The devastating earthquake and tsunami shuts down Japanese automotive plants, new car hacks, and which car is the last to come with a cassette player.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 207 SHOW NOTES
TOKYO--The earthquake that hammered Japan on Friday stopped production at several assembly plants that export vehicles to the United States.
The shutdowns could affect exports of such cars as the Toyota Yaris and Scion xB and Scion xD, as well as the Honda Fit, Accord sedan, and CR-V crossover. The quake also disrupted production of Acura and Infiniti models.
Japan's strongest quake in at least a century struck off the coast of Sendai, 80 miles north of Tokyo.
Toyota evacuated workers from several factories in the quake zone. Toyota has two parts plants in northern Japan and has two … Read more
The Toyota FT-86 II concept has been floating around for a while, but at Geneva 2011 we got a pretty clear idea how it will mesh up with a Subaru-derived power train to get Toyota back in the sports car business. Brian Cooley looks at what each company brings to the pending party.
In the market for a used car? Here's some good news. Consumer Reports today released its list of used cars that rate as more reliable than their brand-new counterparts.
The Consumer Reports' Annual Auto issue lists 11 2008 models with about the same or even fewer problems than comparable 2010 models. That list includes the 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser and Yaris with a reported 11 and 12 problems per 100 vehicles, respectively. Although Consumer Reports reveals the average 2010 car had 13 problems per 100. Consumer Reports did not rate the FJ Cruiser and Yaris with high in road … Read more
For Geneva next week, we'll see a fat Ferrari, a faster Jaguar, and an electric Phantom. Meanwhile, Priuses, Prium, or Prii? And we find out there is an 'i' in BMW.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 205 SHOW NOTES
For the last three generations of the Toyota Prius' existence, Toyota has been curiously tight-lipped about the official plural form of the car's name. This has led to years of confusion, as journalists, dealers, and Prius enthusiasts--yes, they exist--coined all sorts of awkward terms, such as the difficult to say Priuses.
With the unveiling of the Prius V and the Prius C concept and the automaker's plans to expand Prius into a hybrid sub-brand, Toyota, for the first time, was forced to officially choose a plural form of Prius. So, the automaker crowdsourced it, running a contest on … Read more
Links from Tuesday's episode of Loaded:
Windows Phone 7 is scheduled for its first update since the mobile operating system launched last fall
The next generation of MacBook Pros may have a new wireless connection technology
Apple may be working on a television product other than the Apple TV
Toyota is going to start selling hybrid car chargers in 2012
Former Senator Chris Dodd may soon be named chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America
Toyota Motor will launch home battery chargers for electric and plug-in hybrid cars next year as it starts selling new models of environmentally friendly cars, the Nikkei business daily reported today.
The chargers, which will also be compatible with non-Toyota cars, will come in two types, the Nikkei reported, citing company sources. One would extend from the exterior wall of a home and the other would be for setting up in a garage.
The company expects to sell 20,000 to 30,000 units in the first year, with each costing about several tens of thousands of yen to 200,… Read more
Toyota's a conservative company--just notice the bygone nature of the Celica, the Supra, and even the MR2. So it's no surprise that the Highlander doesn't make any waves. Brian Cooley takes you for a drive to check the tech.
And you can read our full review of the Highlander here.
Type A personalities burn bright but are not easy to be around. The 2011 Toyota Highlander is definitely a Type B, a laid-back SUV that doesn't strive for attention, just plugs along getting its job done. And that is just fine.
Its 3.5-liter V-6 doesn't have direct injection, a turbo, or a supercharger, but it still moves the Highlander with satisfactory acceleration. A four-wheel-drive system doesn't promise back-country adventures, but it offers a snow mode.
Cabin tech is equally good, but not great. The DVD-based navigation system looks like it's been knocking around Toyota's … Read more