Tag Archives: Toyota Motor Corp

Toyota's Passes Milestone in Selling 5 Million Hybrid Cars

By The Associated Press

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Shuji Kajiyama/AP Toyota Vice Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada poses with two models of the Prius at the automaker’s headquarters in Tokyo on Wednesday. Toyota’s global sales of gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles surpassed 5 million in March, a milestone.

By YURI KAGEYAMA

TOKYO — Toyota’s global sales of gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles have surpassed 5 million in a milestone for a technology that was initially greeted with skepticism.

The Japanese automaker, which said Wednesday it had sold 5.125 million hybrid vehicles as of the end of March, started selling the Prius, the world’s first mass produced hybrid passenger car, in 1997. Gas-electric hybrids deliver fuel efficiency by switching back and forth between a gasoline engine and electric motor depending on speed and other driving conditions, and recharges as it travels.

“What an achievement for this technology to have grown this widespread,” said Vice Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada, known as “the father of the Prius” for having led the team that developed the hit model. “I believe there is a lot more room for this technology to grow,” he told reporters at Toyota’s Tokyo office Wednesday.

Toyota’s hybrid vehicles now account for 14 percent of its global sales and 40 percent of its sales in Japan. Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) sells 19 hybrid passenger car models and one plug-in hybrid, and is promising 18 new hybrids from now through December 2015.

Uchiyamada recalled that expectations had been low for the hybrid to catch on.

The production plan had called for barely 1,000 cars a month, he said, and he had to beg to raise it to that from 300 a month. But when the Prius was announced, people were flocking to dealers in Japan to place their orders. And there wasn’t even a sample model to check out yet in the showrooms.

When the Prius was introduced in the U.S., it was again met with enthusiasm, by people Uchiyamada called “opinion leaders,” including Hollywood stars.

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It was almost all too good to be true, he recalled, as marketing experts had warned that Americans would likely not want a car like the Prius because gas prices were then relatively low.

Since then, gas prices have skyrocketed and nations around the world are grappling with pollution and global warming.

After the March 2011 quake, tsunami and nuclear disasters in Japan, hybrids found a new use, helping deliver electricity during blackouts in disaster zones.

The hybrid has been so successful the only obstacle for Toyota may be that many rivals are in the game now.

“Toyota has led the world on cost-effective fuel-saving hybrid technology for more than a decade, but the competition is really heating up,” said David Friedman, senior engineer and deputy director of the clean vehicles program at the Union of Concerned Scientists

From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/17/toyota-hybrid-vehicle-sales/

Cars Powered by Cheap, Safe Batteries Likely Years Away

By Reuters

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By Deepa Seetharaman

TROY, Michigan — For nearly two years, a team of former Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius engineers has been working on the next big thing in electric cars: the latest version of the 154-year-old lead-acid battery.

Their aim is to build a battery strong enough to power a wider range of vehicles, something they think the current cutting-edge technology — lithium ion — can’t do cheaply, particularly given recent safety scares.

The focus of Energy Power Systems on a technology older than the automobile itself illustrates the difficulty with lithium-ion batteries. While widely used in everything from laptops to electric cars and satellites, a number of high-profile incidents involving smoke and fire have been a reminder of the risks and given them an image problem.

The overheating of the batteries on two of Boeing’s high-tech 787 Dreamliners, which prompted regulators to ground the aircraft, served to underline the concerns and forced the plane maker to redesign the battery system. Indeed, a growing number of engineers now say the lithium-ion battery revolution has stalled, undercut by high costs, technical complexity and safety concerns.

“Smart people have been working on this for 10 years already and no one is close to a new kind of battery,” said Fred Schlachter, a lithium-ion battery expert and retired physicist from the U.S.-funded Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Many experts now believe it will take at least another decade for lithium-ion technology to be ready for widespread adoption in transportation. Others, including Toyota Motor Corp. (TM), believe the solution lies beyond lithium-ion.

Interviews with two dozen battery executives, experts and researchers, including the founder of Securaplane, which made Boeing’s battery charger, reveal an industry in which some are having second thoughts about using lithium-ion, and are instead looking to enhance previous technologies or to leap ahead.

