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January 26, 2011

Toyota recalls 1.7m cars after new concerns

Toyota recalls 1.7m cars after new concerns

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A file photo of a Toyota Avensis.
Image: Mytho88.

Car manufacturer Toyota is to recall almost 1.7 million cars in two simultaneous recalls, that include the Toyota Avensis and Lexus IS 250, after concerns over fuel systems, which, if combined, amount to the biggest Toyota recall for six years.

Japan’s transport ministry stated it was possible for slight cracks to appear in fuel pipes in Avensis models, which may widen if the cars continue to be used. In the United Kingdom, Toyota GB are offering free repairs, which are expected to take around four and a half hours each. The Lexus IS 250 is involved in a separate recall, with around 280 thousand models outside of Japan being recalled over a faulty fuel pressure sensor, which can possibly come loose, causing a fuel leak.

The Managing Director of Toyota GB stated “We are committed to putting the customer first and have a total focus on the quality of all our products. We will liaise with our customers to carry out the repair procedures as efficiently as possible, with minimal disruption”.

Toyota has recalled over 16 million cars globally since late 2009.


Related news

  • “Fuel leak prompts 17,000-vehicle recall by Toyota” — Wikinews, June 27, 2010
  • “Toyota recalls up to 1.8 million automobiles” — Wikinews, January 30, 2010

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July 17, 2010

Toyota, Tesla to develop electric SUV

Filed under: Toyota — admin @ 5:00 am

Toyota, Tesla to develop electric SUV – Wikinews, the free news source

Toyota, Tesla to develop electric SUV

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

2009 RAV4.

Toyota Motor Company announced they have formalized an agreement to develop an electric version of the RAV4 SUV with Tesla Motors.

In May 2010, Akio Toyoda and Elon Musk, leaders of Toyota and Tesla, respectively, announced they would work together on electric vehicles. The agreement formalizes this announcement and would allow Tesla to work with Toyota at an automobile production plant in California.

The plant will open 2011, when Tesla reopens it after it bought the Fremont, California plant. The plant was previously used by Toyota and General Motors, but was shut down when Toyota said it would not produce cars in California.

Tesla currently produces only a single model, the US$109,000 Roadster, although it is currently designing a second model, the Model S, which will be produced at the Fremont factory.

Analysts supported the move; John Boesel, CEO of a green-transportation trade group, said that “Toyota’s willingness to partner with Tesla to provide an electric version of one of the Japanese automaker’s existing vehicles suggests the partnership between the two companies is going to be a meaningful one.”

Following this announcement, Tesla’s shares rose $0.75, while Toyota’s fell $1.65.



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July 14, 2010

Crash data suggests driver error in Toyota accidents

Filed under: Archived,Crime and law,Economy and business,Toyota,Transport — admin @ 5:00 am

Crash data suggests driver error in Toyota accidents

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Crime and law
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The Toyota Auris, one of the models recalled by Toyota.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Department of Transportation has analyzed data from the vehicles involved in accidents caused by sudden acceleration, which led to Toyota, the world’s top automaker, recalling a large number of automobiles. Early analysis showed that the throttle was wide open and the brakes weren’t engaged when the cars crashed, and suggests that the accidents may have been caused by drivers unintentionally flooring the accelerator instead of the brakes. The U.S. Department of Transportation did not confirm this report.

However, Toyota is still under federal investigation for a number of known issues with its cars’ acceleration. The accelerator is known to not return to idle after it has been released, and the floor mats are known to trap the accelerator pedal. Toyota is also suspected of having electronic glitches in its computer-controlled throttle systems, but released a statement on Wednesday saying that its investigations found no problems in the throttle systems.

Over the years Toyota has received more than 3000 complaints about sudden acceleration. These may have caused up to 75 fatal crashes that led to 93 deaths. Due to these accidents, Toyota provided the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with ten event data recorders from cars involved in accidents. However, the NHTSA has only managed to confirm that one of these accidents was caused by malfunctions in the car – an accident in California this August that was caused by the floor mat trapping the gas pedal in a depressed position.

The NHTSA, in conjunction with NASA, has begun a broader study into what caused these accidents, however conclusions aren’t expected for months. The ongoing lawsuits against Toyota could result in more than $10 billion of damages.



Related news

  • “Toyota recalls up to 1.8 million automobiles” — Wikinews, 30 January, 2010

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April 23, 2010

Brazil\’s Minas state stops sales of Toyota Corolla

Filed under: Brazil,Economy and business,South America,Toyota — admin @ 5:00 am

Brazil’s Minas state stops sales of Toyota Corolla

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Brazil
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Minas, one of the largest states of Brazil, has stopped the sale of the Toyota Corolla over safety concerns.

The move was made after nine Corolla customers reported that their cars automatically accelerated. The state public prosecutor’s office said in an online statement on Tuesday that the problem is blamed on accelerator pedals sticking underneath floor mats. Local government said the issue was “putting in danger the lives of occupants”.

