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Tag: toyota

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.

Honda Accord Hybrid Gets Better Gas Mileage Than Toyota Camry Hybrid

The much-anticipated 2013 Honda Accord Hybrid will go on sale in June in Japan and gets much better gas mileage than the Toyota Camry Hybrid. We have read reports that say the Honda Accord Hybrid will arrive in the U.S. late this year.

According to this article, the 2013 Honda Accord Hybrid “has a fuel-efficiency rating of 30 kilometers a liter under the country’s JC08 testing standards, Tokyo-based Honda said in a statement today. The Camry hybrid travels 23.4 kilometers a liter, according to Toyota, while Nissan Motor Co. says its Teana, which runs on gasoline, goes 11.4 kilometers. ”

Ok, so we don’t measure our gasoline in liters, but it doesn’t take a genius to realize that 30 miles/liter is a significant improvement on 23.4 miles/liter.

The latest model’s fuel efficiency is “extraordinary,” Koichi Sugimoto, a Tokyo-based auto analyst at BNP Paribas SA with a buy rating on Honda, said by phone. “The new hybrid technology will definitely be a big strength for Honda.”

The 2013 Honda Accord is one of the best-selling and most popular sedans in the United States and we cannot wait to see the Accord Hybrid in action. We are very interested to find out how it performs and drives. And you can bet that you’ll be able to stop by Sims Honda, Northwest Honda and Apple Valley Honda to take one for a test drive!

Honda CR-Z is “Fun, Affordable”

The New York Daily News wrote this glowing review of the of the 2013 Honda CR-Z. Starting at less than $20,000, the Hybrid CR-Z is the most affordable hybrid on the market.

It is also the most fun to drive.

“With 2013′s CR-Z, Honda has decided to loosen up and make what is arguably the  most fun hybrid most people can afford to actually buy or lease. Why does the  CR-Z hold forth the promise of being a hybrid that appeals to driving  enthusiasts? For starters, it is the only hybrid on sale in America sporting a  six speed manual transmission.”

That’s right, the 2013 Honda CR-Z is available with a six speed manual transmission that really gives it a lot of kick. The Honda CR-Z is also available with the more hybrid standard CVT (continuously variable transmission) for those who want even better gas mileage…by sacrificing that fun factor.

“For 2013, the electrical motor’s output is now up 5kW, to 15 kW, due to a higher  powered lithium-ion battery pack. The CR-Z posts a combined output of 130 BHP at  6000 rpm and 140 lb-ft. of torque with the manual transmission. The CVT equipped  models can only muster 127 lb-ft. by comparison.”

It is also one of the greenest hybrids on the market.

“When people want a hybrid, they often think of the Toyota Prius first,” said Tod McLaughlin of Apple Valley Honda in Wenatchee. “But just because it is one of the most well-known hybrids, doesn’t mean it’s the best.”

Did we mention that the Honda CR-Z gets 36/39 city/highway gas mileage?

“And with that great gas mileage you get performance!” McLaughlin said. “People think you have to sacrifice performance when you get a hybrid. With the 2013 Honda CR-Z, you do not.”

Stop by Apple Valley Honda, Northwest Honda in Bellingham, or Sims Honda in Burlington to take the new 2013 Honda CR-Z for a test drive to find out why it is the best, most affordable hybrid on the marketing.

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.

2013 Honda Civic Earns ‘Good’ Safety Rating, Toyota Camry Gets a ‘Poor’

The 2013 Honda Civic earned a ‘Good’ safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), both the two and four door models in its newest crash test.

According to this article, “The crash test assessed the performance of the vehicle under the new and tougher environment, examining the consequence of a collision between the front corner of a vehicle with another vehicle or object like a tree or utility pole.”

The 2013 Honda Civic, with its sleek new design and redone interior, has this new award that simply signifies the complete redesign of the Honda Civic.

“The 2013 Honda Civic has been completely redesigned and it’s really great,” said Tod McLaughlin of Apple Valley Honda dealership in Wenatchee. “If you drove the previous model, you really owe it to yourself to come check out the new 2013 Honda Civic. And this safety rating by the IIHS should really convince people that the 2013 Honda Civic is even better vehicle than before…and compared to most other cars in its class.”

By comparison, the 2013 Toyota Camry received a “Poor” rating in the same IIHS test.

It is because of vehicles like the redesigned 2013 Honda Civic that Honda that continues to build Honda’s reputation for safety, dependability and quality. “Honda is a leading manufacturer of automobiles and the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world. The automaker is recognized internationally for its expertise and leadership in developing and manufacturing a wide variety of products that incorporate its efficient internal combustion engine technologies ranging from small general-purpose to specialty sports cars.”

For your chance to test drive and take home the completely redesigned 2013 Honda Civic, stop by Apple Valley Honda, Northwest Honda, or Sims Honda dealership today!