These people say expectations were set too high, too fast. People projected that “clean technology” batteries would shrink in size and weight at the speed of the microchip revolution. That hasn’t happened, and Schlachter says it won’t any time soon. “We’re not going to see a different chemistry, unless we’re very lucky, for decades.”

Just as recent developments in technology have allowed cars to improve their mileage using traditional engines, the lead-acid battery research is aiming for improved power in a smaller package.

Beyond Lithium-Ion

Lithium-ion supporters, including Boeing Co. (BA), Tesla Motors Co. (TSLA) and General Motors Co. (GM), maker of the Volt, say they can make the batteries safe, and problems with new technologies are to be expected.

GM overcame an early problem when a Volt caught fire during tests run by the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, for instance, and after all,

From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/16/cheap-safe-battery-power-cars-years-away/

Toyota, Honda, Nissan announce recall of more than 2 million vehicles over air bag issue

Toyota, Honda and Nissan are recalling more than 2 million vehicles globally for an identical problem with air bags on the passenger side whose inflator may burst, sending plastic pieces flying.

No injuries have been reported related to the problem.

The recall for air bags made by Japan‘s Takata Corp. affects other automakers, including non-Japanese manufacturers, Takata spokesman Akiko Watanabe said Thursday. She declined to give details.

Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 1.7 million vehicles, with some 580,000 in North America, another 490,000 in Europe and 320,000 in Japan. Affected models include the Corolla, Tundra, Lexus SC, produced between November 2000 and March 2004.

Toyota said it had received five reports of air-bag problems, three in the U.S. and two in Japan, but there have been no injuries.

Honda Motor Co. is recalling 1.1 million vehicles. About 680,000 are in North America, 270,000 in Japan and 64,000 in Europe. The models include the Civic, CR-V and Odyssey.

The automakers have reported the problem to the Transport Ministry in Japan, and will be reporting other recalls later in the day in other regions, they said.

The recall extends to Latin America, China, other Asian nations, the Middle East and Africa.

Nissan Motor Co. recalled 480,000 vehicles globally, some 137,000 of them in Japan, for the air bag problem.

The Yokohama-based automaker said vehicles in North America and Europe are affected, but did not immediately have other details on its 343,000 overseas recalls.

Recalled models in Japan include the Cube, X-Trail, Maxima and Teana, made from August 2000, to January 2004, spokesman Chris Keeffe said.

The problem crept in because of two human errors during production. A worker forgot to turn on the switch for a system weeding out defective products and parts were improperly stored, which exposed them to humidity, according to Honda spokeswoman Akemi Ando.

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/world/~3/d4eJNcntzwM/

Japanese Automakers Recall 2 Million Cars For Defective Airbags

By The Associated Press

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By YURI KAGEYAMA

Toyota, Honda and Nissan are recalling more than 2 million vehicles globally for an identical problem involving the inflator for passenger side airbags that may burst, sending plastic pieces flying.

No injuries have been reported related to the problem.

The recall for air bags made by Japan‘s Takata Corp. affects other automakers including non-Japanese manufacturers, and may be as many as 3 million vehicles, Takata spokeswoman Akiko Watanabe said Thursday. She declined to give details.

Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) is recalling 1.7 million vehicles, with some 580,000 in North America, another 490,000 in Europe and 320,000 in Japan. Affected models include the Corolla, Tundra, Lexus SC, produced between November 2000 and March 2004.

Toyota said it had received five reports of air-bag problems, three in the U.S. and two in Japan, but there have been no injuries.

The automaker suffered a blow to its reputation from a series of massive recalls in 2009 and 2010, including faulty braking, sticky gas pedals and defective floor mats, partly a reflection of how various models used the same parts to save costs. But the latest recall is affecting other major automakers as well.

Honda Motor Co. (HMC) is recalling 1.1 million vehicles. About 680,000 are in North America, 270,000 in Japan and 64,000 in Europe. The models include the Civic, CR-V and Odyssey.

The automakers have reported the problem to the Transport Ministry in Japan, and will be reporting other recalls later in the day in other regions, they said.

The recall extends to Latin America, China, other Asian nations, the Middle East and Africa.

