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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Car News

Toyota Issues its largest recall ever in the U.S. over floor mats, 3.8M vehicles affected.

On: Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 11:37PM | By: Drew Christy

Toyota Issues its largest recall ever in the U.S. over floor mats, 3.8M vehicles affected. test 1-1

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a safety alert to the owners of particular Toyota and Lexus models from 2004-2010. This recall affects 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles in the United States. The alert reports of accelerator pedal clearance issues which provide the potential for an accelerator pedal to get stuck in the full open position. A stuck accelerator may result in very high vehicle speeds and a crash, which could cause serious injury or death.

The following models are affected:

  • 2007-2010 Camry
  • 2005-2010 Avalon
  • 2004-2009 Prius
  • 2005-2010 Tacoma
  • 2007-2010 Tundra
  • 2007-2010 ES 350
  • 2006-2010 IS 250 and IS350

Toyota has announced that it will soon launch a safety recall to address the problem with the vehicles listed above. The NHTSA is asking owners of specific Toyota and Lexus models to take out any removable driver’s floormat immediately and NOT replace it with any other floormat until Toyota develops a solution (see photo above?).

Owners with questions or concerns, are asked to please contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center (1-800-331-4331) or Lexus Customer Assistance Center (1-800-255-3987), or consult the information posted at http://www.toyota.com and http://www.lexus.com.

We have posted the press releases from both the NHTSA and Toyota after the jump. Toyota's press release includes instructions on what to do if your gas pedal gets stuck due to floormat interference.

Penske Plans For Saturn Cleared Up, Sort Of

On: Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 2:21PM | By: John Welch

Penske Plans For Saturn Cleared Up, Sort Of test 1-1

Saturn has always been an eclectic brand. Offering nothing more then two different versions of the same car for nine long years (the 'S' which came in SOHC and DOHC versions between 1990 and 1998), Saturn always found another way to connect with customers. Their dealership policies concentrated on a personal relationship with the customer, simple to understand pricing, and friendly rapport keeping the showrooms packed. Competing for the GM design teet with GM's other brands was often a losing battle for Saturn, leaving them with sub-standard products at a time when the Japanese and Koreans were pumping out higher quality vehicles for the same price.

No amount of customer loyalty can make up for a bevy of off-putting products, leading to a serious decline in sales. Saturn is looking at moving less then 100,000 units this year, way down from Saturn's sales peak, 286,000 units in 1994.This year alone overall sales for the division have dropped 58 percent. Instead of killing Saturn, ala Pontiac, the General is adding this beleaguered brand to the auction block, along with Saab, Opel, and Hummer.

It looks like Roger Penske is interested. Recently, certain details of his purchase have come to light, clearing up exactly what the (real) 'most interesting man in the world' plans to do with his new baby . . .

Chevrolet Camaro Z28 News

On: Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 1:20PM | By: John Welch

Chevrolet Camaro Z28 News test 1-1

GM is such a tease. They're always telling me what I want to hear, and I always eat it up even though I know 'what I want to hear' is usually too good to be true. GM dangles tasty morsels of automotive erotica in front of my face and then sweeps the cars I lust after back under the rug at the first sign of political or economic turmoil. The examples are endless: Pontiac G8/Chevy Caprice/G8 ST/Buick Grand National, The CTS-V Wagon/Coupe, and the Camaro Z28 all spring to mind.
Not much can be said for the poor G8 and its possible offspring, and the CTS-V Wagon is very much in doubt, but the Camaro goodness is still in the pipeline. Following is news on the Z28 and a few people who couldn't wait until GM got around to making it . ..

More Euro Fords: The 2011 C-Max

On: Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 11:16AM | By: John Welch

More Euro Fords: The 2011 C-Max test 1-1

Several weird segments have popped up in the American auto industry lately. Four door hatch-backs, itty bitty city cars, narrow work vans, and seven passenger car/van double mini-people carrier thingees like the Mazda 5 and the Kia Rondo. All of these concepts are direct descendants of, or inspired by, European products. BMW, VW, and Porsche have the 'shooting-brake', foor door hatch-back thing covered, while Ford, Mercedes and others have produced 'city cars' for decades. Ford recently had the bright idea to begin importing its European product to the U.S. market . . . something about Euro-Fords being dynamically superior to the American-produced crap-wagons currently sold in Ford dealerships. The first European Ford product to actually go on sale was the Ford Transit Connect, a urban sized cargo van, similar to the Daimler Sprinter. Next we will get the new Fiesta, followed by the new Focus and the Ford C-Max.


The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

On: Thu, Sep 17, 2009 at 11:46AM | By: John Welch

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly test 1-1

Fritz Henderson allows us a taste of GM's Australian bounty, the word 'bad' is redefined ala Michael Jackson, and Flavio Briatore shows there is hope for disco fanatics everywhere, as long as we are referring to fashion and not poorly planned crash-to-win fiascos . . .

