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Posts Tagged ‘RAV4’

Nissan Introduces Redesigned 2014 Rogue Crossover

Flexibility, safety, technology make it maker’s second-biggest seller.

by on Sep.10, 2013

The Nissan Rogue is the company's second-best selling vehicle.

Nissan offered up the first glimpse of the 2014 Nissan Rogue, which goes on sale in November and is one of the first of two vehicles built off a common architecture that will be used both by Nissan and its French partner Renault. The automaker debuted the new crossover in both Frankfurt, Germany and at its technical center in Farmington Hills, Mich.

Scott Shirley, marketing manager, said the new Rogue was designed specifically to compete with vehicles such as  the Toyota RAV4, the Ford Escape and Honda CRV in what is considered one of the fastest growing segments in the automobile industry.

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The compact crossover segment has grown rapidly in recent years and is expected to continue growing beyond is current level of 1.8 million units annually, added Shirley, who said the base price for the new Rogue is $22,490. (more…)

Speeders Pay – at the Pump, Anyway

Magazine says driving 75 mph instead of 55 costs $30 more.

by on Jul.11, 2013

Consumer Reports found that driving 75 mph compared with 55 mph costs drivers an extra $30 on a 1,000-mile trip.

So you dodged the speed traps and cut an hour off your drive from New York to Boston, but you’re still going to pay for that lead foot.

The faster you go the worse your fuel economy, studies have routinely demonstrated, but just how much may come as a surprise. A new study by Consumer Reports magazine suggests that the penalty of driving 75 rather than 55 can add up to as much as 14 miles per gallon – which can add up to an extra $30 in fuel costs over a 1,000 mile trip.

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In fact, on long drives, the increased fuel consumption may have an unintended consequence. By burning more fuel you’re likely to stop more often to fill up, the magazine notes, and that means you may lose much of the extra time you hoped to save by speeding in the first place.


First Drive: 2013 Toyota RAV4

The original “cute ute” gets a major overhaul and redesign.

by on Dec.18, 2012

The original "cute-ute" is back in a more sophisticated form.

Over the years, the RAV4 has been one of Toyota’s great successes. The original “cute ute,” it was one of the first crossover vehicles to connect with American customers at a time when traditional SUVs dominated the market.

But the market has changed substantially in the nearly two decades since the original Toyota RAV4 came to market and cheap and cheerful is no longer an acceptable formula.  Competitors such as the latest Honda CR-V and Ford’s radically redesigned Escape have turned up the heat on Toyota by delivering much more lavish features and sophisticated design.

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But during a drive of the 2013 RAV4 remake, Toyota officials – backed by the vehicle itself – made clear there’s no interest in ceding the market. “We introduced RAV4 to the U.S. market in 1995… and since then, we’ve sold more than 1.7 million with 80% still on the road today, which is a true testament to its quality and durability,” observed Toyota Division general manager Bill Fay.


Toyota Makes it Official With $50,000 RAV4-EV Launch

Maker promises 100-mile range, sporty performance.

by on May.07, 2012

The Toyota RAV4-EV will be sold in only 4 "select" California markets.

Toyota is charging into the electric vehicle market.  Barely two months after beginning sales of its first plug-in hybrid the Japanese giant has officially launched the new RAV4-EV, a fully-electric version of its popular “cute-ute.”

Priced at $49,800 — before a $7,500 federal tax credit – the Japanese maker plans to use the RAV4-EV to test market interest in battery-electric propulsion which got off to a slow start in 2011.  Significantly, the battery-powered ute was developed as part of an unusual alliance between Toyota and California electric vehicle start-up Tesla Motors.

(For more on Toyota’s increasing reliance on joint ventures and alliances, Click Here.)

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The RAV4-EV is expected to get “approximately” 100 miles range and Toyota estimates it will be able to recharge in as little as six hours using a high-power charger. It will meanwhile deliver similar performance to that of the conventional, gasoline-powered RAV4 crossover-ute, according to the maker.


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.


Toyota European Pedal Fixes Start Next Week

Owners of the 1.8 million Toyota vehicles potentially affected by bad pedals have not been notified, though, as sales continue.

by on Feb.01, 2010

Issue is if "Aygo" when you want me to stop?

Toyota Motor Europe confirmed this afternoon that it would fix accelerator pedals on as many as 1.8 million vehicles in Europe.

The announcement, oddly out of sync given earlier European time zones, follows the confirmation this morning that Toyota Motor Sales in North America will add a shim to millions of vehicles that, allegedly, stops the accelerator pedal sticking problem, which covers eight of its most popular model lines.

The first shipments of parts required for the latest fix covering the ongoing, and what critics maintain is a multifaceted problem, will begin arriving in Europe next week.

The beleaguered Japanese company offered no explanation whatsoever for what the difference in parts is among its various regional suppliers and why only one is being singled out, with an attitude that increasing number of critics say  results from out-sized reputation for quality, which recently has been likened to  a fable called the “emperor has no clothes,”

Executives in the U.S. insisted that only one, company, CTS, made the defective pedals. executives in Europe and Asia have not participated in press conferences.

There are, however, growing reports that the  accelerator striking and unintended acceleration  problems also exists among Denso supplied pedal assemblies, an assertion that thus far has gone without acknowledgment or any comment in spite of’s repeated requests for clarification at the affected companies and in their affected regions.

In Europe, Toyota says it – eventually — plans to contact the affected customers, without supplying any details as to how the recall will be conducted, suggesting that the company is still not on top of the rapidly unfolding controversy.   (more…)

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 – 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?


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…)

Toyota Europe Recalls Eight Models for Bad Pedals

Accelerator pedal sticking problem is going global. Another 1.8 million units could be affected. More recalls coming?

by on Jan.29, 2010

Unlike the U.S., Toyota in Europe will keep producing vehicles.

Toyota Motor Europe officially announced this morning the recall of eight Toyota models in Europe for the same sticking pedal problem that has the U.S. Congress demanding public hearings. The vehicles are among the most popular in its European range. reported on the expansion of the recall in Europe and Asia earlier in the week. A recall is now underway in China as well.

The number of European involved units is still under investigation at the beleaguered company, but may include as many as 1.8 million more vehicles. No Lexus models and no other Toyota models are affected, thus far.

We have been unable to determine if multiple suppliers or just one, CTS, is the maker of the defective pedals. Denso is known to be a supplier of Toyota pedals as well, and possibly Hella.

Last week Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) announced last it would recall approximately 2.3 million vehicles to correct sticking accelerator pedals on eight Toyota Division models. It was subsequently revealed that CTS  made the pedals to Toyota’s design specifications. Toyota also stopped the sales of the vehicles and plans to halt production at five North American plants, after the U.S. Secretary of Transportation intervened to prompt the action.


A running change in production using different parts has already been implemented for the models on sale in Europe. Toyota Europe also said in a statement that there is “no need or intention to stop production in Europe.” Whether that holds remains to be seen.


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…)