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Toyota Hilux Fails Sweden's Moose Test

Toyota Hilux Fails Sweden’s Moose Test

Scary times for Hilux owners avoiding wildlife!

Nine years ago, Teknikens Värld tested the Toyota Hilux in Sweden’s version of the Moose Test – the agility maneuver that tests a vehicle’s stability at roughly 40 mph. The Hilux failed miserably, nearly flipping over. Well, the same is true for the 2016 Toyota Hilux, as a sharp turn put the truck on two wheels.

The test is used to demonstrate a vehicle’s stability during an emergency maneuver typical of what a driver would instinctively do to avoid a moose. The Hilux’ competitors handled the test with ease, showing the test can be easily passed by other high-riding pickups. The testing regiment included the Ram 1500, Nissan Navara, Volkswagen Amarok, Ford Ranger, Isuzu D-Max, and Mitsubishi L200.

As Teknikens Värld points out, this tendency to roll is not safe. It is also surprising Toyota has not addressed this concern with advancements in roll stability control software and suspension tuning. Interestingly enough, the Hilux fitted with 17-inch wheels performed better than the truck with 18-inch wheels. It’s pointed out that the 17-inch wheels were wrapped in less-grippy tires, which helped stop the truck from tipping.

These tests were conducted with the trucks loaded to the manufactures stated limits. While the Hilux is capable of hauling 2,209 pounds in its bed, the truck was only loaded with 1,830 pounds as apparently TV ran out of weights. We’re thinking that was a good thing.

Bengt Dalström, Toyota Sweden’s General Manager of External Affairs/PR, provided an official response to TV’s testing, saying, “Based on all the tests carried out during development, we are confident that the Toyota Hilux is a safe vehicle… We were surprised by the test result, and we will take your evaluation very seriously, in the same serious way we do with the capacity for evasive maneuvers in the development of our vehicles. Hilux has been repeatedly tested according to the ISO 3888 standard for evasive maneuver tests during the development of the model and then it passed the tests successfully.”

Hopefully Toyota is pushed to solve the issue with its Hilux. Thankfully Toyota customers in the U.S. don’t have to worry since we’ve got the Tacoma pickup. This is perhaps the only time we’ve been happy about that.

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Toyota Recalls 625K Prius V Models Worldwide

Toyota Recalls 625K Prius V Models Worldwide

Last year, automakers recalled a record 63.5 million cars. Looking at that figure might make you think it’s a record that won’t be broken anytime soon, but with Takata having already issued an airbag-related recall for around 41 million vehicles and with various automakers announcing new recall campaigns every month, it looks like we’re headed toward a new low for the automotive industry. Toyota, one of the many brands involved in the Takata airbag recall, has just issued a new callback, this time around for a software glitch.

The recall affects no fewer than 625,000 2015 Toyota Prius V models (Prius Plus in Europe and Prius Alpha in other markets), 109,000 of which were sold in the United States. Most of them, about 340,000, are in Japan, while 160,000 are located in Europe. The recall affects cars produced between May 2010 and November 2014.

In the involved vehicles, the software settings for the motor/generator control ECU and hybrid control ECU could result in higher thermal stress in certain transistors, which could cause them to become damaged. If this happens, the vehicle can enter a "failsafe mode," and in rare circumstances, the hybrid system might shut down while the vehicle is being driven. This would result in a sudden loss of power and the vehicle coming to a stop. Toyota said there had been no reports of crashes or injuries.

Owners will be notified by mail and Toyota dealers will update the software for both the motor/generator control ECU and hybrid control ECU.

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Toyota Expands Takata Airbag Recall to Include RAV4, Sequoia, and Tundra

Toyota Expands Takata Airbag Recall to Include RAV4, Sequoia, and Tundra

The vast recalls surrounding the Takata-supplied airbags have now grown to include even more of the popular Toyota models, including the RAV4 crossovers, Tundra pickup trucks, and Sequoia SUVs. The recall stems from issues found with the airbags’ inflators rupturing during deployment, potentially throwing dangerous debris at the occupants during a crash.

Toyota lists an additional 160,000 RAV4 crossovers from 2004 and 2005 that are under the recall, along with another 177,000 Tundras from 2003 and 2004, and Sequoias from 2004.

