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Posts Tagged ‘Camry’

First Drive: 2015 Toyota Camry

The midsize market’s 800-lb gorilla gets an unexpected thorough makeover.

by on Oct.15, 2014

The 2015 Toyota Camry is full of surprises, including the fact that it got a top-down makeover just three short years after the last generation's introduction.

We live in an era of individuality. Whether it’s cellphones or sedans, Americans want products that reflect their individual tastes and needs. That’s especially true in the auto industry where buyers can choose from hundreds of different offerings and even a luxury brand like Mercedes-Benz has promised to deliver 30 new models by the end of the decade.

Yet a few key products routinely defy this trend, none more effectively than the venerable Toyota Camry which in 2013 generated about 408,000 sales in the U.S. alone, with the Japanese maker expecting that to reach 415,000 this year. When you’re clear and away the industry’s best-seller, why change your formula?

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And for the past three decades, Camry has, indeed, changed relatively little – which is why Toyota delivered such a shock when it unveiled the updated 2015 Camry earlier this year. Introduced barely three years after the last full model update, we might have expected only the most modest revisions, perhaps a new fascia and some tweaks to the interior. Instead, Toyota has changed nearly every single body panel and heavily reworked the cabin. (more…)

Toyota’s Lentz Maps out Company’s Future in U.S.

Japanese maker relying on technology, design to strengthen sales.

by on Oct.16, 2013

Toyota's Jim Lentz says Toyota's version of autonomous vehicles will improve driver's ability, not take over the entire process.

When the future finally gets here and we’re all driving, or riding in, autonomous cars, the Toyota badge may not be on the side of your ride, according to Jim Lentz, Toyota North America CEO.

The Japanese carmakers’ plans for autonomous vehicles fall more into the realm of helping drivers improve their skills rather than allowing drivers to sit back and read the paper while the vehicle does the work.

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“We view autonomous cars a little differently than some others. We really see it as a co-pilot type car, not as a self-driving car,” Lentz, the first American to head Toyota’s vast operations in the NAFTA region, told the Associated Press. “A car that can really enhance the reflexes and the ability of a driver to continue to drive. That’s why I’m excited about those cars. As we look at boomers and they start to retire, the ability to have cars that can enhance their capabilities, it’s going to allow them to drive much longer.” (more…)

Toyota Reports Big Profits

Weak yen, cost cutting and strong sales boost results.

by on May.08, 2013

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda said the company still has work to do in spite of big profits last quarter.

The weakening of the Japanese yen gave Toyota’s quarterly profit a boost as it prepares for a new product offensive in key markets in China, Europe and North America.

Toyota profits more than doubled to 313.9 billion yen or $3.2 billion as cost cuts and better sales made an impact while the declining value of the yen gave fresh impetus to the company’s turnaround.

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“Toyota has recovered much of the market share lost due to the recalls and natural disaster,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book.

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Toyota Pushes Up New Camry Launch

Maker anxious to introduce its most critical 2012 product line.

by on Sep.02, 2011

The 2012 Toyota Camry will now roll into showrooms by mid-September.

Anxious to rebuild demand after six months of product shortages, Toyota says it will launch its new 2012 Camry sedan in mid-September, about two weeks ahead of its original schedule.

Camry is just one of 10 product launches Toyota is scheduling over the next year, with a mix of crossovers, sedans and even its first plug-in hybrid on the calendar, but no single model is more important than Camry which has been the nation’s best-selling passenger car for the last nine years running – and 13 of the last 14 years.

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The decision to move up the on-sale date of the new midsize sedan — originally planned for October 3rd — was announced during a conference call with reporters discussing the maker’s weak August sales numbers.  Toyota posted a 13% decline for the month.  That was better than the 24% dip posted by its Japanese rival, Honda, but a sharp contrast with the double-digit increases in demand reported by Detroit’s Big Three – as well as the third member of the Japanese Big Three, Nissan.

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First Drive: 2012 Toyota Camry

Putting the brand on the line.

by on Aug.24, 2011

Toyota bills the 2012 Camry as a revolutionary redesign for the best-selling midsize sedan.

Few cars more clearly define a brand than Toyota’s midsize Camry sedan, a nameplate that has led the U.S. passenger car sales charts for 13 of the last 14 years.  And, arguably, no product is more important to Toyota as the maker struggles to emerge from a series of setbacks – including 2010’s safety recalls and this year’s earthquake-led production shortages.