According to the prosecutor’s office, sales of Corollas may resume when Toyota alters the floormats in its current models. Toyota has recalled over eight million vehicles worldwide due to acceleration problems.



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April 19, 2010

Toyota to pay US government $16.4 million over recalls

Toyota to pay US government $16.4 million over recalls

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Toyota has agreed to pay a record $16.4 million fine to the US government over allegations that the automaker concealed defects in its vehicles.

Ray LaHood, US Transportation Secretary Toyota has accepted responsibility for violating its legal obligations to report any defects promptly Ray LaHood, US Transportation Secretary

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood made the announcement Monday, saying in an e-mailed statement that “Toyota has accepted responsibility for violating its legal obligations to report any defects promptly.” Toyota has still not admitted any wrongdoing, and said that it disagreed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which levied the fine against Toyota. In a statement, Toyota said it “denies N.H.T.S.A.’s allegation that it violated the Safety Act or its implementing regulations. We believe we made a good faith effort to investigate this condition and develop an appropriate counter-measure.”

Toyota is still at risk of lawsuits from those affected by cars that crashed due to a safety defect in the accelerator pedal. Numerous such lawsuits have been filed, and analysts said that the total cost of the lawsuits could be upwards of two billion dollars in 2010, and possibly as much as ten billion in total. While the government fine is largely symbolic, as the amount was limited by US law, it could provide support for lawyers who are filing legal charges against Toyota. If the cap on the fine was not in place, Toyota would have been fined a total of $13.8 billion; each of the 2.3 million defective vehicles sold would have had a $6,000 fine.

Additionally, the NHTSA is reportedly considering a second fine, also of $16.4 million, based on evidence that there were two separate defects in the affected vehicles, and the company is facing an investigation from both the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission.



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April 17, 2010

Toyota to recall Sienna minivan in North America

Toyota to recall Sienna minivan in North America

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

First generation Sienna.
Image: User:IFCAR.

Second generation Sienna
Image: User:IFCAR.

Toyota, the Japanese auto maker, has issued a voluntary recall of 870,000 of its Sienna minivans in North America (600,000 in the United States and 270,000 in Canada).

The models affected are the first and second generation vehicles, which were manufactured between 1998 and 2010. It has been discovered that salt, used to grit roads and melt snow in northern US states and Canada, could potentially cause corrosion in the spare tire carrier cable. In a worse case scenario, this corrosion could lead to the wheel becoming detached and becoming a hazard for following vehicles. The new 2011 version of the Sienna is not affected, nor are all wheel drive versions of the vehicle.

In a statement, Toyota said that “In the worst case, the carrier cable may fail and the spare tire could become separated from the vehicle.” In the same statement, Toyota’s Chief Quality Officer in North America, Steve St. Angelo, said that “Toyota is listening to its customers attentively, and we want to make sure their voices are heard…We are also working diligently to develop a remedy as soon as possible.”

The latest blow to Toyota’s reputation for safety and quality comes just days after the company announced the suspension of sales of its luxury Lexus GX 460 SUV over fears that it was susceptible to rollovers.



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“Toyota to suspend sales of Lexus GX 460 over new safety fears” — Wikinews, April 14, 2010

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April 14, 2010

Toyota to suspend sales of Lexus GX 460 over new safety fears

Filed under: Archived,Economy and business,Toyota,Transport,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

Toyota to suspend sales of Lexus GX 460 over new safety fears

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

2010 Lexus GX 460.
Image: Altair78.

Japanese auto maker Toyota is to temporarily suspend sales of its luxury Lexus GX 460 SUV following an unfavorable verdict from Consumer Reports, which concluded “Don’t Buy: Safety Risk,” the first such warning in almost a decade.

After conducting its standard emergency handling tests on the 2010 version of the Lexus GX 460, Consumer Reports became concerned that the rear of the vehicle had a tendency to slide out, which in real life situations could lead to rollovers. However, the consumer organisation is also unaware of any such incidents with the 5000 GX 460s sold since its launch three months ago.

Already embattled with ongoing safety issues with its vehicles, Toyota has been quick to act, though it did claim that the car was safe to drive and that it had passed internal safety standards. According to Toyota, “Lexus’ extensive vehicle testing provides a good indication of how our vehicles perform and we are confident that the GX meets our high safety standards.”


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April 6, 2010

Toyota fined $16 million by US government over recalls

Toyota fined $16 million by US government over recalls

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Toyota Camry, one of Toyota’s models that was affected by the recalls.
Image: IFCAR.

US regulators intend to fine Toyota Motor Company $16.4 million over allegations that the company failed to notify government officials in “a timely way” about flaws in its vehicles that led to a major recall earlier this year.

