Toyota News Archives

Toyota Acceleration Cases Reach Settlement

Toyota Motor Corp. has announced that a settlement has been reached in hundreds lawsuits it had been facing for the headline-grabbing unintended acceleration problems many of its cars and trucks had. The Japanese automaker says that it will pay out more than $1 billion as part of the settlement.

These cases were filed against the carmaker in 2009 after Toyota began getting complaints about its vehicles accelerating on their own. The allegations are that unintended acceleration lead to accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

Talking about the settlement, Steve Berman, a lawyer representing Toyota owners, his clawed fingers curled with glee, said, “We kept fighting and fighting and we secured what we think was a good settlement given the risks of this litigation.”

Adding that this is the largest settlement for automobile defects in American history. Berman said, “We are extraordinarily proud of how we were able to represent the interests of Toyota owners, and believe this settlement is both comprehensive in its scope and fair in compensation.”

To make the payment, Toyota will take a single $1.1 billion pre-tax charge against earnings.

 The carmaker is placing a tip-top spin on the news with Christopher Reynolds, Toyota vice president and general counsel, saying, “In keeping with our core principles, we have structured this agreement in ways that work to put our customers first and demonstrate that they can count on Toyota to stand behind our vehicles.”    

More than 14 million vehicles had already been recalled by Toyota throughout the world due to acceleration and braking problems.

Toyota is making its first entry into the livery market with the Avalon, the Japanese automaker’s full-sized sedan. In total, Toyota is planning to sell 69,000 Avalon models to retail customers and 1,000 as livery cars.

Made to compete with the Lincoln MKT, Cadillac XTS, and Chrysler 300, the Avalon is loaded with prime features such as heated front seats, moonroof, backup camera, and integrated garage door opener. However, the Avalon XLE-based livery model will have heated rear seats rather than front and not have the moonroof or integrated door opener. It will have rear climate controls.

2012 Toyota Prius C Mileage a Mystery

Though the gas mileage of the 2012 Toyota Prius C is indeed impressive, there exists much confusion online and on the roads as to just what the correct mile-per-gallon rating actually is.

On the one hand are the white lab coats at the Environmental Protection Agency who rate the hybrid with a city mpg figure of 53, highway 46 and combined 50. Happy numbers, these are, no doubt. Moreover, these are ratings that other real drivers are achieving in their own day-to-day driving.

However, that is not the whole story, for, as is often uttered, mileage will vary.

Some folks in online Prius chat rooms are reporting ratings of as low 31 miles to the gallon. There’s even one poster who reported just 22 mpg at, ahem, 100 miles per hour. People are learning that engines that have been engineered to be efficient are especially inefficient at higher speeds.

Toyota Sales Surge by Nearly 90% in May

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. is well on its way to recovering from a rough patch of recall troubles and sales difficulties brought about by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. The Japanese automaker’s raw volume sales were up a eye-popping 87.3 per cent this May as compared to May 2011. In total, TMS moved 202,973 units in the month.

The Toyota Division had a rip-roaring month as well moving 181,510 vehicles worldwide, an 88.9 per cent increase in its volume from May 2011. Bubbling over about this success the buoyant Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., said, “We’re grateful to our customers who have made Toyota the number one retail brand in America for the third consecutive month. Our growth has been driven by the success of our new products, led by Camry and Prius family, part of the most aggressive product launch in our history.  With the much anticipated Scion FR-S on sale today and the continued recovery of the overall automotive market, we’re confident our sales momentum will continue.” 

If Toyota is able to continue to ride this trend, the auto-juggernaut may soon once again regain the title of being the world’s number one automaker.

Toyota’s HiLux model has reached both the North Pole and South Pole to set a world record by becoming the first model to do so.

Its journey started way back in 2007 when the television show Top Gear entered a HiLux into a race to the magnetic North Pole. It made it. Then, this year three Toyota HiLux vehicles reached the South Pole after a fourth-month journey in Antarctica as part of a special challenge that was set up by the event organizer behind the Extreme World Races that had brought the model to the North Pole five years previously.

The 5,900-mile trek to the South Pole was an arduous one that had the HiLux crew braving temperatures of negative 58 degrees and altitudes up to 11,000 feet. To deal with the brittle temperatures, the HiLux vehicles ran on A1 jet fuel. However, it must be noted that the vehicles’ engines and transmissions were not modified.

Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda has announced that his automaker will keep jobs and production in Japan in order to help his battered nation recover from last year’s earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
 
Toyoda, who just became president this week, tied his company’s commitment to the nation to a call for the Japanese government not to raise the sales tax. Calling such taxes at times of such uncertainty a “moral hazard, he said, “Companies that are working hard should be rewarded.”   
 
With last year’s vehicle sales dropping by 15% in the island nation, Toyoda’s stern promise flies in the face of some rather cold numbers. However, according to Toyoda, now is not the time to go limp. “In these tough times, we must take up the challenge of bringing revival back to Japan and of bringing back smiles to Japan,” said Toyoda.

Toyota has successfully got the majority of the cases accusing it of driving down the value of its vehicles by hiding information about defects related to unintended acceleration dismissed in New York and Florida. The ruling means that Toyota owners whose cars never accelerated unintentionally have no right to sue for economic loss.

This level-headed decision is the exact opposite of a decision recently made in, not surprisingly, California by U.S. District Judge James Selna that says Toyota owners could sue for economic loss caused by the overall drop in value of their cars due to the unintended acceleration scandal.

The battle to the East continues as, well despite the finding. The lead lawyer for the plaintiffs claiming economic loss, Steve Berman, saying his group will appeal the decision in New York and Florida, said, “Given the thousands of crashes, hundreds of deaths, Toyota’s inability to fix the cars, we don’t believe courts in New York or Florida would agree.”

[Thanks to our friends @ Auto Loans Florida for this tip]

2013 RX 450h Hybrid & GS 450h Hybrid: Prices Released

The waiting is over. Toyota has released the official prices for its 2013 RX 450h hybrid crossover and GS 450h hybrid sedan. 

The 2013 RX 450h hybrid crossover will begin at $45,910 for the front-wheel-drive models and $47,310 for the all-wheel-drive models. The GS 450h hybrid sedan meanwhile comes in at $58,950, the exact same starting price as the model it is replacing.

The 2013 RX 450h hybrid crossover prices are $675 and $485 more than the FWD and the AWD models respectively had last year. The RX will continue to sport Lexus’ Hybrid Drive system.

Check here for Lexus RX hybrid deals in your area, or the Lexus official site for specs.

New Toyota Camry: Revolutionary

The new Toyota Camry reviews racing in are nothing short of remarkable. Some reviews are even saying the reinvented Camry is a revolutionary vehicle that will most likely help the long-time popular car reclaim its spot atop the family sedan niche.

The Camry, which ranges in price from $22,715 to a tad above $30,000, has not evolved much in its exterior looks. Its lines remain simple and familiar. Inside, though, the changes shine. Depending upon the trim package a buyer selects, drivers and passengers sit out the journey in a world comprised of leather upholstery  and wood-and-matte-black trim. The folks inside can also access apps that come preloaded in the Camry’s Entune infotainment system.    

The ride of the new Camry is an improvement upon previous models as well. The suspension has been re-engineered and tuned to give a fine ride while not giving up any road-gripping ability. Finally, hybrid lovers have something that they can go gaga over, the new Camry hybrid that does not have the Hybrid Synergy Drive system that was made for the Prius.

Check here for the latest Toyota Camry deals and incentives.

Toyota CEO: We Will Not Produce Low-End Cars

Toyota Motor’s president Akio Toyoda said that the Japanese automaker will not produce, nor offer low-end cars in order to pump up overall sale volume numbers.

This announcement comes on the heels of news announcing that Nissan and Volkswagen are to do the exact opposite. Nissan is to bring forth its Datsun brand once again to target buyers occupying the lower-end of developing markets.  

Talking about this decision to ignore the lower-end market, Toyoda said, “We won’t risk sacrificing quality simply to meet a certain price range. When we think about what customers value in our cars, it’s reliability.”

Speaking to reporters, Toyoda added, “We are a full-line car maker, but to grow sustainably, we need to make a certain level of profit on cars, no matter how big or small they are. Does Toyota have the ability to make cars for 500,000 yen ($6,000) like Tata Motors? I don’t think so.” Tata is an Indian automaker renown for producing the planet’s cheapest car, the Nano.

Once the world’s largest automaker, Toyota dropped below General Motors and Volkswagen last year in global units moved following the earthquake and tsunami disaster.

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