Bringing a new car to market is a long and involved process, so it’s serendipitous that what Toyota is billing as “the reinvention of the Camry” will be ready to roll into showrooms for an October launch — just as the maker gets production at the last of its plants back up to speed.  The 25-year-old factory in Georgetown, Kentucky is already starting to build the first of the 2012 Toyota Camrys so we jumped at the chance to take the sedan for a spin through the challenging mountainous terrain in central Washington, a few hours east of Seattle.

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The Japanese giant is making some bold claims for the new 4-door, billing the 2012 Camry as essentially all-new — though that’s a matter of definition.  While the sedan still rides on the same platform as the outgoing model, the sheet metal has been completely redone for the new model-year, and 90% of the Camry’s parts have been “re-engineered.”

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Toyota Throws Record Incentives at U.S. Market

After a 9% sales slump, Toyota goes on marketing offensive.

by on Mar.02, 2010

Under pressure to turn around a share and sales slump, Toyota is spending big.

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. today announced plans to launch what it called its “most far-reaching sales program in its history.”

This latest development followed the  announcement that Toyota sales had declined 9% in February, moving far behind number two General Motors in the U.S. market.

Particularly worrisome was a drop in “first time buyers” during the month.

A “stop sale” of its most popular models  because of safety recalls at the beginning of the month cost Toyota an estimated 18,000 vehicle sales, according to Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager of Toyota Division for Toyota Motor Sales.

Starting today, through April 5, 2010, the national marketing program includes financing, leasing and customer loyalty offers. Highlights of the program include:

  • 0% APR financing for up to 60 months on 2010 Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, RAV4, Tundra and Yaris, for qualifying buyers.
  • Low lease rates on 2010 Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, Prius, RAV4, Tundra and Venza, for qualifying buyers. Examples include a Corolla lease for $179 a month and a Camry lease for $199 a month, although offers may vary regionally.
  • Complimentary two-year premium maintenance program for customers who purchase or lease a new vehicle and provide proof of a Toyota, Lexus or Scion vehicle already registered in household, with applicable conditions.

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Toyota Pedal Repair: Frequently Asked Questions

Here is the latest from Toyota Motor Sales on how to get your sticking Toyota accelerator pedal, eventually, fixed.

by on Feb.01, 2010

How long it will take to shim the pedal in millions of vehicles is an unanswered question.

Inquiries continue to increase about the controversial Toyota sticking accelerator pedal recall.

Toyota announced a fix in the early hours of this morning. These are the latest statements from Toyota about what it will do to solve the problem in North America.

When is an entirely different matter? There are millions of affected vehicles, and it is not clear how the limited number of dealers can service them in a timely manner, even if it is a 30-minute fix that just shims the pedal. The views expressed are those of Toyota and not necessarily those of the TheDetroitBureau.com. – Ken Zino, editor-in-chief.

1. What is the solution Toyota announced to fix sticking accelerator pedals?

Limiting pedal travel solves the problem?

Toyota’s engineers have developed and rigorously tested a solution that is both effective and simple. A precision-cut steel reinforcement bar will be installed into the accelerator pedal assembly, thereby eliminating the excess friction that has caused pedals to stick in rare instances.

2. What is the problem that could cause accelerators to stick and led to the recall?

The issue involves a friction device in the pedal designed to provide the proper “feel” by adding resistance and making the pedal steady and stable.

This friction device includes a “shoe” that rubs against an adjoining surface during normal pedal operation. Due to the materials used, wear and environmental conditions, these surfaces may, over time, begin to stick and release instead of operating smoothly. In some cases, friction could increase to a point that the pedal is slow to return to the idle position or, in rare cases, the pedal sticks, leaving the throttle partially open.

3. How does a steel reinforcement bar solve this problem?

The steel reinforcement bar will reduce the surface tension between the friction shoe and the adjoining surface. With this reinforcement in place, the excess friction that can cause the pedal to stick is eliminated.

4. How does Toyota know that this solution will be effective?

We have confirmed the effectiveness of the newly reinforced pedals through rigorous testing on pedal assemblies that had previously shown a tendency to stick.  Nothing is more important to Toyota than the safety and satisfaction of our customers, and we have high confidence in our solution for fixing our customers’ vehicles.

