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Tag Archive | "Toyota Prius"

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Toyota Prius Minivan May Come to U.S.

While next year’s Prius V hybrid wagon has been steeling a lot of eco-friendly vehicle headlines, there’s another Prius that might be coming to the U.S. which could garner just as much attention. Toyota announced that it is considering a seven-seat Prius minivan hybrid for the U.S. market.

Although a seven-seat Prius already exists in Japan and is sold as the Prius Alpha, the hybrid minivan being considered for the U.S. market would be substantially different.

While there are no immediate official plans for the American Prius minivan, Toyota is planning on rolling out ten brand new hybrid redesigns over the next 20 months so stay tuned as they come out. Remember, the easiest way to check for updates on this story is to click the Prius minivan tab.

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Reserve a Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid on Earth Day

Want to celebrate Earth Day by putting yourself down for a Toyota Prius plug-in Hybrid capable of 83 – 87 miles per gallon? Well this Friday you’ll have the chance to do just that.

You will be able to use the Priority Registration Web Site for the Prius Plug-In in a couple days. As the name indicates it’s a first come first serve situation and there will be limited cars available to reserve. Getting on this list doesn’t actually get you a plug-in Prius reservation. No, it’s just the first step to this glorious moment as it will grant you first access to the online order system when it gets put up later this year.

The plug-in Prius will only be available in 15 states at launch time in spring of 2012: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Hawaii although you can’t use the online system for Hawaii for some reason.

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Toyota to Offer Noise Maker for Prius

Have you ever been about to cross the street when you realized several tons of hybrid or electric car was about to cream you? It’s an occurrence that is apparently happening more and more often.

That’s why Toyota is offering a $149 noise maker for its Toyota Prius starting next week. Initially only to be available in Japan, the hybrid noise maker will be a speaker that’s installed under the hood. The noise will be selected by the manufacturer and will be designed to “alert but not annoy.”

While the Prius noise maker is only going to be available in Japan for now, plans are in place to see it brought to the U.S, market. It will be interesting to see if the American versions will allow for sound customization. Will it be like a whole new ringtone? Will Prius drivers be given the option to blast Lady Gaga at innocent passersby? Only time will tell.

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Toyota Prius Top Seller For April

The Toyota Prius was the top-selling motor in Japan last month, according to findings from the Japan Automobile Dealers Association. Stats showed that in April, they sold 26,482 of the hybrid vehicles. The car is the world’s best selling hybrid and has been top of the Japan sales list for 12 straight months.

Second on the selling list was the Honda Fit, a small compact car. In total, 12,222 of these were sold during April. The surprising news follows figures from Toyota which showed that despite a global safety scandal that saw the company recall almost ten million cars worldwide, it has seen a return to profits in the last financial year.

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Toyota Prius Cruise Control Investigated

There’s probably no need to get into the problems that Toyota has been having lately with a PR nightmare that’s led to the recall of 133,000 Toyota Prius hybrids last month. The Toyota Prius brakes had been shown to cause a momentary loss in breaking power.

What most people don’t know is that 11% of the claims that led to the brake recall also mentioned that the 2010 Toyota Prius cruise control was faulty. Prius drivers complained that the cruise control wouldn’t always shut off after hitting the brake pedal like it should.

Toyota is taking a proactive approach to these latest complaints and is currently looking into them. Their initial assessment, however, is that most of the Prius cruise control complaints were caused by driver confusion over the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, a feature that is only available in the top-rung Prius V trim of the 2010 Prius. Toyota’s explanation may account for some of the complaints but with the Prius V trim only accounting for 8% of the vehicles in the Toyota recall, things don’t quite add up completely.

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Ford F-250 Lariat Gets Worst Gas Mileage of the Year

Oh Ford. How can you possibly build a light-duty truck that gets worse gas mileage than the Hummer H2? Well, that’s precisely the case for the 2010 Ford F-250 Lariat which was recently credited by Consumer Reports for getting the worst mileage of all 2010 vehicles with a shocking 10 mpg in real world tests.

