Archive for the ‘Toyota’ 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

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

Toyota set to pay $1 billion to settle lawsuits

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It’s been talked about for a few days now, but Toyota Motor Corp. looks like it will pay a $1 billion fine to settle lawsuits involving sudden acceleration of some of its vehicles a few years ago. Toyota logo 2

More from the Los Angeles Times:

The automaker is reportedly close to paying a $1-billion fine to settle a four-year federal criminal investigation into whether it properly reported safety complaints to regulators. Meanwhile, Toyota’s lawyers are in settlement talks over hundreds of civil lawsuits alleging wrongful deaths or injuries, potentially adding hundreds of millions to the tab.

Previously, Toyota agreed to pay $1.6 billion to settle a class-action case brought by thousands of Toyota owners who contended that sudden-acceleration problems damaged the value of their vehicles. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dennis Seid

February 11, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Toyota Mississippi built nearly 160K Corollas last year

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Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi is cranking out the Corolla, the world’s best-selling car.

Workers assembling Corollas at Toyota's plant in Blue Springs.

Workers assembling Corollas at Toyota’s plant in Blue Springs.

According to figures compiled by trade publication  Automotive News, the plant in Blue Springs built 157,947 Corollas last year. That’s an increase of nearly 22 percent from the 129,602 built in 2012, the plant’s first full year of production.

Toyota Mississippi built its first car in October 2011. It’s original annual production capacity was 150,000 vehicles.

The plant will begin exporting Corollas to 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean in April

Toyota said the shipments are expected to build upon its all-time record export of more than 124,000 U.S.- assembled vehicles to 21 global markets in 2012, an increase of 45 percent over the previous year.

Shipments will begin in April, and Toyota said it expects to ship about 7,500 in the region this year.

 

U.S. auto sales in 2013 best in six years

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auto sales image 1Auto sales in the U.S. finished strong in December, wrapping up 2013 with nearly 16 million in sales. That’s a 50 percent increase from 2009, when sales hit 10.4 million, a 25-year low, as the Great Recession took hold of the economy and the industry.

And it’s the best showing since 2007, when sales last hit 16 million-plus.

According to preliminary figures, the big winners in December, percentage-wise  were  Nissan (up 11 percent), Chrysler (up 6 percent) and Ford (up 2 percent)

Toyota was down 1.7 percent for the month but up 7 percent for the year. GM‘s December sales were down 6 percent, but were up 7 percent for the year.

Sales of the Toyota Corolla, made at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi in Blue Springs, dropped nearly 9 percent in December to 22,562, but for the year were up nearly 4 percent at 302,180.

Corolla sales last year was the first time since 2008 – when 351,007 were sold –  that sales hit 300,000 o more. Peak year of sales in the U.S. for the Corolla was in 2006, with 387,388 sold. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dennis Seid

January 3, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Toyota Mississippi donates $10K and 350 toys to Salvation Army

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Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi Inc. and its team members are making the Christmas holidays a lot brighter.Masa Hamaguchi and Rocky Sayers load Salvation Army Truck with toys

More than 350 toys were collected during TMMMS’ annual toy drive to help fulfill Christmas wishes for the 1,200 children registered with the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. TMMMS also donated $10,000 to support over 13,000 holiday meals that will be served to the organization’s clients.

“It is Toyota Mississippi’s honor to support clients of the Salvation Army,” said Masafumi Hamaguchi, TMMMS president. “The Salvation Army helps many local families, and we are grateful to provide needed resources for the Angel Tree and holiday feeding programs.”

In addition to supporting holiday programs, TMMMS also provides direct support of the Salvation Army’s day-to-day activities. Rocky Sayers, TMMMS general manager of assembly, joined the Salvation Army board of directors in August 2013. Through his board role, he is experiencing firsthand how Toyota is impacting the organization and the community it serves.

“It is an incredible feeling to help those that don’t have the means to help themselves,” said Sayers. “It is important for me to be part of a company that directly supports the community, and Toyota is that company. It really is incredible to see what Toyota is doing for the community.” Read the rest of this entry »