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Toyota Set to Recall 242,000 Vehicles, Prius

Toyota is set to recall about 242,000 vehicles, including the popular Toyota Prius due to the problem with the brake system.

According to this article, “Toyota said on Wednesday that the brake in the recalled vehicles may not work as well as it is supposed to because a part used in the electronic brake system may not be strong enough, and could crack.”

2013 Toyota RAV4 Fails Safety Test

The 2013 Toyota RAV4 put off the test as long as it could, but, in the end, that wasn’t enough because it still failed the “small overlap” frontal crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

According to this article on Forbes.com, “The IIHS says during the crash test the driver’s side of the RAV4’s cabin “was seriously compromised by intruding structure, and the dummy’s left foot was trapped by crushed and buckled sheet metal in the footwell.” What’s more, the crash dummy’s head only glanced the front airbag before sliding off to the left and hitting the dashboard while the steering column moved over seven inches to the right, leaving little protection to the virtual driver’s chest. Ouch.”

Ouch indeed.

An editor at Kelley Blue Book says this is actually encouraging because it means that safety groups and automakers are working harder than ever to protect drivers and their passengers.

“It’s encouraging to see both the IIHS and automakers working even harder to protect drivers and passengers,” says Karl Brauer, senior director of insights for Kelley Blue Book. “As more accident data comes in, it uncovers which types of vehicle crashes are the more dangerous, allowing IIHS to create more effective tests that simulate real-world crashes. This inevitably requires automakers to up their game in vehicle design and safety technology…”

What do you think? Does the fact that the redesigned (improved?) 2013 Toyota RAV4 failed this safety test actually make you feel safer?

Toyota Recalls 240,000 Prius, Lexus Hybrid Vehicles

Toyota announced that it is recalling 242,000 Prius and hybrid Lexus vehicles due to problems with the braking system.

According to this article, 233,000 Toyota Prius vehicles made between March and October of 2009 and 9,000 Lexus HS250 models made between June and October of 2009. Only Lexus vehicles sold in Japan have been affected.

All vehicles should be taken in to be inspected.

Tax Season Brings Auto-Buying Boon?

Happy Tax Day!

Right?

Whether it’s happy or not, it’s here (and almost gone). And, according to this article, people getting tax refunds might be spending them on purchasing cars.

The article stated that the average tax refund is around $2,800…which is a nice down payment on a car considering that most people spending their tax refunds are purchasing “entry-level” vehicle. If you also consider the fact that people getting refunds generally file their taxes sooner, consumers could have hit some really great sales as dealerships cleared out lots of old inventory to make room for the newer models.

If you are getting a tax return, what do you plan on spending it on? A 2013 Honda Accord? If you already got your tax return, what did you spend it on?

Get HondaHAIR…for April Fool’s Day

Okay, we might be a couple days late with this one, but it’s just too good to pass up.

About one week after unveiling its vacuum technology in the 2014 Honda Odyssey, Honda announced that it has developed an equally impressive technology: HondaHAIR; a vacuum-like contraption that also cuts hair. And not just human hair, animal hair, as well. Imagine the convenience of cutting hair anytime, anywhere.

Think about it, you arrive at church and realized your kid’s hair is looking really shaggy, so you pull out HondaHAIR and give it a quick trim before services start. Easy peasy.

Except it’s all an April Fool’s Day joke. But check out the minute and half long commercial anyway because it’s pretty convincing…and hilarious.

 

Toyota Recalls FJ Cruisers for Faulty Seatbelt

Toyota announced it is recalling more than 200,000 Toyota FJ Cruiser sport-utility vehicles due to a potential default with in the way their seatbelts were installed.

According to this article, “The retractors for the vehicles’ front driver and passenger seat belts are mounted in rear-door panels, where cracks can form if the rear doors are forcefully closed repeatedly over a long period. If this happens, the seat belt retractor could detach, which would increase the risk of injury in a crash.”

Approximately 209,000 vehicles may be affected from the 2007 to 2013 model years.

Honda Recalls Acura TSX Cars in Salt-Belt States

Honda is voluntarily recalling about 76,000 Acura TSX vehicles from the 2004 to 2008 model years only sold in 23 ’salt-belt states.’

The 23 states that could have affected Acuras are: Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

According to this article, “Honda says the problem is that road salt carried into the vehicle by the driver’s shoes may saturate the carpeting and seep through to damage the electronic control unit in the floor. In the worst case, Honda told the safety agency, the engine would stall.”

Honda initially discovered there could be a problem in Iceland and Canada where the salt water could corrode the engine and could cause it possibly stall.

There have been no accidents or injuries related to this issue. I

 

Honda Civic Tourer Concept Makes European Splash

The Honda Civic Tourer Concept car made its debut at the 2013 Geneva Motoshow with swooping lines and a rather aggressive look (for a hatchback). According to this article, the production model of the Honda Civic Tourer is set to debut in Frankfurt in September.

“That means there are sharp, angular elements found up front and a sloping roofline that rakes down at the rear,” according to Autoblog.com. “Combine that with the large, concept-spec wheels and the funky front lighting elements, and what we have here is a really attractive little wagon – something that will no doubt battle the new Toyota Auris Touring Sports and Volkswagen Golf Variant that are also making their debut here in Switzerland.”