Nissan Motor Co. recalled 480,000 vehicles globally, some 137,000 of them in Japan, for the air bag problem.

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The Yokohama-based automaker said vehicles in North America and Europe are affected, but didn’t immediately have other details on its 343,000 overseas recalls.

Recalled models in Japan include the Cube, X-Trail, Maxima and Teana, made from August 2000 to January 2004, spokesman Chris Keeffe said.

The problem crept in because of two human errors during production. A worker forgot to turn on the switch for a system weeding out defective products and parts were improperly stored, which exposed them to humidity, according to Honda spokeswoman Akemi Ando.

Also affected under the same recall were the RX-8 and Mazda 6 at Mazda Motor Corp.

The Hiroshima-based automaker said 45,000 vehicles were recalled, including 4,000 in Japan. It didn’t give numbers for other regions, but said recalls will be announced in North America, Europe, China and other nations.

Japan‘s Transport Ministry said the recall affects nearly 732,000 vehicles in Japan.

Takata stock plunged as much as 15 percent before closing down 9 percent. Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda shares rallied in Tokyo,

From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/11/honda-toyota-nissan-mazda-airbag-recall/

Airbag Recall: Toyota, Nissan And Honda Recall Millions Of Vehicles Globally

By The Huffington Post News Editors

* Japanese parts maker Takata says supplied the problematic airbags
* Takata says also supplied the airbags to foreign carmakers
* Fix to take about one hour or more – carmakers
* Carmakers increasingly using common or similar parts to cut costs
By Yoko Kubota
TOKYO, April 11 (Reuters) – Four Japanese automakers including Toyota Motor Corp, and Nissan Motor Co are recalling 3.4 vehicles sold around the world because airbags supplied by Takata Corp are at risk of catching fire or injuring passengers.
The move announced on Thursday is the largest recall ever for airbags made by Takata, the world’s second largest supplier of airbags and seatbelts. Shares of Takata tumbled almost 10 percent in Tokyo trading.
The recall is the largest since Toyota pulled back more than 7 million vehicles in October. The scale of the recent safety actions underscore the risk of huge global supply chain problems as automakers increasingly rely on a handful of suppliers for common or similar parts to cut costs, analysts have said.
The recall covers some of the top-selling Japanese cars, including Toyota’s Camry and Corolla, and rivals like the Nissan Maxima and Honda Civic. All of the vehicles in question were manufactured in or after 2000.
In an accident, the airbag for the front passenger seat may not inflate correctly because of a manufacturing defect in the propellant used in the airbag inflator, the companies said. As a result, there is a risk of fires starting or of passengers being injured.
Toyota, Honda and Nissan said there were no reports of injuries or deaths because of the defective airbags.
The recall is the largest for Takata since 1995 when the Tokyo-based company was involved in a recall of over 8 million vehicles because of defective seatbelts.
Tokyo-based

From: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/11/airbag-recall-toyota-nissan-honda_n_3058232.html

Toyota, Honda, Nissan announce air bag recall

Toyota, Honda and Nissan are recalling more than 2 million vehicles globally for an identical problem with air bags on the passenger side whose inflator may burst, sending plastic pieces flying.

No injuries have been reported related to the problem.

The recall for air bags made by Japan‘s Takata Corp. affects other automakers, including non-Japanese manufacturers, Takata spokesman Akiko Watanabe said Thursday. She declined to give details.

Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 1.7 million vehicles with some 580,000 in North America, 490,000 in Europe and 320,000 in Japan. Affected models include the Corolla, Tundra, Lexus SC, produced between November 2000, and March 2004.

Honda Motor Co. is recalling 1.1 million vehicles. About 680,000 are in North America, 270,000 in Japan and 64,000 in Europe. The models include Civic and Odyssey.

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/world/~3/1C7CtuuyRE0/

Honda's Latest Minivan Comes with Its Own Vacuum

By The Associated Press

honda odyssey minivan vacuum auto show

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Honda Motor Co./AP Honda latest iteration of its Honda Odyssey, unveiled Wednesday at the New York auto show, includes a built-in vacuum cleaner on some models.

By DEE-ANN DURBIN

DETROIT — Stray Cheerios beware. The new Honda Odyssey minivan is here — and it has a built-in vacuum cleaner.

