Entries in Toyota (54)


Toyota Issues Two Recalls Affecting over One Million Vehicles

TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images(TORRANCE, Calif.) -- Toyota announced on Wednesday two separate recalls affecting more than one million vehicles in the U.S.

The first recall involves approximately 752,000 Corolla sedans and Corolla Matrix hatchbacks, model years 2003 and 2004.  The Japanese automaker says the airbag control module in these vehicles may have been manufactured with faulty circuits that could result in the inadvertent deployment of the front airbags or seat belt pretensioners.

The second recall includes about 270,000 Lexus IS models from 2006 to early 2012.  Toyota says the nut on the front wipers might not be tight enough, causing them to become inoperative if they have to clear a heavy load, such as a pile of snow.

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Toyota Retakes Title of World's Top-Selling Automaker from GM

TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images(TOKYO) -- Toyota is once again the leading automaker in the world.

The Japanese company announced on Monday that it sold 9.748 million cars last year, beating General Motors for the top spot.  In comparison, GM sold 9.29 million vehicles in 2012.

Toyota has had a bumpy road back since the earthquake and tsunami in Japan devastated production two years ago.  The natural disasters pushed the company behind GM in global sales in 2011.  Recalls also battered Toyota's reputation and bottom line.

Now, Toyota is aiming to sell 10 million cars this year.

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Toyota Agrees to $1 Billion Settlement in Acceleration Case

TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Toyota has agreed to pay more than $1 billion to customers to settle a class-action lawsuit that alleged its vehicles accelerated dangerously and without warning, according to statements by the carmaker and the plaintiffs' attorney.

The deal, which still needs approval by a federal judge in California, includes a $250 million fund to be paid to Toyota owners who sold their cars at a loss following reports of vehicle malfunctions, as well as the installation of a brake override system in about 3.25 million vehicles.

An additional $250 million fund will be created to pay those owners whose vehicles are not eligible for the retrofitted brakes.

Toyota recalled more than 14 million vehicles after reports of sudden, unexplained acceleration in several models began to surface between 2009 and 2010. There were also reports of brake problems with the Prius hybrid.

Toyota insists that it was not an electrical flaw that caused the acceleration problems, but driver error, floor mats and sticky gas pedals.

Both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and NASA have said there is nothing wrong with programs that run the vehicles' onboard computers.

"From the very start, this was a challenging case," said Steve Berman, the plaintiffs' lawyer. "We brought in automotive experts, physicists and some of the world's leading theoreticians in electrical engineering to help us understand what happened to drivers experiencing sudden acceleration."

The settlement also includes $30 million to be given to outside groups to study automotive safety.

In a statement, Toyota agreed to the deal.

"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," said Toyota spokesman Christopher P. Reynolds.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Toyota Prius Tops "Consumer Reports" Ratings

Toyota(NEW YORK) -- The Toyota Prius topped Consumer Reports' annual list of Best and Worst New-Car Values for the first time, with the magazine saying the hybrid’s cost to operate is about one-half that of a conventional vehicle.

The Prius (at 26,$750 for the Four model) knocked the much cheaper $16,915 base-price Honda Fit out of first place -- a position that car has held for the past four years.  Consumer Reports said the Fit’s lower reliability rating was the reason for its fall from number one.

At 49 cents a mile to operate, the Prius costs about half as much to run than the average car, said the magazine, which looked at over 200 models for its annual buying guide.  

Consumer Reports looks at the five-year cost of ownership for each vehicle, road-test scores and predicted reliability.  Toyota and its Lexus cars topped the best values in six of 10 of the magazine's categories.

These are some of the Consumer Reports best and worst values in the most popular categories:

  • Best Value Small Hatchbacks: Toyota Prius Four
  • Worst Value Small Hatchbacks: Ford Focus SE
  • Best Value Family Sedan: Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE
  • Worst Value Family Sedan: Chrysler 200 Limited (V6)
  • Best Value Large-Luxury SUV: Lexus RX 350
  • Worst Value Large-Luxury SUV: Nissan Armada Platinum
  • Best Value Minivan-Wagon: Toyota Prius V Three
  • Worst Value Minivan-Wagon: Chrysler Town & Country Touring-L
  • Best Value Small SUV: Honda CR-V EX
  • Worst Value Small SUV: Mini Cooper Countryman S

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Toyota to Pay Record $17.35M Fine for Faulty Floor Mats

TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Toyota Motor Corporation has been slapped with another hefty fine over one of its recalls.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced on Tuesday that the Japanese automaker has agreed to pay $17.35 million -- the maximum fine allowable under the law -- for failing to report a safety issue with its floor mats within five days, as required by law.

“It’s critical to the safety of the driving public that manufacturers report safety defects in a timely manner,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland in a statement Tuesday.  “Every moment of delay has the potential to lead to deaths or injuries on our nation’s highways.”

The NHTSA said it began noticing a trend in floor mat pedal entrapment in 2010 Lexus RX 350s in early 2012.  It then contacted Toyota, who later acknowledged the problem and issued a recall of the vehicles.

Tuesday's fine is "the single highest civil penalty amount ever paid to NHTSA for violations stemming from a recall," according to the agency.