Check out the entire Autoblog article with a video and lots of pictures.

While I quite liked the look of this more masculine hatchback (seems much stronger than the Volkswagen Golf, which I feel like I could drop kick), you may just want to look at the pictures and avoid the official video. The video had me wondering if there was something wrong with the internet connection or computer for the first 20 seconds.

The Honda Civic Tourer will probably only be made available in Europe, which is unfortunate because, despite the success of the update Accord and Civic, I think there would be a sizable market for this Civic Tourer hatchback. A market that wants the dependability and gas mileage of the Civic, but molded into more of a family car (or at least ones that could fit a couple dogs) with more storage.

What do you think? Do you want to see the Honda Civic Tourer in the United States?

 

Auto Defaults on the Rise, Auto Industry Still Stable

Experian Automotive released an industry analysis that showed year over year 60-day car delinquencies were up by .02 percent; the first increase since the Great Recession. But, there is no reason to panic just yet, according to Experian. The autoloan business is still healthy.

“When you take a step back and look at the market compared to where it was three years ago, we still have remarkable stability,” said Melinda Zabritski, director of automotive credit for Experian.

According to this article, “By comparison, three years ago, 30-day delinquencies rose to 3.06 percent in the second quarter of 2009 and 60-day delinquencies were 0.80 percent. Combined, they accounted for $25.5 billion in at-risk loans, according to Experian.”

While this information is certainly interesting, if not mildly concerning, I found it fascinating that neither Experian nor the writer of this article bothered to try to explain why car loan delinquencies were up in the fourth quarter. This information would have been much more useful if it included potential explanations and, also, an Experian’s reasons for not being concerned about the uptick in missed car payments.

I have no ideas as to why that is, do you?

The best part of this article was the writer’s suggestions for people if they are be 30 to 60 days delinquent on their auto payment. Here are his tips:
“1. If you fall behind in your car payment, do not hide from the finance company. Call them, and ask to speak to a loan counselor. If it’s a temporary problem, they will often give you a 30-day grace period. If it is a bigger problem, talk to them about the situation and see how you can avoid a black mark on your credit history.

2. See if you can refinance the car. Le’s say you are paying $300 a month on a vehicle that still has two or three years left on the loan. Check to see if you can refinance the car to lower your payments by extending the loan period a couple of years.

3. It sometimes happens that the car you are paying off is worth more than you owe. If that is the case, you should sell the car and see if you can replace it with something used until you are back on your feet. Most often, though, people owe more than the car is worth.

4. You might be able to get someone to take over the loan for you, but that will require transferring title and actually selling it. Talk to your lender about restrictions on such a transaction.

5. Why do you want to avoid default and repo at all costs? Two reasons. It messes up your credit rating, making all the borrowing you will do for some time more expensive. Also, after a repo, the finance company sells the car at auction, often for less than it’s worth. And you, the owner, will be on the hook for the balance, and with no car. That’s a terrible outcome.”

2013 Honda Accord Coupe Only Vehicle in its Class to Earn 5-Star Safety Rating

We have written a lot about the 2013 Honda Accord Sedan and 2013 Honda Accord Coupe because there is a lot to write about. So this blog doesn’t become the “Honda Accord” blog, we try only to write when there’s really something worth writing about.

Well, the 2013 Honda Accord Coupe has done it again, and this is definitely newsworthy: it is the only vehicle in its class to earn a NHTSA (National Highway Traffic and Safety Association) 5-star Overall Vehicle Score from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety! The Accord Sedan also earned this rating, but the Accord Coupe was the only one its class to be award the 5-star rating.

“This is a big deal,” said Tod McLaughlin of Apple Valley Honda. “To be the only one at anything is a big deal, but for the 2013 Honda Accord Coupe to be the only coupe that earned 5 stars for safety is a big accomplishment. Honda prides itself on designing and manufacturing safe vehicles. Hopefully, this will give people one more reason to take a look at the new Accord Coupe, besides its incredible performance.”

The 2013 Honda Accord Coupe earned the Overall award by garnering a 5-star rating in “each seating position in the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) front, side-barrier, and side-pole crash test categories, as well as a 5-star rollover rating.”

“The Honda comprehensive approach to vehicle safety is validated by these top-level safety ratings,” said Art St. Cyr , vice president of product planning and logistics at American Honda. “The 2013 Honda Accord truly excels in all areas, delivering the best overall safety ratings, while also providing exhilarating performance, outstanding comfort and top-class fuel economy.”

According to the press release: “Beginning with the 2013 Honda Accord, Honda is applying the second generation of the Honda Advanced Compatibility Engineering(ACEII) body structure to its models. This reinforced frontal structure further enhances frontal crash energy management through a wider range of offset and oblique collision modes.”

This is in addition to other Honda safety innovations like the LaneWatch technology that allows drivers to better see their blind spot.

For your chance to check out the incredibly safe and high performing 2013 Honda Accord Coupe, stop by Apple Valley Honda, Sims Honda, or Northwest Honda dealerships today!

Check out the complete press release HERE.

 

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