Honda Motor Co. (HMC) showed off its updated Odyssey minivan Tuesday evening ahead of the New York International Auto Show. The 2014 Odyssey — last redesigned in 2011 — has a richer, more chiseled look, chrome-trimmed fog lights and other premium features.

But HondaVAC, the hand-held vacuum integrated into the cargo area, will likely be its most talked-about feature. Honda says it’s the first to offer this family-friendly tool, which it developed with heavy-duty vacuum maker Shop-Vac. Honda’s system includes nozzle accessories and a hose that can reach every corner of the vehicle. It doesn’t need an outlet for recharging, and can work continuously when the motor is running — or for up to eight minutes when the van is turned off.

Honda says the vacuum will be standard on the most expensive version of the Odyssey, and it will announce availability on other versions later.

Tami Giammarco, lead engineer on the van’s interior, said the vacuum idea came from the daughter of an engineer who saw how frustrated her father was when kids made a mess in his van. “‘Dad, you need a vacuum in here,'” she told her father, Giammarco said.

Minivan sales could use a jolt. They peaked at 1.4 million in 2000, but have fallen rapidly since as buyers shifted to popular crossover wagons like the Honda CR-V and Toyota Motor Corp.’s (TM) RAV4. U.S. minivan sales totaled 540,188 last year.

Still, sales outpaced the industry average last year, and should grow even more this year when Ford Motor Co. (F) rolls out its first minivan since 2006, the Transit Connect Wagon. And if Generation Y buyers in their late 20s and early 30s choose a minivan as they start families, business could boom.

Honda is eager to be part of the action. So far this year, the Odyssey is the third-best selling minivan in the U.S., behind the Toyota Sienna and the Dodge Caravan. Excluding sales to fleet buyers such as rental car companies, Honda is No. 1, said Mike Acavitti, senior vice president of marketing for American Honda.

Acavitti said the minivan segment should keep growing because of its utility, and he expects Honda’s share of the market rise with the revamped Odyssey.

“There is no more flexible vehicle,” he said.

Here are more details about 2014 Odyssey:

Outside: Honda sharpened the Odyssey’s looks with a more sculpted hood, two-tone mirror housings and other details. It also improved the structure so that the van can get top …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

What Does a Car Recall in China Mean for VW?

By 24/7 Wall St.

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Volkswagen has recalled 384,181 cars in China, including Golf, Magotan, Sagitar and Audi A3 models. Bloomberg reports that the cost of this action to VW will be more than $600 million. The more important issue is whether recalls in China harm car manufacturer reputations as much as they can in more established markets like the United States. If so, VW has a problem much larger than a financial one.

Volkswagen and General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) have held on as the top car makers in China by sales. Those positions are under assault by other large multinational manufacturers, particularly Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) and Nissan. The strength and breadth of this competition may allow the newcomers to rattle VW sales, if each company can trumpet its quality compared to VW. That only works until one or more of these car companies has a product recall of its own.

The likelihood of product recalls in any market and of any model may be what helps VW in China in the long term. For now, the recall of nearly 400,000 vehicles is unmistakably a blow to the German company. But the moment GM or Toyota have recall problems, VW‘s will be pushed further back in the memories of buyers.

The slew of other large companies that sell cars in China, which has been swelled by local firms as well as those from outside the People’s Republic, will have recalls. Based on the past four decades of recalls in the United States, every manufacturer will be hit eventually. The probable quality problems with all of these means VW‘s recall will be all but forgotten fairly soon.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Autos, China Tagged: F, featured, GM, TM

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Europe Car Sales Spell Doom for GM

By 24/7 Wall St.

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New car sales research from Europe shows that General Motors Co.’s (NYSE: GM) fortunes in the region have gotten much worse. Its decade-old string of losses is guaranteed to continue. Whatever car analysts believed in the past (and many believed GM‘s efforts in the region have been shattered for some time), the largest U.S. car company has reached the point where it is impossible to recover.

The February data for Europe car sales show a drop of 10.5%, compared with the same period a year ago. This is the lowest level since the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) began to keep figures. February sales of cars and light trucks in the European Union dropped to 795,482.

