We may have found the ugliest car ever, wanna' see? A Porsche hybrid goes to Nurburgring; Volvo offers a factory-installed Windows PC; lots of Porsche Cayenne feedback from y'all; and a drive in an American icon (you should really wait before you buy).Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) Episode 155 Show notes
Having just hung up with my Toyota dealer, I know nothing more than I did yesterday. My 2010 Toyota Prius, which I bought last summer, is expected to be among those 150,000 recalled in the U.S. for a braking problem. But an official notice won't come until at least next week.
The recall is a financial and public relations disaster for Toyota, coming on the heels of larger recalls of several Toyota models because of acceleration problems.
For average consumers like me, though, the plight of Toyota's squeaky green Prius says more about auto technology than … Read more
Toyota Motor said it would recall nearly half a million new Prius and other hybrid cars for braking problems as it battled criticism of its response to the spiraling safety crisis.
The world's largest automaker, whose reputation for quality is on the line, is under fire for two other recalls covering more than 8 million vehicles worldwide due to problems with slipping floormats and sticky accelerator pedal.
Toyota put an end to days of speculation on Tuesday, confirming that it would it would recall more than 400,000 hybrid models, including the latest version of its iconic Prius, to … Read more
A roundup of Toyota's ghastly week--yet that doesn't stop Tesla from tapping a Toyota exec to build its cars. Jag has a crafty new idea for hybrid power trains. And we take a ride in the love-it-or-key-it Porsche truck!Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 154 SHOW NOTES
On top of mounting criticism of mechanical glitches in its, Toyota faces a much more complex set of issues related to electronics, based on consumer complaints and analysis by an electronics engineer familiar with Toyota's history of throttle control.
This comes as political problems continued to pile up for the company, in the wake of of its recall of 6.5 million vehicles--including recent Camrys, Corollas, and RAV4s--because of potential acceleration problems and its subsequent halt of production on the affected models.
The U.S. Department of Transportation upped the pressure on Toyota when the agency's head, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, told owners of recalled vehicles to stop driving them during remarks he made Wednesday before a House appropriations hearing. He later backed away from this statement and said he meant only that Toyota owners who are worried about their cars should take them to dealerships.
And in Japan on Wednesday, authorities told Toyota to investigate reports of faulty brakes on its high-profile Prius hybrid car as federal safety regulators in the U.S. began a broader investigation into Toyota's electronic systems.
The Prius also came under scrutiny this week after Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak claimed that he had been experiencing sudden acceleration in his 2010 Prius because of an alleged "software" glitch.
Wozniak's claim, valid or not, underscores questions about Toyota's electronic systems raised by less-famous consumers. In a well-documented case detailed in a petition to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), Jordan Ziprin claims that, in 2005, when backing out of a driveway near his home in Phoenix, his 2002 Toyota Camry XLE suddenly accelerated and slammed into a utility box.
He did not have his foot on the gas pedal and the car accelerated under its own accord, Ziprin claims. This appears to be an electronic glitch: an issue very different from the mechanical defects cited in the accelerator pedal cases that Toyota is trying to address now with its recall.
"The problem began with 2002 Toyota and Lexus vehicles," Ziprin said in a phone interview. "That was the year that Toyota introduced electronic throttle control," he said. (Toyota introduced it selectively prior to 2002, but first used it on a large scale in 2002.) Reports of unintended acceleration jumped after drive by wire systems were adopted, according to a review by the Los Angeles Times of thousands of consumer complaints filed with the NHTSA.
Toyota, at least publicly, is saying that it has found no evidence of electronic problems. "We have not found any evidence of an electronic problem that would have led to unwanted acceleration," said John Hanson, national manager of environmental safety and quality in Toyota's communications group. "That doesn't mean that we've written it off. We are aggressively investigating any claims."
Hanson continued. "NHSTA over many years of investigation on a wide variety of complaints has found no evidence of any electronic problem with the electronic control system. That doesn't mean it's not possible. We're not ruling out any possibility. And we continue to investigate actively."
The birth of drive-by-wire At the center of the alleged incidents is the electronic throttle control,… Read more
Toyota last week stopped sales on eight models and recalled millions of cars to correct their sticking accelerator pedals. The massive recall could cost the automaker billions, but what is the fuss all about?
YouTube channel Carquestions takes a look inside the gas pedal of a 2008 Sequoia to show how the pedal works.
More problems may be lurking for Toyota. Speaking at an event in San Francisco on Monday, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak waxed eloquent about a "very scary" problem with his 2010 Toyota Prius.
Wozniak was speaking at Discovery Forum 2010 when he went off topic for a few minutes and spoke about problems with his 2010 Toyota Prius.
"I don't get upset and teed off at things in life, except computers that don't work right," was his segue into the Toyota comments. Then he said he had been trying to get through to Toyota and … Read more
Toyota spends a week in hell, the U.S. tells truckers what not to do in the cab, you don't drive as fast as you think, we take a ride in a Buick that will change your mind about grandpa's brand, and we run down 12 of the hottest tech cars for 2010.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 153 SHOW NOTES
After issuing 6.5 million vehicle recalls over the past few months, Toyota on Tuesday took the further and dramatic step of halting sales of eight models until it gets a handle on whether they are exhibiting uncontrolled acceleration and, if so, why.
Production is being halted on the 2009-'10 RAV4, Corolla, and Matrix; 2005-'10 Avalon; 2007-'10 Camry; 2010 Highlander, 2007-'10 Tundra, and 2008-'10 Sequoia. Five plants in Indiana, Texas, Kentucky, and California will be affected.
Toyota has been racing for months to get in front of whatever engineering issue may exist and the public-relations … Read more
Toyota's gas pedal problems apparently aren't caused by just floormats; GM confirms the Volt will cost just about 40 grand; "TiVo" for your car radio on more GM models; and we roll in the Mitsu Lancer Sportback Ralliart--ugly or hot? Or just ugly hot?Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 152 SHOW NOTES