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Posts Tagged ‘toyota recalls’

Toyota on the Defensive

Japanese giant faces tough challenges; bets on new, updated products.

by on Aug.01, 2013

The 2014 Toyota Tundra remake will be pulling a heavy load for the Japanese maker.

For a vehicle with a payload capacity of 2,000 pounds and the ability to tow a 10,000-pound trailer, the 2014 Toyota Tundra will be expected to do some heavy lifting — and not just on the jobsite.

It’s been an unusually tough year for Toyota, both here and abroad. While the maker recently revealed it had narrowly retained its global sales lead, the gap between the Japanese giant and arch-rival General Motors markedly narrowed and while GM gained 4% for the first six months of 2013, Toyota was down 1.2%.

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It hasn’t helped to be caught up in an ongoing political dispute between China and Japan that even saw rioters burn a Toyota dealership. But the maker has also had some unexpected setbacks in what has long been its most profitable market, the U.S., where two key lines: the midsize Camry and the Prius hybrid “family” suffered unanticipated sales declines.  Meanwhile, the outgoing Toyota Tundra pickup has failed to take advantage of the revival of the U.S. truck market, the fastest-growing segment in the industry this year.

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Management Shake-Up at Toyota Increases Role of U.S. Execs

Lentz running North American ops; former GM exec Hogan joins Toyota board.

by on Mar.06, 2013

From sales to manufacturing, Toyota's Jim Lentz will now run all operations in the Americas.

In an unexpected announcement, Toyota has announced a major shake-up in its global management structure that will significantly increase the role of the North American market – and senior U.S. executives, in particular.

The realignment positions Jim Lentz, who has been the top American executive at the giant Japanese maker, as its number one boss for all of North America. Meanwhile, the current U.S. head of the Lexus luxury brand will now become managing officer for Lexus International. And Mark Hogan, a former General Motors senior executive, will become the first American ever on the 76-year-old Toyota Motor Co.’s board of directors.

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“These changes will help us to achieve sustainable growth and realize our global vision by giving more responsibility to each region, including our North and South American operations, so that they may develop and deliver even better products and offer the best service to our customers,” declared Akio Toyoda, TMC’s global chief executive and grandson of the maker’s founder.

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Toyota Pays $29 Mil for Poorly-Handled Recalls

Settles with 29 states for delayed response to unintended acceleration problems.

by on Feb.15, 2013

The Lexus RX400h was covered by the latest unintended acceleration safety recall.

In the latest development involving Toyota’s problems with so-called unintended acceleration, the maker has agreed to pay $29 million as part of a settlement with the attorneys-general in 29 states while also improving the way it handles future recalls.

The automaker will also set aside another $5 million to help reimburse owners of various Toyota Motor Co. products who were affected by those recalls to cover costs for rental cars, taxi rides and other replacement transportation.

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Toyota has already paid a series of record fines levied by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as a result of its handling of recalls linked to a series of problems that could cause its vehicles to surge out of control. Since the first of those recalls – involving issues such as carpet entrapment and sticky accelerators – was launched in 2009, more than 10 million vehicles have been affected.

“Car buyers deserve the assurance that manufacturers will quickly and appropriately respond to known safety risks,” Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said. “The terms of this settlement require that Toyota make changes to improve its responsiveness to safety issues, and that benefits consumers.”

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Toyota Now Hopes to Triple Earnings

Maker optimistic as yen weakens, U.S. sales rise.

by on Feb.05, 2013

An assortment of new models, including the latest Avalon sedan, have helped drive Toyota's surge.

Toyota has substantially increased its earnings forecast for the current fiscal year, predicting profits now will triple when compared with what it delivered in the wake of the March 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami that nearly shut the maker down.

The maker has issued an advisory that it will deliver a net profit of 860 billion yen, or $9.3 billion for the current financial year, which runs through March 31st. It had previously anticipated earnings of 780 billion yen, or $8.5 billion.

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“We believe that our efforts have been bearing fruit and that we are finally on the road to sustainable growth,” said Takahiko Ijichi, senior managing officer at Toyota.

A variety of factors appear to be contributing. Of course, it helps to have gotten its factories back up and running after the shortages of 2011 which cost it 100s of thousands of units of lost production. But it doesn’t hurt, either, that demand has been soaring, especially in the key North America market.

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Toyota Recalling Over 1 Mil Vehicles

Separate safety actions involve defective airbags, faulty wipers.

by on Jan.30, 2013

The Lexus IS is targeted by one of two new Toyota recalls, the other affecting the Corolla.

Toyota says it is recalling a total of more than 1 million vehicles, including some late-model luxury cars, due to a pair of safety problems involving defective airbags and faulty windshield wipers.

The announcement comes during the same week the maker confirmed it regained its title in 2012 as the world’s best-selling automotive manufacturer.  But Toyota also had more vehicles recalled than any other automaker operating in the U.S. last year – the third time it has captured that dubious distinction in four years.

