NEW YORK, NY April 29, 2010 – Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater announced today the appointment of six highly-regarded safety and quality experts to Toyota’s independent North American Quality Advisory Panel, completing the Panel’s membership. The distinguished roster of experts, with experience spanning the corporate, government, education and non-profit sectors, join Secretary Slater, who was named in March to lead the new Panel.
Secretary Slater was instrumental in the selection and approval of the newly-appointed Panel members. The full Panel includes:
Rodney E. Slater, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation;
Norman Augustine, former chairman and CEO, Lockheed Martin Corporation;
Patricia Goldman, former Vice-Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board;
Mary Good, Dean of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and former President, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS);
Roger Martin, Dean, Rotman School of Management;
Brian O’Neill, former President, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety; and
Sheila Widnall, Professor, MIT and former Secretary of the U.S. Air Force. More
Montreal (April 26, 2010) – Pirelli Tire reminds motorists that the attributes that make winter tires so important when the weather is cold also make it important to remove them as the weather warms up.
Pirelli’s winter tires are manufactured using specialized compounds to keep the tread surface flexible and add grip when the temperature is below 7º C. Those compounds are designed for the cold, but have neither the durability nor suitable traction when the mercury soars.
Most Canadians use what is incorrectly named “all-season” tires. In fact, in the Canadian climate with its severe winters, they would be better designated ‘three-season’ tires since they serve the vehicle well when the temperature is above 7º C. For Canadians in most regions, now is a good time to switch your tires.
When installing your all-season or summer tires, be certain the tread depth is sufficient, the valve stems are functioning properly and the tires are inflated correctly. If in doubt, consult a tire professional to ensure that you have safe, enjoyable driving all year round.
TORONTO, ON – April 19, 2010 – Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) has announced a voluntary safety recall affecting approximately 446 2010 model year GX 460 vehicles to update software in the vehicle’s Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system.
Toyota’s vehicle and design evaluation objective is to meet or exceed customer expectations and regulatory requirements. Toyota’s engineering team undertook similar tests to confirm the issue raised by Consumer Reports on April 13, 2010 and we are confident that an update to the VSC software addresses the concern.
All Canadian Lexus dealers will have the VSC software update by end of April. Letters will be sent to owners included in this recall in early May.
No other Toyota or Lexus vehicles are involved in this recall.
Customers who have any further questions are asked to visit www.lexus.ca or contact Lexus Canada at 1-800-265-3987.
There is the old saying that things come in threes. Right about now, Toyota employees must be wishing three had been the magic number.
Late yesterday afternoon, Toyota Canada announced 2 more recalls. The first is for the spare tire carrier on the 1998 to 2010 Sienna FWD model that can rust and fall off. Obviously this can create a bit of a collision hazard. The second applies tray style floor mats in some 2007-2010 Tundra’s and 2008-2010 Highlander models. In this case, the floor mat can slide forward and cause the throttle to stick wide open. Once again, a rather obvious hazard.
Some of us who have worked in the industry are sympathetic with the front line staff, customer relations staff and PR staff who are likely having the worst year of their career. Remember to be nice when you visit your dealer to correct these issues, they didn’t create the problem, they are just there to help solve it.
TORONTO, Ontario, February 23, 2010 – Toyota Canada today announced that it will install a brake override system on an expanded range of customers’ vehicles to provide an additional measure of confidence. This braking system enhancement will automatically reduce engine power when the brake pedal and the accelerator pedal are applied simultaneously under certain driving conditions.
The following models have been added to the list of vehicles that will receive the brake override upgrade: 2005-2010 Tacoma and 2009-2010 Venza. In addition, Toyota Canada will provide the brake override system for owners of 2008-2010 Sequoia vehicles. Toyota previously announced that the system would be installed onto the 2007-2010 Camry, 2005-2010 Avalon, and the 2007-2010 Lexus ES 350, 2006-2010 IS 350 and 2006-2010 IS 250 models. More
TORONTO, Feb. 17 /CNW/ – In conjunction with the 2010 Canadian International AutoShow, smart Canada is educating urban dwellers regarding one of the many benefits of driving a smart fortwo.
A head-turning marketing initiative in downtown Toronto has wedged a giant shoehorn behind a smart fortwo, visually illustrating that the less than 3 metre smart fortwo can park almost anywhere.
The display, which will move between selected, high traffic locations around the city, will also impart the message: “Fits into tight places”, and prompt onlookers to visit “thesmart.ca.”
Created by BBDO Toronto, the idea aims to demonstrate that just like your favourite pair of shoes, the smart fortwo can comfortably fit into any lifestyle. More
TORONTO, Ontario – February 12, 2010 – Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) today announced it was amending the voluntary safety improvement campaign initiated last year to provide certain vehicle-based improvements to help address the potential risk of floor mat entrapment due to an incompatible or unsecured driver’s side floor mat. The safety improvement campaign will now also include certain MY Corolla, MY Matrix and MY Highlander vehicles. Toyota is also announcing a voluntary safety recall in respect of certain 2010 4-wheel drive Tacoma vehicles.
The voluntary safety recall was issued to inspect the front drive shaft on a small production run of certain 2010 model year Tacoma 4WD trucks. The front shaft in these vehicles may include a component that contains cracks that developed during the manufacturing process. As those vehicles are used, the cracks may eventually lead to the separation of the drive shaft at the joint portion. This condition only involves two specific front drive shaft production lot numbers installed in certain 2010 model year Tacoma 4WD vehicles. Toyota will notify owners by first-class mail starting in mid-March, 2010.
