Toyota takes another one on the chin!

Toyota displays their cars and trucks at the 2011 North American International Auto Show at the Cobo Center in Detroit on January 11, 2011. UPI/Brian Kersey

Toyota takes another one on the chin with a massive worldwide recall! These headlines keep opening the door wider for other auto companies to garner market share from a once Unstoppable Juggernaut. Times change fast and if your Toyota you can’t like what you see in the rearview mirror especially if they are new Chrysler’s, Ford’s, Nissan’s and BMW’s!!!

From AutoNews.com:

TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp., struggling to restore its reputation for top quality, today recalled nearly 1.7 million vehicles globally for a variety of fuel system related problems, including 245,000 Lexus IS and Lexus GS sedans in the United States.

The North American vehicles are being called back to inspect for possibly faulty installation of fuel pressure sensors. In cases where the sensor is not fastened tightly enough, fuel can leak between the gasket that connects the sensor to the fuel delivery pipes, Toyota said.

Lexus dealers in the United States will inspect vehicles for fuel leaks. If none is found, they will tighten the sensor. If leaks are confirmed, the gasket will be replaced and the sensor tightened.

Read the full article.

  

Toyota says $50k Hydrogen Sedan coming by 2015

Some promising news coming out of the Toyota camp? Yes, Toyota has plans for a hydrogen vehicle sometime around 2015 that will be in the 50k price tag. Looks like lithium-ion batteries might have some competition for the hearts and souls of buyers shopping for green cars and trucks. Can’t even imagine what the market will look like in the next 10 years!

From TheTruthAboutCars.com:

Lithium-ion batteries aren’t the only automotive cleantech that appears to be getting cheaper. Toyota’s head of advanced autos, Yoshihiko Masuda, tells Bloomberg that the Japanese automaker has cut the cost of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) by 90 percent in the last five years or so. Mid-decade, Toyota’s per-car estimates for FCVs ran near a million dollars per car. With costs now closer to the $100k mark, Toyota says it plans to cut that number in half by 2015. If they can make that happen, Masuda says, a $50k hydrogen FCV will be on like Donkey Kong.

Read the full article here.

  

Prius Minivan approved for launch in 2011

Word out here, is that Toyota will launch a 2011 Prius Minivan and guess what? It will be great on gas or electric or both and will probably be a solid seller for Toyota. The Prius has had it’s share of problems recently but the brand is still very strong and Toyota has plans to capitalize on that success.

From theTruthAboutCars.com:

According to Reuters, The Nikkei is reporting that Toyota has approved a “competitively priced Prius hybrid minivan” for production in 2011. The new model will be the first Prius-branded vehicle in a long-rumored campaign by Toyota to stretch the nameplate to new models (future additions to the Prius line could include a compact model, based on the FT-CH concept). Depending on the timing of its release relative to the forthcoming plug-in Prius, it could also be the first lithium-ion battery-powered Toyota hybrid. Toyota will initially produce the new batteries in-house, before migrating production to a plant run by its joint venture with Panasonic. Toyota has not yet given details about pricing, performance, or even which markets this new minivan will initially be rolled out to.

Read the full article here.

  

Toyota halts Lexus GX 460 SUV sales after safety warning

You know things aren’t going your way when your marquee brand starts taking serious hits! Toyota is reportedly going to halt Lexus GX 460 sales after a recent safety warning. This appears to be the right thing to do and fix them before they head out the door. The rollover issue is more structural so this could take awhile.

From AutoNews.com:

TOKYO/DETROIT (Reuters) — Toyota Motor Corp. suspended sales of the 2010 Lexus GX 460 on Tuesday after influential magazine Consumer Reports urged car shoppers not to buy the SUV, calling it a “safety risk” that could roll over.

Toyota said its engineers were “vigorously testing” the luxury model to identify the risk cited by Consumer Reports, which said the vehicle was prone to slide when driven in sweeping turns and gave it a “not acceptable” rating.

The rare safety warning from the magazine, which is seen as an objective voice on auto safety and quality in North America, comes at a time when Toyota is battling to repair damage to its reputation from a series of recalls.

Read the full article here.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

  

Toyota sales up 30 percent in March

Looks like Toyota will be bouncing back in March with a projected 30 percent increase in sales! Apparently the hefty incentives are blunting any further erosion in sales from the acceleration issues so you have to give Toyota sales/marketing some credit here. More people are now talking about their rebates than the gas pedal debacle and that’s exactly what Mr. Toyoda probably ordered.

From AutoNews.com:

NEW YORK — Perhaps seeing some light at the end of the tunnel, Toyota expects March sales to be up 30 to 35 percent over year-ago figures, outpacing industry gains, its top U.S. executive said today.

Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., said the “biggest surprise has been the RAV4,” which saw sales surge to an expected 22,000 units in March, far above the crossover’s typical sales. Lentz theorized that perhaps RAV4 incentives were a bit high.

While both car and truck sales have risen, “it’s really light trucks that are driving the business,” Lentz told journalists gathered outside the NADA/IHS Global Insight Forum here.

Read the full article here.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

  

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