SNL pokes fun at Toyota

You knew it was a matter of time before Saturday Night Live went after Toyota for their alleged runaway cars. Well, They did it Saturday night and here is a link to the skit.

  

Toyota recalls more vehicles to fix faulty brakes

Toyota announced a recall of some of the hybrid vehicles because of faulty brakes. The faulty braking is caused by glitches in the software that operates the anti-lock braking system. The software will be updated and, according to the Toyota website, will make the braking far more consistent.

The call came on the heels of a report from CNNMoney.com that said ““Problems with Prius brakes have prompted 124 reports of difficulty stopping in the United States alone, along with four accidents, two of which caused injuries.” Toyota is going through a bad spell and problems with accelerator pedals, floor mats and braking systems have hit a wide range of its cars from the Corolla to the Camry. The Prius is a highly prized hybrid car that is often hailed as a triumph of Toyota technology and derives most of its energy from the braking system. A malfunctioning braking system is not only a threat to safety but also affects reliability since the car could run out of fuel. Reports suggest that from May 2009 onwards this problem has appeared in 270,000 Prius cars in the USA and Japan.

The Los Angeles Times has reported that at least 100 drivers have reported braking malfunctions on bumpy roads to the US government. The US government itself says that faulty brakes are responsible for at least four crashes and two minor injuries. Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-NY) said, “There appears to be growing public concern regarding which Toyota vehicles may be problematic and how people should respond. Consumers want to know whether their cars are safe to drive, and if not, they need to know what to do about it.”

Toyota has compounded its own problems by completely mishandling the PR relating to these recalls. Its reputation for building the best cars on the road is now under severe strain.If you are pursuing a personal injury claim,remember to use a lawyer on a “no win no fee” basis(if you lose you don’t have to pay the lawyer’s fees).

  

Toyota looking to expand Prius

Sometimes figuring out how to handle something so successful as the Prius can make or break a brand.

From the Free Press:

Can Toyota clone its golden goose? Or does the automaker’s plan to expand the Prius from a single model into a whole family of cars hold pitfalls for the brand and its most-acclaimed vehicle?

The Prius is the most-successful new nameplate of the 21st Century. Its styling and technology generated immense goodwill for Toyota.

Read the full article here.

  

Mastering the new lingo – parallel vs. series hybrid

chevy-volt-concept-07

Wired.com’s Autotopia blog has a cool post of five auto-related terms that will be dying out soon along with five new terms that we’ll need to become familiar with. You’ll soon be forgetting terms like gas pedal, MPG, throttle, transmission and tachometer. Here’s one of the new ones:

Parallel vs. series hybrid – These terms have so far been relegated to the geeks, but as the industry progresses and hybrids of all stripes become more common, you’ll want to know the difference. They refer to how the gasoline engine and electric motor are configured. A parallel hybrid like the Toyota Prius uses a traditional transmission to couple the gasoline engine and electric motor to the wheels. Such vehicles use internal combustion and electricity to drive the wheels. A series hybrid like the Chevrolet Volt does away with the transmission because the engine drives a generator that takes over when the battery runs down. The electric motor is the only thing driving the wheels. Many see the series hybrid as the “true” hybrid configuration minimizing energy loss due to wasteful idle engine spinning friction.

Also, get ready to hear the following terms as well: Lithium-ion battery, continuous vs. peak power, kilowatt-hour vs. kilowatt and drive-by-wire.

  

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