That’s right, 10 miles per gallon. Amazingly, it seems like the Ford F-250 Lariat engine is operating like an ancient dinosaur. Sure, you’re getting plenty of power, but at what cost? With current gas prizes and regular driving, it won’t take long for a Ford F-250 owner to have paid for the vehicle twice, not to mention the amount of greenhouse gases they will have pumped into the air.

The most fuel efficient vehicles in CR’s real world tests were the Toyota Prius at 44 mpg, the Smart Fortwo at 39 mpg and the Honda Insight EX at 38 mpg.

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US House Panel Slams Toyota

Bart Stupak, House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman, sent an 11-page letter to James E. Lentz III, president of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A, that slammed Toyota for their response to the sticking Toyota accelerator problem.

The letter sates that Toyota was too quick to dismiss the possibility of their vehicles computer’s being the problem, that they made their conclusion based on flawed study, and then went on to mislead the public by stating that the fixes they were making would alleviate the pedal sticking problem.

Toyota has recalled more than eight million vehicles since late last year, with more than six million in the US alone.

Lentz is scheduled to appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on February 23, has been an ardent defender of Toyota and denier of any computer problems with Toyota vehicles.

Check out the House letter to Toyota and let us know what you think. Was Toyota trying to pull a fast one on American car buyers?

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Ford Fusion, Like Prius Hybrid, Experiencing Brake Problems

As the public magnifying glass zooms in on all the issues surrounding the Toyota recalls all Car manufacturers are probably getting nervous. As the amount of Toyota recalls rises, it’s becoming clear that the problem lies with the US Department of Transportation as much as anywhere else. Clearly there is a disconnect between consumer complaints and action from the government.

Hot on the heels of the Toyota Prius hybrid recalls due to brake problems, the Ford Fusion hybrid and the Milan hybrid are getting updates to their software to address a braking problem of their own.

Ford has started a repair program which will alert all known owners of Ford Fusions or Milan hybrids built before October 17, 2009. They will be directed to their nearest dealer regarding, their “Customer Satisfaction Program 10B13.”

In the meantime, the Toyota recall story continues to make headlines as it has now been revealed that Toyota has known for years that the Prius had break issues.

Stay tuned to Eco Auto Ninja for the latest on the Toyota recalls and breaking news on issues with the Ford Fusion.

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Honda Insight Looks to Surpass Toyota Prius MPG

The Toyota Prius absolutely crushed the Honda Insight in sales during 2009 and it was probably for a number of reasons, one of which is likely the superior gas mileage that the Prius gets.

The Prius, which boasts 51 mpg in the city and 48 mpg on the highway, sold nearly 140,000 cars in 2009. In an interview with Auto News, Honda CEO Takanobu Ito, stated that Honda was planning on amping up their mpg rating on future Insight models to surpass the Toyota Prius.

In 2009, despite going for $2,500 less than a Prius, a mere 20,572 Honda Insight’s were sold with US mpg rating of 40/43. Clearly Honda will have to make some dramatic changes to add another 11 mpg to the Insight’s performance.

Will Honda be able to compete in the hybrid car market in coming years? Let us know what you think.

Check out some used Honda Accord hybrids.

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A New Toyota Hybrid?

The Detroit News is reporting that Toyota will be revealing a new hybrid vehicle, smaller than the Prius, at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show on January 11, the first day of the show.

Although Toyota is remaining tight-lipped about details, rumors persist that the new Toyota Hybrid will be a subcompact that will see production in 2011 and will be available for purchase in the US in 2012.

While Toyota is the largest producer of hybrid vehicles in the world, even they had a rough year in 2009. This was the first year they have ever had more recalls than any other automaker with a grand total of four million vehicles recalled. While the primary culprit of the recalls was a floormat that would jam the accelerator, the popular Prius is also currently facing a US probe over faulty brakes.

Considering Toyota’s success despite the recall setbacks, it shouldn’t be a surprise that they are moving forward with subcompact hybrid. The Detroit Press’ inside source said that Toyota is confident in the new model and will start by producing 150,000 annually to begin with.

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