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Toyota manufacturing 36 articles

Sudden acceleration cases filed against Toyota in California state courts get trial date

Litigation filed in California state courts over sudden unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles has been slated to begin January 1, 2013, starting with a high-profile case alleging the wrongful death of a California woman whose 2006 Camry crashed after it sped out of control. In that case, plaintiff Peter Uno alleges that his wife Noriko Uno died in April 2008 after her Camry suddenly accelerated to speeds over 100 mph while she was traveling on an Upland, California highway. Mrs. Uno ultimately lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a telephone pole. Jury selection on this first bellwether case ... Read More

Toyota recalls 700,000 vehicles for safety repairs

Toyota announced Wednesday that it will begin recalling nearly 700,000 vehicles next month to repair potential safety problems. One recall encompasses about 495,000 Tacoma pickup trucks made in models years 2005 through 2009 and will involve replacing the steering wheel spiral cable assembly. According to Toyota, friction between the spiral cable and the retainer in the steering wheel spiral cable assembly may occur in some of the vehicles, possibly resulting in “loss of connectivity to the driver’s air bag module.” Should the electrical connection be interrupted, the driver’s airbag may be deactivated and fail to deploy during a crash. The ... Read More

Confidential Toyota memo says electronic flaw caused sudden acceleration in test car

An internal Toyota document obtained and translated by CNN demonstrates that engineers testing a pre-production car experienced and noted an instance of “sudden unintended acceleration.” The confidential document, drafted in 2006, was never shared with U.S. officials investigating whether an electronic flaw could be causing Toyota vehicles to suddenly speed out of control. Toyota engineers penned the document, relaying the results of a cruise-control test on a vehicle that would later be sold in Japan and Europe as the Lexus 460. “The cruise control activates by itself at full throttle when the accelerator pedal position sensor is abnormal,” the report says, ... Read More

Auto safety group sues NHTSA for withholding Toyota sudden-acceleration report

Safety Research & Strategies Inc. (SRS), the Massachusetts auto safety firm that has been instrumental in holding Toyota accountable for defects related to sudden unintended acceleration in its vehicles, is suing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for withholding records that could provide critical insight into the sudden-acceleration problem. “The DOT and NHTSA have pledged transparency but have consistently kept vital information from the public,” said Sean Kane, the founder and head of SRS. “The agency’s numerous investigations into Toyota Unintended Acceleration have been characterized by continued secrecy, preventing a full accounting of their activities and the complete replication ... Read More

Toyota announces recall of 550,000 vehicles to fix steering flaw

Toyota Motor Corp. announced it is recalling 420,000 Toyota and Lexus vehicles in the United States and an additional 130,000 globally over a flaw that could result in difficulty steering if not corrected. According to Toyota, the outer ring of the crankshaft pulley could become misaligned with the inner ring, creating noise and/or illuminating the vehicle’s discharge warning light. Left uncorrected, the power steering pump’s belt may become detached from the pulley, in which case the driver would notice a sudden increase in steering effort. Toyota says no reports of accidents or injuries related to this problem have been reported. ... Read More

Strong yen prompts Toyota to ask suppliers for ‘shared sacrifice’

The rising value of the Yen is putting pressure on Toyota to cut back on costs in order to remain competitive in the global market, where most currencies are far weaker than Japan’s. The appreciating Yen has been putting a chokehold on Toyota and other Japanese exporters as they struggle to recoup from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated much of Japan’s eastern coast, creating widespread power shortages and disruptions in the industrial supply chain. Toyota isn’t new to the cost-cutting game. Under the stewardship of Katsuaki Watanabe, who led Toyota until 2009, the automaker instituted a series ... Read More

Sudden acceleration, other woes spell long recovery for Toyota

Toyota has fallen, but it might take years for it to get back up. According to Forbes, the Japanese auto giant’s share of the U.S. market has slid from 17 percent for all of 2009 to 11.5 percent in September. Making matters worse for the company is the fact that its sales were eclipsed last month by Chrysler Group LLC, an automaker that almost ceased to exist a couple of years ago and one which historically has always trailed far behind Toyota. Just four years ago, Toyota usurped General Motors as the world’s leading automaker, so what happened? Most analysts ... Read More

Judge dismisses first bellwether suit against Toyota over jurisdictional issue

The federal judge overseeing lawsuits filed in federal courts against Toyota for sudden unintended acceleration damages has dismissed the lawsuit previously selected as the first bellwether case, saying it belonged in a Utah State court. In June, Judge James Selna of the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, California, had chosen a lawsuit involving a Utah crash that killed two people and injured two others as the first of the bellwether cases that will help determine how the rest of the multi-district litigation will proceed. In September, Judge Selna tentatively rejected Toyota’s motion that the case be tossed out. On ... Read More

Toyota recalls 82,000 hybrid SUVs for potential control-system defect

Toyota announced Wednesday it will recall about 82,000 hybrid Highlander and Lexus SUVs with faulty computer-board wiring that could cause the vehicles to lose power. This latest safety recall encompasses model-year 2006-2007 Highlander and Lexus SUV hybrids that were sold in the United States. Toyota said the recall includes about 45,500 Highlander Hybrids and 36,700 Lexus Rx 400h vehicles. No other vehicles are affected. According to Toyota certain transistors on the control board inside the affected vehicles have inadequate soldering that could become heat-damaged from high currents during “high-load” driving. “If this were to occur, various warning lamps will illuminate ... Read More

Keyless ignitions: How Toyota’s sudden-acceleration problem might standardize them

When Mark Saylor called 911 from behind the wheel of a Lexus ES350 in 2009, he frantically yelled that nothing he did would stop or even slow the vehicle from speeding out of control on the California freeway. Mr. Saylor and his family died during that phone call, but had Mr. Saylor known more about the vehicle’s keyless push-button ignition system, would the fiery crash have been averted? Of course nobody can say whether the ignition would have made a difference in the outcome of Mr. Saylor’s tragic sudden-unintended-acceleration incident or the accidents of others who were caught in a ... Read More