Also included in the airbag recall are several other Toyota models, including cars, for issues with their airbag inflators rupturing due to their exposure to high-humidity environments. Vehicles in coastal areas such as Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Puerto Rico, Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, Virgin Islands, and Hawaii are most vulnerable.

This humidity-related recall covers the 2005 through 2007 Sequoia, along with 2005 and 2006 Tundras. The effected cars include the 2005 through 2007 Corolla, Matrix, and Lexus SC.

Toyota will be contacting the known owners of the effected vehicles with instructions to bring them in for complementary replacement of the airbag inflator.

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2013 Toyota GT86 Cup Edition Pace Car

2013 Toyota GT86 Cup Edition Pace Car

The Toyota GT 86 sure is getting a ton of mileage ever since it was introduced last year. The sports coupe’s popularity in the market has even given Toyota the justification to build a special edition GT 86 that celebrates the automaker’s participation at the VLN Endurance Championship this year.

What it didn’t tell us was that the GT 86 Cup Edition would also serve the role as the VLN Endurance Championship’s official pace car, as shown in the pair of photos that were released of the heavily dressed GT 86 Cup Edition.

Officially, it’s called the GT 86 Cup Edition Pace Car and it comes with some features that are unique to it. Thanks to TRD, the GT 86 Cup Edition Pace Car received a new rear diffuser, front and rear aprons, new side skirts, a bigger trunk-lid spoiler, quad exhaust pipes, a stabilizer set, a carbon-fiber strut bar, and last but not least, exterior foil wrapping that separates it and distinguishes itself as the series’ official pace car.

As far as power goes, the GT 86 Cup Edition Pace Car will carry the same 2.0-liter inline four engine that produces 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque with a 0-to-60 mph time of 7 seconds and a top speed of slightly over 143 mph.

Click past the jump to read about the Toyota GT 86 Cup Edition

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2010 Revisited? Toyota recalls 7.4 million cars globally

2010 Revisited? Toyota recalls 7.4 million cars globally

The number 7.4 million can no longer be singularly attached to the hotel bill a Saudi Arabian princess tried to skip out on back in June 2012. Toyota has just announced that 7.4 million models are being recalled, just 3 million shy of the massive recall the company had to issue back in 2010. Is this history repeating itself and should we all fully lose faith in the popular Japanese brand?

Sorry, drama queens, but this recall is a lot less serious than the sticky accelerator pedals from the 2010 recall. The company is recalling these units because of a potential malfunction with the power window systems. Out of 7.4 million affected models, 2.5 million can be found in the US, 1.4 million in China, and 1.4 million in Europe. This list includes models like the Yaris, Camry, Tundra, and RAV4 produced between 2007 and 2009.

According to an official Toyota press release, the driver’s side Power Window Master Switch (PWMS) may experience a "notchy" or sticky feel during operation. 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. What’s with "sticky" issues at Toyota?

This problem may have been caused by an uneven application of the grease during the switch assembly process at the supplier. If the grease is not applied evenly, frequent use of the switch and normal operation may cause the grease to become carbonized and may eventually result in the deterioration of its lubricating properties.

If anyone is driving one of the models listed after the jump, they should address their local dealer and their car will be repaired in about one hour.

Hit the jump for a full list of US models to be recalled.

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Largest Recalls in History: Who made #1?

Largest Recalls in History: Who made #1?

Toyota got a lot of crap last year for the millions of vehicles that were recalled due to problems with unintended acceleration, but where would the company fall in a list of the top automotive recalls? Our next piece in the Car Infographics series answers that very question with the largest recalls in our automotive history.

It happens more often than we would like, but recalls are just a part of the automotive business that we all have to become accustomed to. After all, these machines are man-made and as we all know, people can very easily make mistakes. So who tops the list?

Let’s step back to Toyota for a moment. In 2010, the company had to recall 5.3 million vehicles due to reports of the driver side floor mats getting wedged underneath the gas pedal, causing unintended acceleration. Models involved in this recall included the likes of the Camry and Prius, as well as other models ranging from 2004-2010. 5.3 million is a large number, but Toyota only captures the #4 spot.

Hit the jump for the top three position fillers.

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New Lawsuit States That Toyota Forced Owners To Keep Quiet

New Lawsuit States That Toyota Forced Owners To Keep Quiet

It’s amazing, as even though the Toyota unintended acceleration issue was some time ago, some stories keep popping up at least once a month. This time, there are accusations against the Japanese automaker that they forced people to keep quiet about the issue. Part of this deal was that Toyota would buy-back these problematic vehicles, but in order to get them to do that, owners had to sign a confidentially statement that stated they couldn’t talk to anyone about it.