Dealers will be instructed to perform an inspection to identify the specific lot numbers located on the front drive shaft. Based upon the inspection results, in a limited number of cases, the front drive shaft may need to be replaced. The inspection is estimated to take ten minutes. The inspection and/or replacement will be performed at no cost to the vehicle owner.
Last year, following an investigation into the potential risk of accelerator pedal entrapment due to an incompatible or unsecured all-weather floor mat, Toyota Canada announced a voluntary safety improvement campaign in respect of certain models to provide certain vehicle-based improvements, depending on the model, for affected vehicles. At the same time, a recall involving the same models was announced in the USA.
Toyota Motor Sales, (TMS) Inc, USA recently announced that it was amending its recall to include certain Highlander, Corolla, Venza, and Matrix vehicles and that it would modify or replace the accelerator pedal in affected models to address the risk of floor mat entrapment. TMS also indicated that floor surface modifications were also being considered and would be included in the remedy plan for any model for which it is deemed appropriate.
Although no vehicle defect has been identified in the newly expanded population of affected models in Canada, because our customers’ safety and confidence in the quality of Toyota vehicles is of paramount importance to Toyota Canada, Toyota Canada has decided to provide the same vehicle improvements to Canadian Toyota owners to address the potential risk of floor mat entrapment due to an incompatible or unsecured all-weather floor mat.
In addition, although not included in the safety improvement campaign, Toyota Canada has also decided to offer certain vehicle-based improvements, including modify the accelerator pedal, for Venza owners affected by a separate safety campaign to replace the genuine Toyota all-weather floor mat purchased as an accessory for the affected model.
Customers should always ensure that the correct floor mat for their model vehicle is being used, that it matches the size of the space on the carpet, that it is properly installed and secured, that it is not flipped over with the bottom-side up, and that one floor mat is not stacked over another. For additional information about floor mats, customers can visit their Toyota dealership, www.toyota.ca or the Transport Canada website at www.tc.gc.ca
While having coffee with some auto industry folks today, somebody commented on the plight of Toyota. “The media hasn’t gone after a car company like this since Audi”. That just about describes it. While Toyota have made a few communication gaffes while dealing with this PR nightmare, this whole situation could easily happen to any auto manufacturer. It probably will. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not next week, but it will happen.
Unfortunately the news keeps coming. Early this morning, Toyota released a press release outlining another new recall. This time, a small software update to address the feel of brakes as the ABS is activated on the 2010 Prius and 2010 Lexus HS 250H models.
Also earlier today, Automotive news reports that the NHTSA is now investigating the electronic steering in Toyota’s 09-10 Corolla for changing direction by itself.
This is not news Toyota needs. While the more acerbic writers out there are salivating over the chance to stir up readers, I’m feeling for the staff that have to deal with it at so many levels. PR types who are likely having the roughest time of their careers. Front line service staff who are dealing with endless phone calls and unreasonable consumers who don’t want to drive their cars until the recall work has been done. Sales staff who are hurting.
Does Toyota need to be held accountable? Certainly. Do they need to be the subject of a media witch hunt? No way. Inform the consumer and then let the people do their jobs to look after the consumer. No more, no less.
ABS software recall press release after the break. More
Amid the media attention over the Toyota recalls for possible unintended acceleration that include the Pontiac Vibe, many customers are wondering whether it is safe to drive their 2009 and 2010 models of the Vibe.
Based on GM’s experience, the Vibe is safe to drive.
Prior to the Toyota accelerator pedal recall of Jan. 21 and the inclusion of the Vibe in the October 2009 recall for floor mat entrapment, GM had not received any relevant customer complaints in the 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe. Nor were there any complaints found in a search of U.S. and Canadian databases.
However, since it was announced that the Vibe was included in the two Toyota recalls, we have received several complaints of alleged sticking accelerator pedals. To the best of our knowledge, the Vibe vehicles were safely brought to a stop. We are investigating each of the claims.
GM will communicate with the approximately 99,000 Vibe owners in the United States and Canada as soon as we receive additional information to share about the recall from Toyota.
Any customer who experiences any accelerator pedal issue should immediately park the vehicle, and have it towed to their GM dealer for an inspection.
The Vibe was built through August 2009 at the New United Motor Manufacturing (NUMMI) plant in Fremont, Calif., which was a joint venture of GM and Toyota.
Toronto, ON, February 1, 2010 – Toyota Canada Inc., (TCI) today announced it will begin fixing accelerator pedals in recalled Toyota Division vehicles by the end of this week. Toyota’s engineers have developed a solution that involves modifying the pedal assembly to eliminate the excess friction that has caused the pedals to stick in rare instances.
Toyota Canada announced, on January 21, it was recalling approximately 270,000 Toyota vehicles equipped with a specific accelerator pedal assembly and suspending delivery of the eight models involved in the recall on January 26. The company also announced that Toyota would stop production of the affected models on North American production lines for the week of February 1 allowing the company to focus on fixing vehicles for customers whose models are involved in the recall.
Toyota vehicles affected by the recall and delivery suspension are:
-Certain 2009-2010 RAV4
No Lexus Division or Scion vehicles are affected by these actions. Also not affected are Toyota Prius, Tacoma, Sienna, Venza, Solara, Yaris, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser, Highlander hybrids and certain Camry models, including Camry hybrids. More