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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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Toyota Recalls Corolla, Matrix and Scion xD models

Power brake failures are possible in cold weather states.

by on Aug.29, 2009

All the recalled cars have 1.8-liter engines.

All the recalled cars have 1.8-liter engines.

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., will launch a voluntary Safety Recall next month with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) involving approximately 95,700 Toyota and Scion vehicles sold in the United States; about 10,000 2009 Pontiac Vibe models are affected as well.

Some of the vehicles were built at New United Motors Incorporated, the plant in California that Toyota will close next March. Pontiac Vibe models ceased production there earlier this month. Other models were built at Toyota City in Japan and Cambridge, Canada.

On some 2009 and 2010 model year Toyota Corolla, Corolla Matrix, and 2008 and 2009 Scion xD vehicles all equipped with 1.8-liter engines, Toyota says that if the vehicle is operated in cold weather, there is a possibility that condensed moisture from the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) port may seep into the brake system vacuum port and freeze.

We'll Help You Recall!

We'll Help You Recall!

Over time, ice may accumulate at the vacuum port and in the extreme case, ultimately plug the vacuum port, which supplies the power brake booster. Because of the accumulation of ice, power assist to the brakes would gradually decrease and lead to lengthened vehicle stopping distances.

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