GM‘s numbers were much worse when put against the regional average, which means it also has fallen further behind the market leaders. GM‘s total sales dropped 20.6% year-over-year to 57,410 in February. Its market share dropped from 8.1% to 7.2% for the same period.

The major nemesis to all manufacturers that do business in Europe is Volkswagen — not only the largest company in the region by sales, but one that continues to gain market share. VW‘s sales dropped 7.4% in February over the same month a year ago to 195,608, but its market share rose from 23.8% to 24.6%. VW remains more dominant in its home market than GM is in the United States.

A number of other modest-sized companies in the market also outpaced GM. Among these were BMW, which has 5.8% of the market, Daimler, which has 5.3%, Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM), which has 4.1%, and Hyundai, which has 3.9%. All of these are above their market share in February 2012. The Asia manufacturers have successfully pushed into the market, while the local luxury car companies continue to add to their edges.

In Europe, GM is boxed in among a larger competitor, Asian firms and the luxury end of the market. There is no reason to believe that these trends will end.

If GM was at a tipping point in Europe, as management tries to turn the operation around, that operation is now officially doomed.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Autos, International Markets Tagged: GM, TM

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

The Best Recent Car Recall

By 24/7 Wall St.

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Hundreds of thousands of cars made by major manufacturers have been recalled this year. The most outrageous of these is among the smallest. Chrysler recalled 4,459 Dodge Challenger V-6 models because their engines may actually catch on fire. The vehicles affected are 2013 models, and only 2,500 are on the road. The balance are held by dealers. The news shows just how wrong things can go with very modern cars, and that the risk of very dangerous cars, made dangerous by the car companies, continues to exist.

Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC) recently recalled 183,000 Pilot and Acura vehicles made in 2005 and 2006. These have a potentially dangerous brake defect. Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) recalled 209,000 FJ Cruiser models because of seat belt issues. Chrysler had another recall – much larger than the Challenger one – last month. This one involved 370,297 pickups and SUVs in which there could be rare axle problems. Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) recalled about 6,000 Escape, C-Max and Focus models because of possible child lock problems. And, at the luxury end of the market, where the cars sold should be nearly perfect, BMW recalled 75,000 cars because of electrical problems that could cause the vehicles to stall.

None of these recalls are related insofar as the parts of the cars or defaults measured. That means that the points of failure on very modern cars can be across a very broad spectrum. Consumers cannot take any comfort in this. Any and every part of their cars, SUVs, crossovers or pickups might be at risk. No matter how good quality control is supposed to be among large manufacturers, it fails to catch relatively basic flaws.

So far, there have been no major injuries among people in the cars recently called back to the dealers. But, as recalls proliferate, the companies and drivers may not be that lucky.

An engine fire is pretty serious stuff.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Autos Tagged: F, HMC, TM

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Volkswagen's Wild China Dreams

By 24/7 Wall St.

China

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Volkswagen believes it can see the future of the car industry in China and its own place in that future. The German manufacturer will increase its production capacity in the People’s Republic by as much as 70% by 2018. Of course, VW could be completely wrong about the future of the market, which would make its programs a very costly mistake.

Volkswagen announced its China plans as management reported record global profits for 2012. The company knows as well as any other that its home market of Europe will stay depressed for several years. That leaves its initiatives in the United States and China as the critical lynch pins of its future fortunes.

VW‘s presence in the U.S. is small and probably will not get much bigger. It sold 60,474 units in the market over the first two months of the year, for a modest 4.7% increase. Its market share in the United States is only 2.7%.

VW has to contend with two issues in the U.S. First is that its cars are rarely among those considered the best by testing companies. Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM), which has products that compete with all of those sold by Volkswagen, does much better in these evaluations. So do Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC) products and those of several products of The Big Three U.S. automakers. Second, VW‘s products are aimed at the middle of the market, which favors light cars with good gas mileage. This part of the market is ridiculously crowded, and much of the crowd has been in this part of the American market for years.