The suit also points to Toyota documents that stated engineers and technicians were able to recreate the issue. This entire thing aside, the suit is basically saying that Toyota knew about the issue, but failed to act for years.

Toyota has stated that all owners who sold their vehicles back were asked to sign a liability waiver and there was no confidentiality statement in this waiver. Frankly, while they might have failed to act, this story seems a bit to mafia-like for a car company.

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Toyota Recalling Another 1.53 Million Vehicles

Toyota Recalling Another 1.53 Million Vehicles

Japanese automaker, Toyota, is at it again. After their massive recall due to unintended acceleration, the automaker is looking at another large recall effort. This time, 1.53 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles will be recalled globally. The United States market makes up around 740,000 of that total and around 600,000 will come from Japan.

The models that are being recalled include the 2005-2006 Toyota Avalon and the 2004-2006 Highlander, excluding the hybrid. Lexus will be investigating the GS, IS, and RX vehicles.

The recalled vehicles may have a faulty master cylinder seal in the braking system that could leak fuel. This will trigger a warning light and could reduce braking capabilities.

In total, the Japanese automaker has recalled 10 million units this year. It hasn’t been an easy couple of years for Toyota and it seems the last part of 2010 won’t change that.

Hit the jump to see the official press release.

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Toyota to recall 1.13 million Corollas and Matrix over electronic problems

Toyota to recall 1.13 million Corollas and Matrix over electronic problems

Just when you thought that Toyota was finally turning the corner after all its recall woes this year, here comes news that the manufacturer is once again issuing a (voluntary) safety recall involving approximately 1.13 million units of 2005-2008 Toyota Corolla and Toyota Matrix vehicles.

According to Toyota, the recall is being issued in the US in large part because of a potential defect in the cars’ Engine Control Modules (ECM).

According to Toyota: “On vehicles equipped with the 1ZZ-FE engine and two-wheel drive, there is a possibility that a crack may develop at certain solder points or on the electronic component used to protect circuits against excessive voltage (varistor), on the ECM’s circuit board. In most cases, if a crack occurs at certain solder points or on certain varistors, the check engine may illuminate, harsh shifting could result, or the engine may not start. In limited instances, if cracking occurs on particular solder points or varistors, the engine could stop while the vehicle is being driven.”

Continued after the jump

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New Report Claims Driver Error Was Cause Of Toyota Crashes

New Report Claims Driver Error Was Cause Of Toyota Crashes

After thousands of complaints and many different reports in the sudden acceleration case, the U.S Department of Transportation has concluded that it was driver error that caused the crashes of Toyota models. According to the Wall Street Journal, investigators looked over the data recorders from Toyota vehicles found at the time of these sudden acceleration crashes. They found that the accelerator pedal was wide open and the brakes were not depressed. That gave them reason to believe that drivers were hitting the gas instead of the brake at the time of the accident.

Of the 75 fatal crashes blamed on Toyota, the vehicle caused only one crash, when a California highway patrolman was killed when a Lexus EX350 accelerated uncontrollably with three people on board. Investigators found that it was the floor mats that caused this wreck, which Toyota quickly issued a recall for.

The Wall Street Journal is also reporting that the U.S Transportation Department has stated that they have not found any electronic issues in the cars that could have caused a wreck.

"In spite of our investigations, we have not actually been able yet to find a defect" in electronic throttle-control systems, Mr. Smith told the scientific panel, which is looking into potential causes of sudden acceleration.

"We’re bound and determined that if it exists we’re going to find it," he added. "But as yet, we haven’t found it."

The only problems found in Toyota models were the floor mats and sticky accelerator pedals, which were outlined by Toyota.

So, even though these reports are claiming that Toyota was not at fault, the automaker has seen its image severely tarnished. Over eight million Toyotas have been recalled all over the world.

UPDATE 07/15/2010: We are now hearing that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the DOT have no official word on the findings and never talked to the Wall Street Journal. So who was the source that blames the drivers?

According to Just-Auto, an unnamed source inside the NHTSA said that it was Toyota that planted the story and that Toyota was the source. The spokesperson seemed very sure as well, stating that they definitely know Toyota was the source for the story.