5. When can I get my vehicle fixed?

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We will begin contacting customers to let them know when to bring in their vehicles for the fix, and some of them will be notified as early as this week.   (more…)

CTS Says Toyota Responsible for Pedal Recall

Maker says it’s a mechanical, not electrical problem. Fix is already in production. Toyota knew of the problem "for a while."

by on Jan.28, 2010

The chairman of CTS, a global manufacturer of  recalled gas pedals by Toyota Motor Sales, told investors during an earnings conference call today that the problem was caused by environmental conditions that went beyond Toyota’s design specifications for the assemblies.

CTS Chairman Vinod Khilnani said that the company provides gas pedals for use by other makers that are “very different” pedal designs. The  electrical sensor in the pedal has nothing to do with the issue.

Condensation makes the Toyota pedal “harder to depress, slower to return to the idle position, and in rare situations, Toyota believes, it may get stuck in a partially depressed position,” said Khilnani.

He said the company has no knowledge of an accident or injury caused by its pedals.

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc, a TMC subsidiary, announced last week  it would recall approximately 2.3 million vehicles to correct sticking accelerator pedals on eight Toyota Division models.

Three of the CTS’s plants are already making redesigned pedals,  and Khilnani added that CTS had been working with Toyota “for a while” on a revised pedal, which included testing by both companies.

“It has been agreed as the solution,” Khilnani said.   (more…)

Indiana Toyota Supplier Denies Making Bad Pedals

CTS says it has no knowledge of accidents or injuries.

by on Jan.27, 2010

CTS Corporation (NYSE: CTS) said this afternoon that the pedals it supplied to Toyota met its design specifications. The company made at least some of the pedals involved in the recall.

“Based on information that Toyota has provided us, we are aware of fewer than a dozen instances where this condition has occurred, and in no instance did the accelerator actually become stuck in a partially depressed condition,” CTS said in a carefully worded statement.

The assertion comes as Toyota Motor Corporation considers expanding its pedal recall from the North America to other global markets.

Toyota’s credibility about its assertions of the causes of runaway or unintended acceleration accidents has been damaged by recent events. Although the company continually said that it was caused by a floor mat interference problem, at least one accident, involving multiple fatalities, has been reported where the floor mats were removed from the car and locked in the trunk when the deaths occurred.

The company announced yesterday that it would stop sales of about 60% of its vehicles (by volume) in North America while it searches for a root cause.

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc, a TMC subsidiary, announced last week  it would recall approximately 2.3 million vehicles to correct sticking accelerator pedals on eight Toyota Division models.

This action is separate – thus far — from the on-going recall of approximately 4.2 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles to reduce the risk of “pedal entrapment” by incorrect or out of place accessory floor mats. Approximately 1.7 million Toyota Division vehicles are subject to both recall actions.   (more…)

Toyota Preparing to take Pedal Recall Global!

Troublesome pedal design is used throughout the world.

by on Jan.27, 2010

The Corolla has a worldwide problem?

Toyota Motor Corporation is in discussions with other governments or safety agencies about potential actions similar to the ones undertaken in the U.S. to correct defects in accelerator pedals, according to people close to the situation.

If a sales halt and plant shut downs occur in other regions, like the ones announced yesterday covering North America, it will make it harder for the world’s largest automaker to return to profitability.

It was not immediately clear if the modifications will affect only left-hand-drive models used in Europe, Africa and China, or include Asian right-hand-drive models.

Toyota has thus far not revealed the root cause of the problem, and previous assertions that acceleration issues was solely a floor mat issue in the U.S. have proved false.

There is a strong economic incentive at auto companies to try to limit the number of vehicles covered by a recall. In the Toyota pedal matter, expensive mechanical, computer and software fixes are required.

Either way, millions upon millions more cars, pickup trucks and SUVs  potentially will require repairs, with unknown effects on Toyota’s new vehicle sales, owner loyalty and reputation.

Toyota is predicting a sales increase to 8.27 million units globally for this calendar year, up 6% from, 7.81 million in 2009, which represented a 13% decline from 2008.

In North American, 2.3 million vehicles are — thus far — covered for sticking accelerator pedals in the latest recall that was announced on Monday by Toyota Motor Sales, a subsidiary of TMC. Included in the recall is the Corolla model, the best selling nameplate in the world.

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It is also not clear, if there is a sizable population of vehicles outside of North America with a separate or perhaps related problem with runaway acceleration. In North America, 4.2 million vehicles are impacted by a a previous floor mat recall.

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