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The new recall involves about 752,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix cars sold in 2003 and 2004. According to Toyota, a control module is susceptible to short-circuiting. If that happens, it could cause their airbags and front seat pre-tensioners to inadvertently deploy.

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Toyota Officially Reclaims Global Sales Crown

GM slides to second, VW in third.

by on Jan.28, 2013

The success of the latest Toyota Camry helped the maker regain its global sales crown.

Toyota has officially reclaimed its global sales crown, the maker confirming it produced 9.75 million vehicles in 2012.

That was slightly ahead of a preliminary tally Toyota forecast as the year came to a close and locks it in first place ahead of General Motors, which sold 9.29 million vehicles.  Volkswagen, at 9.1 million, came in third for 2012.

Toyota’s sales were slightly lower than the company had projected earlier in the year, the shortfall reflecting the ongoing dispute between Japan and China over a chain of small, uninhabited islands both nations claim.

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In customary fashion, Toyota officials downplayed the sales results. “Rather than going after numbers, we hope to make fine products, one by one, to keep out customers satisfied. The numbers are just a result of our policy. And our policy will continue unchanged,” Toyota spokeswoman Shino Yamada told the Associated Press.

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Toyota Again Topped Recall List in 2012

Overall industry tally rose 4.5% last year.

by on Jan.08, 2013

Toyota paid a record fine for illegally delaying the recall of the Lexus RX line last year.

For the third time in four years, Toyota Motor Corp. recalled more vehicles than any other automaker operating in the U.S. market during 2012.

Toyota’s various safety-related service actions involved a total of 5.3 million cars, trucks and crossovers last year, nearly half of those in a single recall involving potential vehicle fires.  That problem pushed the Japanese giant past Honda, which led the recall list in 2011 and came in second in 2012 with 3.9 million vehicles involved in such safety campaigns.

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But the industry, on the whole, called back 16.2 million vehicles last year, a list that also included motorcycles, trucks and RVs. That was a 4.5% increase over 2011, according to a study of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data by the Detroit News.

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Toyota Pays Record Fine for Recall Delay

Fourth big penalty for Japanese maker for delaying safety campaign.

by on Dec.18, 2012

Lexus will pay a record fine for delaying the recall of nearly 150,000 RX models due to an unintended acceleration-related problem.

In a further blow to its well-honed image of quality, reliability and safety, Toyota has confirmed it will have to pay a record $17.35 million fine for delaying yet another recall related to unintended acceleration problems.

The news comes even as the Japanese giant heads towards the end of the year in a dubious race with rival Honda to see who will have the most vehicles recalled due to safety problems for all of 2012.

The latest fine marks the fourth time since 2010 that Toyota has had to shell out the maximum allowable penalty for delaying recalls.  Three years ago, fines levied by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration totaled $48.8 million – but that covered three separate recalls in which Toyota failed to act in a timely manner on a known safety defect, as required by U.S. law.

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According to a five-page draft agreement uncovered by the Detroit News, Toyota now will not only have to pay $17.35 million for delaying the recall of 154,000 Lexus RX crossovers last June but it will also have to hold monthly meetings related to safety issues.  It will also have to make significant internal reforms.

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Honda Adds 800k More Vehicles to Rollaway Recall

Maker’s recall count approaching 3 million for Q4 alone.

by on Dec.12, 2012

The 2004 Honda Pilot is one of three models impacted by the maker's latest safety recall.

American Honda plans to recall more than 800,000 minivans and crossover-utility vehicles to address a problem that could cause the vehicles to slip out of park and roll away.

The Japanese maker, traditionally known for its high quality, reliability and customer satisfaction has been slammed by an ongoing series of recalls in recent years and appears to be on track for the dubious distinction of having more vehicles involved in safety-related callbacks than any other manufacturer operating in the U.S. for the second year in a row.

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The issue involves the ignition interlock, a device intended to ensure that the key can only be removed when a vehicle is firmly shifted into Park.  But the mechanism in the vehicles covered by the recall could wear over time and allow the key to be removed when the transmission is in Neutral or some other gear, allowing the vehicle to roll away and a crash could occur — possibly leading to injuries or even fatalities.

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Ford Recalling New Fusion for Faulty Headlamps

Second recall in a week for new sedan.

by on Dec.07, 2012

The 2013 Ford Fusion faces a second recall.

Ford Motor Co. plans to recall more than 19,000 of its new Fusion midsize sedans to replace faulty headlamps, the second service action hitting the new and well-publicized vehicle in just a week.

Last Friday, the automaker announced that it would recall about 80,000 vehicles, including nearly 16,000 Fusions, because of a potential fire risk.

The latest recall was triggered by the discovery of a manufacturing defect at a Ford supplier that could result in the vehicle’s headlamps dimming and becoming hazy over time, according to documents the automaker filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety  Administration.

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A company spokesman said the headlamp problem was discovered during internal testing of the Fusion sedan, which was completely redesigned for the 2013 model-year and which went on sale in September. The maker says it has received no reports of accidents or injuries related to the problem – though NHTSA warned that the defect could nonetheless increase the possibility of a crash.

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