Two years earlier, Toyota agreed to pay $48.8 million as a result of three separate investigations stemming from sticky pedal, pedal entrapment and steering relay rod recalls.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Toyota Recalls over Seven Million Vehicles for Faulty Switch

TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Toyota announced Wednesday that it is recalling over seven million vehicles worldwide due to a faulty power window switch on the driver's side.

The Japanese automaker said an uneven application of fluorine grease during the assembly of the switches may cause them to feel "notchy or sticky" when used.

In a statement, Toyota warned, "If commercially available lubricants are applied to the switch in an attempt to address the 'notchy' or sticky feel, melting of the switch assembly or smoke could occur and lead to a fire under some circumstances."

No accidents have been reported as a result of this issue, the automaker said.

In the U.S. alone, the recall affects about 2.5 million cars.  To see which models need repair, click here.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Toyota Recalls 154,000 Lexus SUVs to Fix Floor Mats

Giuseppe Cacace/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- There's another Toyota recall for sticky pedals -- this time for the automaker's high-end 2010 Lexus models.

The problem is similar to Toyota's floor mat/gas pedal recall two years ago, when drivers complained that the accelerator could get stuck under the floor mat.  Now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says a similar issue is happening with 2010 Lexus RX350 and RX 450h models.

The government has ordered an immediate recall of approximately 154,000 vehicles and is investigating why Toyota didn't warn drivers after getting many complaints.


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


'Sudden Acceleration' Hyundai Crash Caught on Camera?

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Korean officials are now investigating whether dashboard camera video that shows an elderly Korean couple speeding through crowded city streets and then plowing into another vehicle at 80 mph is evidence of sudden, uncontrolled acceleration by the vehicle.

Footage of the May 6 crash, in which 17 people were injured, was posted on an Internet forum by the couple's son, who told Korean media he didn't think that the police or the auto manufacturer would believe that the crash was caused by sudden, unexplained acceleration.

The son, who would only give his family name, Kwon, to Korean media, said his father, the driver, suffered fractured ribs and fingers, and his mother needed an operation to stop internal bleeding.

The incident, which occurred in heavy traffic in Daegu, one of South Korea's largest cities, was captured by a camera mounted on the Sonata's dashboard and facing forward. In the 29-second clip, the car accelerates quickly from a complete standstill. The driver weaves in and out of traffic, trying to avoid impact as his wife blurts, "Oh my God, what is going on?" The driver then slams into the back of a stopped car at 129 kilometers per hour.

On Monday, the Korean government said it planned to investigate the incident, and that it is also investigating several other incidents of alleged sudden acceleration.

In a statement to ABC News, Hyundai Motors said, "The Vehicle is being inspected by the Korean National Forensic Service. There is no time estimate for the conclusion of the investigation."

On May 5, Hyundai announced that all its cars are now manufactured with brake override systems, which are designed to stop sudden acceleration incidents. According to Korean media reports the vehicle from the Daegu crash was a 2009 Sonata.

ABC News has reported extensively on alleged sudden acceleration incidents in Toyotas. Toyota recalled millions of vehicles to address sticking accelerator pedals or misplaced floor mats. In all other cases, Toyota attributed complaints of sudden acceleration to "driver error," saying its research has shown the driver mistakenly pressed the gas pedal instead of the brake.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Car-Brake Override Rules Proposed After Toyota Accidents

Mark Renders/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After a rash of unintended acceleration accidents in Toyotas, a federal agency Thursday proposed a rule to require automakers to install a brake override switch in all new vehicles when both the brake and gas pedal are pressed at the same time.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the “Brake-Throttle Override” requirement will “help reduce the risks of high-speed unintended acceleration and prevent crashes involving a stuck or trapped accelerator pedal by allowing the driver to maintain control through normal application of the vehicle’s brakes.”

The Toyota accelerator accidents in some 2009-2010 models were traced to carpet protectors that jammed the gas pedal. When the drivers tried to brake, the gas pedal took precedence and they were unable to stop the cars.

Toyota issued a recall to address the problem. “America’s drivers should feel confident that anytime they get behind the wheel, they can easily maintain control of their vehicles, especially in the event of an emergency,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement.

“By updating our safety standards, we’re helping give drivers peace of mind that their brakes will work even if the gas pedal is stuck down while the driver is trying to brake.”

A 60-day comment period has opened before the proposal is published in the Federal Register.

View the proposal here.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Toyota Hands Out Three $50,000 Grants to "Mothers of Invention" 

TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images(TORRANCE, Calif.) -- Toyota handed out three $50,000 grants to women chosen as "Mothers of Invention" at the annual Women in the World summit, according to a press release by Toyota on Saturday.

Aseneth Andrews, founder of The Catherine Ferguson Academy for Young Women, Talia Leman, founder of and Jessica O. Matthews and Julie Silverman, inventors of the sOccket and co-founders of Uncharted Play, received the awards for their "use of innovation and courage in tackling some of the most pressing problems facing women."

The Women in the World Summit, hosted by Newsweek and The Daily Beast editor-in-chief Tina Brown, "tells the stories of the courageous and intelligent women who are battling the status quo in their countries, picking up the pieces in the aftermath of war and shattering glass ceilings in every sector."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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