Archive for the ‘Automotive news’ Category

Toyota recalling nearly 6.4 million vehicles, including Corollas

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Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 6.39 million vehicles, including the Corolla, which is built at the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi facility in Blue Springs. The Japanese automaker is recalling the vehicles globally for a variety of models, which include 30 models in Japan, the U.S., Europe and elsewhere. Toyota logo 2

From the Associated Press:

No injuries or crashes have been reported related to the recalls announced Wednesday. But two reports of fires are linked to one of the problems, a defective engine starter that can keep the motor running.

Some vehicles were recalled for more than one problem. The recall cases total 6.76 million vehicles for 27 Toyota models, the Pontiac Vibe and the Subaru Trezia, produced from April 2004 through August 2013.

The Pontiac Vibe, which is a General Motors Co. model, is also involved because Toyota and GM made cars at the same plant in California and the recalled model is the same as the Toyota Matrix. It was recalled for a problem with a spiral cable attached to an air-bag. It is unrelated to a separate GM recall over ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths.

Subaru is partly owned by Toyota, and the model was the same as the Toyota Ractis.

For the recall, Toyota also reported problems with seat rails, the bracket holding the steering column in place, the windshield-wiper motor and a cable attached to the air-bag module.

The recalls affect a large range of models, including the Corolla, RAV4, Matrix, Yaris, Highlander, and Tacoma. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dennis Seid

April 9, 2014 at 11:06 am

Toyota to pay $1.2 billion fine over sudden acceleration issue

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Toyota Motor Corp. has reached a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department in which the Japanese automaker would pay a fine of $1.2 billon over  safety issues with some of its vehicles several years ago.

From the Associated Press

The government announced a $1.2 billion settlement with Toyota Motor Corp. on Wednesday and filed a criminal charge alleging the company defrauded consumers by issuing misleading statements about safety issues in Toyota and Lexus vehicles.

Attorney General Eric Holder said it is the largest financial penalty of its kind ever imposed on an auto company. Under a deferred prosecution agreement, an independent monitor will review policies, practices and procedures at the company.

The action concludes a four-year criminal investigation into the Japanese automaker’s disclosure of safety problems, which focused on whether Toyota was forthright in reporting problems related to unintended acceleration troubles.

“Rather than promptly disclosing and correcting safety issues … Toyota made misleading public statements to consumers and gave inaccurate facts to members of Congress,” Holder told a news conference.

Toyota said that at the time of the recalls, “we took full responsibility for any concerns our actions may have caused customers, and we rededicated ourselves to earning their trust,” said Christopher P. Reynolds, chief legal officer of Toyota Motor North America. “In the more than four years since these recalls, we have gone back to basics at Toyota to put our customers first.”

Toyota said it had “made fundamental changes to become a more responsive and customer-focused organization, and we are committed to continued improvements.”

Starting in 2009, Toyota issued massive recalls, mostly in the U.S., totaling more than 10 million vehicles for various problems including faulty brakes, gas pedals and floor mats. From 2010 through 2012, Toyota Motor Corp. paid fines totaling more than $66 million for delays in reporting unintended acceleration problems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration never found defects in electronics or software in Toyota cars, which had been targeted as a possible cause.



Written by Dennis Seid

March 19, 2014 at 12:23 am

And here’s another recall: Honda’s Odyssey minivan

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One of the best-selling and highly rated minivans on the market  – the Honda Odyssey – is being recalled.

From the Los Angeles TimesHOnda Odyssey

A potential fire risk has led Honda to recall nearly 900,000 of its popular Odyssey minivans, the automaker has announced.The voluntary recall affects 886,815 minivans from the 2005-2010 model years, Honda said. In these vehicles, the cover of the fuel strainer at the top of the gas tank could crack over time and lead to a fuel leak, increasing the risk of a fire, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“Honda is not aware of any crashes, injuries or fires related to this issue, which was discovered during warranty repairs,” the automaker said in a statement.

Repairs to the affected Odyssey vans could take a while, as the replacement parts aren’t readily available. Honda will notify owners of affected vehicles twice. The first notice will be sent out in late April or early May, alerting owners that their van is included in the recall. Honda will send out a second notice in the summer when dealers have the new part and are ready to begin repairs, which will be done free of charge to consumers.