According to a report from the Detroit Free Press, NHTSA Administrator David Strickland has said there are still months of work to complete the findings.

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Toyota knew about defective valve springs three years ago

Toyota knew about defective valve springs three years ago

Toyota needs to take a few classes in honesty because they are really awful at it. Toyota is the world’s largest automaker, yet they still can’t find the will to be honest with the public.

In a new report by Bloomberg, Toyota knew about the engine problems that have affected more than 100,000 Lexus and Toyota vehicle three years ago.

The automaker received its first complaint in March 2007 in Japan regarding defective valve springs that may cause the engine to stall, Toyota spokesperson Ririko Takeuchi said.

The problem begins when an unknown substance enters the material used to make the part, which causes the spring to weaken and break. Toyota addressed the problem in August 2008 by altering the design of the spring, but the company didn’t issue a recall because of the rarity of the problem, said Tokyo-based spokesperson Monika Saito.

This won’t help Toyota gain back the customer faith that it once had, prior to the recall of 8 million vehicles due to unintended acceleration. The company then recalled theLexus GX 460 due to a roll over risk.

Toyota will recall 91,903 Lexis GS 350, GS 450h, GS 460, IS 350, LS 460, LS 600h, and the LS 600hL, as well as a few Toyota Crown cars in Japan. The problem may affect as many as 270,000 vehicles throughout the world, Toyota has said.

Stay tuned for more news on the Toyota situation.

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Toyota announces latest round of recalls for 138,000 Lexus models

Toyota announces latest round of recalls for 138,000 Lexus models

Here we go again. With seemingly no end in sight to its recall woes, Toyota has announced that a number of their Lexus models have been found to have faulty engines will be subjected to another round of recalls. We’re only half past 2010, but the number of recalls that Toyota has been forced to issue has been staggering, even bordering on ridiculous.

In this latest round of recalls, Toyota announced that over 138,000 Lexus vehicles that have the following engines - 3.5- liter V6, 4.6 V8 and 5.0 V8 – are being recalled because of a potential foreign object within the engine that could lead to contamination of a number of the engine’s valve springs. Models that are affected include the 2006 – 2008 GS, IS, and LS models.

In a statement issued by Lexus regarding the problem, Lexus emphasized that the defect only has a remote possibility of occurring. “If a vehicle is affected, there is a remote possibility that abnormal engine noise or idling may occur. In extremely rare instances, the engine may stop while the vehicle is in operation," the company said.

Either way, Lexus isn’t taking any chances and they wouldn’t advise owners to ignore the potential problem. So, any owner of these models are all requested to have their engine valve springs fixed so as not to make things worse for the owner and the company.

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Toyota recalls 270,000 vehicles over faulty engines

Toyota recalls 270,000 vehicles over faulty engines

Toyotais just making things worse and worse as months pass. Lexus, Toyota’s luxury division, has announced another major problem with its vehicles, just days after halting sales of one of its hybrid models.

The car recalled was the Lexus HS 250h, due to a possible fire risk in a rear end collision. This time, Lexus has announced the recall of 270,000 vehicles already sold worldwide because of an engine-stalling problem. The issue affects seven models and Toyota says that the issue could affect the cars while driving.

Lexus has not announced all of the vehicles that were in the recall, but they did say that 90,000 of them were in Japan, while the other 180,000 were overseas.

Japan’s Nikkei has reported that “tens of thousands” of LS models could be in the recall and the Wall Street Journal cited a Toyota spokeswoman as saying that the LS, GS, and IS models would be included.

The engines in question are the 4.6-liter V8 and the 3.5-liter V6, as they were built using faulty valve springs.

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Danish garage door company mocks Toyota with not-so-funny ad

Danish garage door company mocks Toyota with not-so-funny ad

To say that Toyota has had a rough year is like saying that Avatar did alright in the box office. And while everybody is trying to get a laugh at Toyota’s expense these days, it looks like the hits will just keep on coming for the much-maligned car brand.

The latest to take a stab at Toyota is Dansk Port Teknik, a Danish garage door manufacturer, who, with the help of its ad agency, J. Walter Thompson commissioned a print ad featuring a garage door with a car-sized crash hole right smack in the middle of it. The tag line is pretty simple and doesn’t really suggest anything out of the ordinary: 20% OFF ALL GARAGE DOORS*. However, when you look closely, you’ll see a pretty small disclaimer at the top of the garage door, which reads *Toyota Owners Only.