The fine is the maximum penalty allowed under current US law, and would be the largest ever against an automaker, dwarfing a $1 million fine against General Motors in 2004. The U.S. Transportation Department is also considering the possibility of further fines if it was determined that the company had committed other violations of US law. The fine is the result of an investigation opened on February 16 into Toyota’s actions during the recall of 2.3 million vehicles in the US. Toyota now has a period of two weeks in which it can appeal the fine.

Cquote1.svg They knowingly hid a dangerous defect for months from U.S. officials and did not take action to protect millions of drivers and their families. Cquote2.svg

—Ray LaHood, US Transportation Secretary

Current law requires an automaker to notify the US government within five days if it has determined that a safety issue exists in one of its vehicles. Internal Toyota documents obtained by the government showed that the company was aware of the issues in its cars as early as September 2009, well before it reported the problems to the US government in January.

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that the government has “proof that Toyota failed to live up to its legal obligations,” and that “they knowingly hid a dangerous defect for months from U.S. officials and did not take action to protect millions of drivers and their families.”

Toyota, in a statement posted on their website, said that “We have already taken a number of important steps to improve our communications with regulators and customers on safety-related matters as part of our strengthened overall commitment to quality assurance.” The statement added, “These include the appointment of a new Chief Quality Officer for North America and a greater role for the region in making safety-related decisions.”



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February 23, 2010

Toyota accused of misleading public over recalls

Filed under: Economy and business,Japan,Product recalls,Toyota,Transport — admin @ 5:00 am

Toyota accused of misleading public over recalls

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

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A 2007 Toyta Camry.
Image: OSX.

Toyota has been accused by a U.S. House of Representatives committee with misleading the public and investigators over its recent recalls.

The accusations, in a statement from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, claim that Toyota both relied on a flawed study in its assessment of the issue of sticking accelerator pedals at the heart of the recalls, and then made misleading statements about its response. According to the authors of the letter, Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak, Toyota dismissed, rather than investigated, the idea that the cars’ computers were at fault. In a statement, James Lentz, the president of Toyota’s American division, claimed that hardware issues were to blame, and that dealers were repairing the faulty part. Toyota also released a study commissioned from the research firm Exponent that said electronic systems were not to blame.

According to the House committee, however, the study involved only six vehicles, none of which had problems with their electrical systems, and was insufficient to produce an accurate result. “Our preliminary assessment is that Toyota resisted the possibility that electronic defects could cause safety concerns, relied on a flawed engineering report and made misleading public statements concerning the adequacy of recent recalls to address the risk of sudden unintended acceleration.”

The company is under a criminal investigation, and has received two subpoenas for documents from two House committees relating to the recalls, although whether they are directly related to the letter is unclear. The documents are related to accelerator issues in several models, as well as brake problems with the Prius hybrid car, and were served earlier in in February by a federal grand jury and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Toyota has released upwards of 75,000 pages of documents under the requests.

In a separate, though related, development, it has emerged that Toyota last year negotiated a limited recall for two models, the Toyota Camry and Lexus ES, that were affected by the accelerator recalls, saving the company an estimated $100 million. A confidential internal presentation in July 2009 made the claim, and a month later, a Lexus ES, one of the models under the limited recall crashed in California, killing four people. The claims apparently referenced a September, 2007 recall of floor mats that could trap gas pedals, the same problem that triggered a full recall of numerous Toyota cars to fix the same problem. In the same presentation, the company claimed to have avoided recalls of another model related to rust, as well as delaying new federal safety regulations.



Related news

  • “Toyota poised to recall 270,000 Prius vehicles” — Wikinews, February 5, 2010
  • “Toyota recalls up to 1.8 million automobiles” — Wikinews, January 30, 2010

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February 5, 2010

Toyota poised to recall 270,000 Prius vehicles

Filed under: Archived,Economy and business,Japan,Toyota,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

Toyota poised to recall 270,000 Prius vehicles

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Friday, February 5, 2010

The hybrid 2010 Toyota Prius
Image: Ifcar.

Japan’s Nikkei newspaper reported that Toyota is poised to recall 270 thousand gas-and-electric Prius vehicles (model ZVW30) sold in the US and Japan between May and December 2009, due to a flaw in the car’s anti-lock braking system.

Takayuki Fujimoto, a transport ministry official, said the government has yet to receive a recall notice from Toyota. “Nothing has been decided on whether we will recall or not”, he stated. Toyota cannot announce a recall in Japan until it notifies the ministry, but said it was currently discussing how to deal with the issue with Japan’s transport ministry and U.S. safety authorities.

Toyota has faced a US lawsuit alleging it covered up safety problems. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched a formal investigation into the braking problems on Thursday after 124 complaints from consumers.

Since May 2009, two hundred thousand new Prius cars (model ZVW30) have been sold in Japan and another 103,200 in the United States.


Related news

  • “Toyota recalls up to 1.8 million automobiles” — Wikinews, January 30, 2010

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