That leaves VW‘s gamble in China. The Chinese car market is the world’s largest, but it is not posting the hyper-growth of the past decade. An end to some tax credits has hurt sales. What is less clear is whether other factors have slowed sales. Do the Chinese have less discretionary income than most analysts believe? Or is the Chinese market really different from those in the U.S. and Europe? The bicycle, scooters and public transportation may have roots there too deep for VW to disturb.

VW has to contend with the crowding of the market in China just as it does in the United States. Its China position is extremely strong, often considered number one in the People’s Republic for total sales, a distinction it sometimes shares with GM. But every other global car company believes it needs China to have a bright future, and China‘s own car companies want sales and market share just as badly.

The Chinese market may not be as fertile as expected for another reason. The extreme levels of air pollution in the most populous cities already have triggered restrictions to the number of cars that may be driven and the time of day they can operation. This is bound to undermine the sales of cars and light trucks. As the pollution gets worse, so will the restrictions.

Volkswagen’s odds of producing and selling 70% more cars in China five …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

AP Interview: Toyota chief stresses safe growth

After four tumultuous years bookended by an unprecedented recall crisis and a return to the top of the global auto industry, Akio Toyoda is refashioning Toyota Motor Corp. into a leaner company that’s more imbued with the venture spirit of founder Kiichiro Toyoda, his grandfather.

In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Toyota’s president said he is putting new auto plants on hold for three years and reshaping the automaker’s structure to give more autonomy to regional divisions and foreign executives.

During his four years at Toyota’s helm, Toyoda has learned the hard way the costs of blindly pursuing growth, a strategy inherited from his predecessor that he ruefully acknowledges got him slammed by a cascade of recalls.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

The Hyundai Car Brands Wither

By 24/7 Wall St.

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Market penetration and bad PR have taken down Hyundai and stablemate Kia, which until recently were the hottest brands in the U.S. market. As sales of competitors rise, the two manufactures will find it nearly impossible to keep pace. Their reigns as the darlings of the American car industry are over.

Hyundai sales rose only 2.3% to 96,024 in the first two months of this year, compared to an overall industry increase of 8.4%. Kia sales dropped 3.4% to 77,807 in the same period.

By contrast, sales of the industry leaders — General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) and Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) — all rose in the double digits. Chrysler’s sales were up 9.4% for the period.

One reason for the stagnation of Hyundai and Kia sales is likely the scandal over gas mileage claims. Car research firm Edmunds wrote in November:

  • Hyundai and Kia said they overstated the estimated fuel economy on about 900,000 2011-’13 vehicles, including the 2012 Hyundai Accent and 2012 Kia Soul.
  • The Korean companies will compensate owners for the inaccurate claims.
  • The EPA announced that its investigation into “inflated mileage claims” prompted the action by Hyundai and Kia.

Some models that the two companies sell face more competition from low- and mid-priced cars and light trucks. In the first two months of the year, Honda Motor Co. Ltd.’s (NYSE: HMC) Accord sales rose 51%. Ford Fusion sales rose 42%. Sales of the Ford Fusion and Toyota Corolla each rose 22%. All of these vehicles are in the top 20 in terms of U.S. sales. Hyundai has two cars in the group. Sales of one of those — the Sonata — dropped 8% for the period. Sales of its Elantra rose 15%. Hyundai is losing market share to several other companies in the battle among the most popular cars and light trucks.

The U.S. car market is the hottest large car market in the world. If global manufacturers want to take advantage of that, they need to make progress in 2013. Hyundai and Kia have not articulated much of a plan to regain their growth rates. That is because they have none.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Autos Tagged: F, GM, HMC, TM

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Toyota recalls 1.29M vehicles for air bags, wipers

Toyota is recalling over one million cars around the world for faulty air bags and defective windshield wipers.

The move comes just days after Toyota regained its spot as the world’s No. 1 automaker from U.S. rival General Motors Co., with global vehicle sales that climbed to a record 9.748 million vehicles. The company is now recalling 907,000 cars, mostly Corollas, due to air bags that can improperly inflate when the vehicle’s electronic signals damage a chip in the part that controls the air bags. It also is recalling 385,000 Lexus IS luxury cars with wipers that can get stuck if there is heavy snowfall.