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to read between the lines of what this print ad is trying to say. By itself, the joke should draw a couple of laughs here and there, except that it’s not really funny. For starters, the novelty of mocking Toyota and its issues has worn off completely, turning the ad into one of those that tries to make fun of somebody else’s misfortune and goes a little too far in the process.

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Lexus GX 460 now has software update: Sales resume

Lexus GX 460 now has software update: Sales resume

For the first time since all of Toyota’s recall fiascos began, Toyota has quickly and efficiently solved an issue with one of their vehicles. Well, it might be too early to tell at this point, but we are rooting for them. A statement was released from Mark Templin, Lexus’ Group Vice President and General Manager, that explained that the Lexus GX460 will resume its sales after engineers created a software update that will take care of the vehicle stability control system issues that earned the Lexus a spot on Consumer Digest’s “Do Not Buy” list. The issue was fixed only 16 days after the recall was made.

As an even bigger, “Hey, we messed up again, but we really want to make it up to you,” Toyota is even contacting all of the 2010 Lexus GX460’s owners to arrange a time to install the update. They have also offered a loaner vehicle for anyone who is uncomfortable driving their GX460 until the update is completed.

After all of the problems Toyota has had with brakes, accelerators, memos, etc., it’s about time they took care of something quickly. We have said in the past that we think it is a shame that a brand like Toyota has created so many issues for themselves, but we think it is about time to start building the Toyota empire again. It’s going to take awhile. Good luck Toyota. We hope you and your consumers can put these things behind you.

Hit the jump for the official statement release by Mark Templin.

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Memo surfaces: Toyota urged to "come clean"

Memo surfaces: Toyota urged to "come clean"

The bad news keeps piling on for Toyota destroying the reputation that took so long to build. Now emails and memos are arising to further confirm that Toyota was not ignorant to the safety issues regarding its models. Toyota has admitted to not communicating these issues to the public and to the government causing them to receive a $16.4 million dollar fine.

Five days before Toyota decided to recall 2 million vehicles due to sticky accelerator pedals, Irv Miller, Toyota’s now former V.P. for Environment and Public Affairs, wrote an email warning his fellow Toyota executives of needing to “come clean”. He wrote, “We are not protecting our customers by keeping this quiet. The time to hide on this one is over. We need to come clean”. On January 21, 2010, the recalls were announced.

Hit the jump for the full story.

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Another Toyota Lawsuit, Owners Demand Full Refund

Another Toyota Lawsuit, Owners Demand Full Refund

Toyota has been in the headlines about as much as Tiger Woods has in recent times, and although both situations have large doses of shock and disappointment to it, we’re finding it extremely hard for Toyota - with their escalating number of recalls that have put many lives in danger - to get off as easy as Woods has. No amount of public apology and a two-month stint in therapy can reverse the damage Toyota has taken from this crisis.

As a matter of fact, Toyota is currently getting sued by dozens of Toyota owners in the Washington and Arizona area for a full refund on the affected models. Attorney Steve Berman is on the case and is taking these lawsuits to a class action status.

"When we talked with Toyota owners, they all voiced the same desire — to drive the car back to the lot, hand them the keys and pick up a check," said Berman, who is based in Seattle. "Fortunately, we think the law allows for exactly that solution, and we are asking the courts to make it happen."

Follow the jump for the full story.

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Toyota Land Cruiser V8 secures security award

Toyota Land Cruiser V8 secures security award

Toyota’s proficient Land Cruiser SUV, has impressed everyone in the British Insurance Car Awards by clinching the top spot in the 4X4 category for security.

Characterized with ruggedness and comfort, the addition of the security aspect gives this Toyota a sense of completeness.

Bearing Toyota’s first ever V8 with common rail technology, the eighth generation Land Cruiser went on sale earlier this year. It produces 650 Nm torque and 286 hp, enough to keep your mud-plugging sessions entertaining and eventful, while having capabilities to munch endless miles on the motorway sans headaches thanks to its unmatched reliability.

So what does this award mean to the owner? If parked outside for the complete duration of the night, the owner can fully expect to see his Land Cruiser right there the next morning!

That’s exactly what Peter Roberts, Chief Executive of insurer funded research centre conveyed at the awards ceremony. He said “Many car thieves are just having to give up – thanks to the industry’s continued quest to drive down car crime.”

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