, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

1. Which models are involved in the recall? Toyota is recalling 70,500 certain 2009 model year Toyota Camry and 116,000 2009 to certain 2011 model year Toyota Venza vehicles sold in the U.S. No other vehicles are involved in this recall.

Customer FAQs for Toyota Tacoma Steering Wheel Spiral Cable Assembly Recall

March 9, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

1. Which models are involved in the recall? Toyota is recalling 495,000 certain 2005 to early 2009 model year Toyota Tacoma vehicles sold in the U.S. No other vehicles are involved in this recall.

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