GM Continues To Push Forward

On: Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 3:14PM | By: Nick Truden

GM Continues To Push Forward test 1-1

As winter approaches and as America gently heaves itself out of economic implosion, the mainstay of our country's ingenuity, the automobile, has finally reached the breaking point of "do or do not". With oil and gas prices still at an all-time high, Americans DO want those vehicles of the future the car companies have been promising us for the last few decades. We DO NOT want the same old song and dance previously touted by the big three (GM, Ford, Chrysler) rendering us dumbfounded as to when an oil-free salvation will come. General Motors appears to be at the forefront of this retooling, thanks to their help from Uncle Sam.

GM Finalizes Opel/Magna Deal

On: Thu, Sep 10, 2009 at 12:40PM | By: John Welch

GM Finalizes Opel/Magna Deal test 1-1

Opel employees were able to breathe a sigh of relief this morning, as it appears GM has agreed to sell a 55% stake in Opel/Vauxhall to Magna and its Russian partner Sberbank.

GM had reservations about selling to Magna, not wanting to release intellectual properties to its Russian partner. A deal has been reached, and apparently the patent drawings for the Ecotech engine are safe. German workers and government officials strongly supported take over by Magna because the Canadian firm has pledged to keep all Opel manufacturing plants in Germany open, saving as many German jobs as possible. The other company in the running for Opel, RHJ International, made no such claims. The German government was less then willing to put in the required national funds if these jobs were not secure.

GM released a statement, making it clear that the deal is not final (are they ever?!), stating deals with labor unions and the German Parliament still need to be ironed out.

"This has shown that the patience and single-mindedness of the federal government has paid off," said German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had uncharacteristically stuck her neck out in favor of Magna, lobbying in both Washington and Moscow.

Hopefully this will bring closure to this facet of New GM's reorganization, and they can get to work turning the G8 into an Impala already . . . (never gonna happen, I know, I know . . )

Source: The New York Times

More MP4-12C Goodness

On: Wed, Sep 9, 2009 at 3:58PM | By: John Welch

More MP4-12C Goodness test 1-1


Mmmm, it comes with a TWIN TURBO 3.8 liter V8, ala the Ferrari F40 and the Koenigsegg. Very tasty. Also, it appears they have modified the styling of the front fascia, though now it just looks like a really badass Tesla. If it wasn't a McLaren that might ruin it for me . . .

Source: BBC.com

2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, Yes Please!

On: Wed, Sep 9, 2009 at 1:04PM | By: John Welch

2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, Yes Please! test 1-1

The Mercedes-Benz Gullwing was an absolute classic. Perfectly proportioned, race-bred and shamefully German in the most Teutonic sense. Mercedes has resurrected the Gullwing with its new SLS AMG, a faithful recreation if ever there was one. Instead of following the lead of American manufacturers, who are digging up the sixties for their retro-rods, Mercedes has reached all the way back to the mid-fifties for its stylish reflection of the past.

Jaguar Enters ALMS GT2, Finally

On: Wed, Sep 9, 2009 at 11:03AM | By: John Welch

Jaguar Enters ALMS GT2, Finally test 1-1

Announced in January, the Rocket Sports Racing Jaguar XKR GT2 was scheduled to debut mid-season, but a series of technical issues have delayed the car's maiden race. Joining a host of exotic machinery already planning on running the Petit Le Mans, the Jaguar is the ninth manufacturer-supported car racing in the GT2 class; there are fourteen cars entered. The ridiculous amount of fantastic competition now racing GT2 might make one forget about the now-defunct GT1 class.

Gems From the International Motoring Press

On: Fri, Sep 4, 2009 at 3:25PM | By: John Welch

Gems From the International Motoring Press test 1-1

Dateline, India!: Harley Davidson to sell enormous double-black motorcycles in India! Maybe that will lessen the 95ish% decrease in sales in this country . . . Of course, this story comes with quotes that mangle the English language;

"“Our mission was to lay a strong base in India to help play a long innings. India is a vital part of company’s expansions plan which now is getting global,” Harley Davidson chief operating officer Matthew Levatich said."

The story comes from good 'ole Motorbeam.com

China must be filled with suckers, or just really bad cars/China carries our economy in so many ways Department:

GM and Ford are starting to turn things around in this country, but in China they've been killing it! Killing what? I don't know, lemme get back to you . . Ford sales in China were up 111% last month, as they sold 21,127 vehicles in China for the month of August. After unloading 88,711 units in August, SAIC-GM's sales are up a whopping 122.6%. The articles come from China Car Times, and can be viewed here and here. I for one, welcome our Asian Over-Lords . . .