Initially, the Japanese automaker had said there were no accidents related to either problem, but Toyota Motor Corp. spokesman Naoto Fuse said Wednesday that two crashes were reported in the U.S. related to the air bag problem. Toyota had not been able to confirm them and Fuse said it is unclear whether anyone was injured in the two crashes. Toyota has confirmed 18 cases in the U.S. of abrasion-type injuries from the air bag problem, he said. In total, the automaker has received 46 reports of problems involving the air bags from North America, and one from Japan, and 25 reports of problems related to the windshield wipers.

As part of the air bag recall, Toyota is recalling some 752,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix cars in the U.S., about 141,000 vehicles in Canada and thousands of similar vehicles in Japan and Mexico that were manufactured between December 2001 and May 2004. The part will be corrected to be able to block damaging signals, said Fuse.

The problem wipers affect three kinds of Lexus IS models, manufactured from May 2005 to October 2011, including 270,000 vehicles in the U.S. and nearly 17,000 vehicles in Canada. The recall also affects the Lexus IS sold in Europe, the Middle East and China, Toyota said.

Toyota’s reputation for top quality has been undermined in the past few years by massive recalls for a spate of problems, including bad brakes, gas pedals and floor mats, mostly in the U.S. Executives have repeatedly promised to beef up quality controls and be quicker with recalls to repair Toyota’s image. Toyota has announced some recalls in recent months, but they have been relatively minor, such as floor mats, and generally affect vehicles manufactured before its latest efforts to regain sterling quality.

Last month, Toyota agreed to pay more than $1 billion in the U.S. to settle lawsuits where vehicle owners said the value of their cars and SUVs plummeted after the company recalled millions of vehicles because of sudden-acceleration issues. Executives say they are not admitting fault. But they acknowledge the company is eager to put the recall crisis behind it.

Toyota’s production was hit by the quake and tsunami in northeastern Japan in 2011, where key suppliers were located, but it has since recovered, seeing sales grow not only in the U.S. but also in Asia.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Toyota recalls nearly 1M Corolla, Lexus sedans for air bags, wipers

Toyota is recalling 907,000 vehicles, mostly Corolla models, around the world for faulty air bags and another 385,000 Lexus IS luxury cars for defective wipers.

Toyota Motor Corp. spokesman Naoto Fuse said Wednesday there have been no accidents or injuries related to either of those defects, but the Japanese automaker received 46 reports of problems involving the air bags from North America, and one from Japan. There were 25 reports of problems related to the windshield wipers.

Being recalled for air bags that can improperly inflate are 752,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix cars in the U.S. as well as thousands of similar vehicles in Japan, Mexico and Canada, manufactured between December 2001 and May 2004. Some 141,000 vehicles in Canada are being recalled, according to Toyota.

The problem wipers, which can get stuck if there is heavy snowfall, affect three kinds of Lexus IS models, manufactured from May 2005 to October 2011, including 270,000 vehicles in the U.S. and nearly 17,000 vehicles in Canada. The recall also affects the Lexus IS sold in Europe, the Middle East and China, Toyota said.

Toyota’s reputation for top quality was undermined in the past few years by massive recalls for a spate of problems, including bad brakes, gas pedals and floor mats, mostly in the U.S.

Executives have repeatedly promised to beef up quality controls and be quicker with recalls to repair Toyota’s image.

Toyota’s production was hit by the quake and tsunami in northeastern Japan in 2011, where key suppliers were located, but it has since recovered, seeing sales grow not only in the U.S. but also in Asia.

Earlier this week, Toyota released its tally for global vehicle sales last year at a record 9.748 million vehicles, regaining its spot as the world’s No. 1 automaker from U.S. rival General Motors Co.

Toyota has announced some recalls in recent months, but they have been relatively minor, such as floor mats, and generally affect vehicles manufactured before its latest efforts to regain sterling quality.

Last month, Toyota agreed to pay more than $1 billion in the U.S. to settle lawsuits where vehicle owners said the value of their cars and SUVs plummeted after the company recalled millions of vehicles because of sudden-acceleration issues.

Executives say they are not admitting fault. But they acknowledge the company is eager to put the recall crisis behind it, and move ahead with sales growth in Asian nations as well as the U.S.

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox US News