This is the first recall from Honda since the Japanese automaker recalled the same generation of its Odyssey minivan in November. That recall affected only the 2007 and 2008 model years, and was issued to fix a software glitch in the stability control system.
The Odyssey has been a favorite among minivan buyers and ranked among the bestselling in the entire segment in 2013.

Written by Dennis Seid

March 17, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Posted in Automotive news

GM recalling another 1.5 million cars

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On the heels of recalling some 1.6 million vehicles for ignition switch issues, General Motors said today it’s recalling another 1.5 million vehicles.

From the Detroit Free Press: GM logo

General Motors Co.  issued three new recalls separate from the controversial action of recalling 1.6 million small cars that may have defective ignition switches, the company said.

The new recalls cover the following models:
• About 303,000 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana from model years 2009-2014 that will receive new material on the instrument panel to meet federal standards for protecting unbelted passengers;
• About 63,900 Cadillac XTS models from 2013 and 2014 to be repaired to prevent possible brake booster corrosion that may result in overheating and possibly fires;
• About 1.18 million 2008-2009 and all 2010-2013 Buick Enclaves and GMC Acadias, some 2009 and all 2010-2013 Chevrolet Traverses, and some 2008-2009 and all 2010 Saturn Outlooks to repair the wiring harness of seat-mounted side air bags. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dennis Seid

March 17, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Toyota Mississippi to pay for, build Habitat home

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Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi has been helping with Habitat for Humanity since 2011, and today,  TMMMS Habitat 2employees of the plant – they’re called “team members”  – got started on another one this morning. But this particular home is a little different.

For the first time, Toyota Mississippi is completely funding its construction. It’s paying not only for building costs, but also providing 100 percent of the labor, through company volunteers.

More from Toyota Mississippi:

Mississippi team members arrived to a bare slab this morning, but it wasn’t bare for long. Team members worked all day putting up the walls that will turn this slab into a home for a family from Lee County in just 10 weeks.

“Toyota Mississippi is dedicated to supporting the mission and values of Habitat for Humanity,” said Toyota Mississippi president Masafumi Hamaguchi. “And I am very happy to say we have donated over $87,000 to Habitat for Humanity in North Mississippi since 2011. Our goal is to enhance quality of life for families in local communities.” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dennis Seid

February 22, 2014 at 2:56 pm

CarMax files full plans for Tupelo store

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CarMax, which has been working for more than a year to build a store in Tupelo, filed its site plans with the city earlier this week. CARMAX plans

The store will be a total of 7,467 square feet, with 4,394 dedicated to the sales area; the service area will have 2,439; and a future car wash will cover 936 square feet. A non-covered “presentation area” will take up the remaining 634 square feet.

The dealership will have 54 parking spaces for customers, while there are 151 spaces for vehicles that will be on sale.

A change in the city’s development code last fall allowed CarMax to move ahead with its plans. The company in earlier interviews said it was investing $5 million in the project. The company had gotten special conditional use by the Planning Committee, but the City Council had overruled it. CarMax later sued, but after a new development code was adopted, CarMax dropped its suit.

Some auto dealers in Tupelo had said in earlier arguments that they were denied opening used car dealerships in the Barnes Crossing District Overlay, where CarMax is building.

The site is on Tom Watson Drive, south of Fairfield Inn and Suites.

Written by Dennis Seid

February 14, 2014 at 9:54 am

Corvettes discover new underground cavern in Kentucky

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OK, had to go with something a little different for the headline since “Sinkhole swallows eight Corvettes” has been used all day.

If you’re not aware of what happened today, here’s a little background: Among famous sites in Kentucky (besides Churchill Downs, various bourbon producers, Mammoth Cave National Park) is the National Corvette MuseumVettes sinkhole

Which last night added an underground cavern – well, actually a sinkhole – that also managed to swallow some priceless Corvettes.

More from AP:

A gaping sinkhole collapsed part of the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky on Wednesday, damaging eight prized cars that plunged in a heap while the attraction geared to the classic American sports car was closed to visitors.

“They’re all just kind of nose down in the bottom of the hole,” said Western Kentucky University engineering professor Matt Dettman, part of a team brought in to assess the damage and the stability of the surrounding area. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dennis Seid

February 12, 2014 at 4:48 pm