 

Solar City & Elon Musk Choose Honda Over Toyota to be Vehicle for Solar Power Discount

Buy a Honda (or Acura) and get $400 off solar power at your house? Sounds good to us!

In a first-of-its-kind incentive, Honda and SolarCity have teamed up to offer residents of 14 states, including Washington State, a $400 break on solar power if you purchase a Honda or Acura. It’s a unique idea and one backed up market research, according to this article. It seems like a solid marketing plan considering “(a) Honda and Acura sales in SolarCity’s 14-state area are pretty strong, and (b) Honda and Acura owners are more likely than other vehicle owners to be interested in solar power.”

Honda’s vice president for Environmental Business Development, Steven Center, references that second point fairly directly: “At Honda, we are always looking at ways to improve the lives of our customers while reducing our environmental footprint…. We believe Honda and Acura customers are going to be very interested in going solar once they find out that they can install solar at their home with little or no upfront cost, can lower their monthly utility bill, and can make a positive contribution to protecting the environment.”

As much as we think this solar power incentive is great, we think the most interesting part about this story is behind the scenes having to do with the fact that the SolarCity chairman is Elon Musk…as in Tesla Motors, Elon Musk. While Tesla and Honda may not be the biggest rivals or be direct competitors yet, Tesla does “a fairly significant alliance with one of Honda’s biggest rivals, Toyota.” In fact, Tesla bought its newest manufacturing plant from Toyota for next to nothing and Tesla is working on the battery system for the all new electric Toyota RAV4 (apparently, their goal is to build many electric vehicles together).

Considering all this, why wouldn’t Elon Musk and SolarCity create this car-buying, solar-powering incentives program with Toyota…instead of one of their biggest rivals, Honda? According to the article, no one really knows Musk’s reasons yet for choosing Honda over Toyota, but we are dying to know.

Is it because Musk wants to strategically get involved with several auto manufacturers for future endeavors? Is it because he doesn’t really like working with Toyota and wants to plant seeds with another company? (not that he’d ever admit it) Or, is it simply a business move and he expects more Hondas to sell and, therefore, create more business for SolarCity.

Why do you think Elon Musk chose Honda over Toyota?

 

 

Toyota Recalls 1.3 Million Vehicles

For two separate defects, Toyota is recalling about 1.3 million vehicles. One recall includes 752,000 Corollas and Corolla Matrixes for airbags that could deploy inadvertently.

The unexpected airbag deployment has caused minor injuries in 18 reported cases, and two accidents were caused by the defect in Japan.

According to this article, “An IC chip in the airbag control unit can malfunction when it receives electrical interference from other parts in the car, causing the airbags to deploy when it is not necessary, Toyota spokesman Naoto Fuse said.”

Separately, Toyota is recalling 385,000 in its Lexus IS series because of problems with the wiper blades.

“The wiper arm nut of the front wiper in these vehicles may not be tight enough and the wiper may not work under certain weather occasions, including in snow.”

Read the complete Reuters article for more details on the recall and how these problems add to Toyota’s recent safety problems, including the settlement for vehicles that may or may not have accelerated unintentionally.

 

2013 Toyota Camry Fails New Crash Test

Many consumers and critics see the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry as head-to-head rivals…and for good reason. However, there is one recent safety test that proved the 2013 Honda Accord safer than the Toyota Camry as the Camry failed to receive a “Top Safety Pick-Plus” from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety while the Accord earned such honors (the Camry earned a “Top Safety Pick” minus the “Plus”).

The sticking point for the Toyota Camry was that it earned a “Poor” rating for the “small overlap” or “narrow offset” safety test, which simulates a car striking a pole or post on the outer quarter of the hood (most reinforcement is in the middle of the hood).

The 2013 Honda Accord passed the small overlap test with flying colors; the only vehicle sold in the United States to do so.

“We want vehicles to be as safe as possible for everyone,” said Tod McLaughlin, general manager of Apple Valley Honda in Wenatchee. “Certainly, there’s no joy for us that the Camry failed the narrow offset safety test, but it is definitely something people will want to consider as they weigh whether to buy a Toyota Camry or a Honda Accord.”

As you make your pros and cons lists of whether to buy a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, no doubt that safety will be near the top of those lists. So be sure to take note that only one of these vehicles earned the “Top Safety Pick-Plus” from the IIHS.

Read the complete article here.

For your opportunity to check out the critically acclaimed and consumer approved 2013 Honda Accord, head to Apple Valley Honda, Sims Honda, or Northwest Honda dealerships!

2013 Honda Accord is Only Moderately Priced Midsized Vehicle to Earn “Good” Rating on New IIHS Crash Test

According to a new “narrow offset” front-end crash test instituted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2013 Honda Accord is the only moderately priced midsized vehicle sold in the United States to earn a “good” rating.

The Suzuki Kizashi also received a “good” rating, but Suzuki recently decided the Kisashi would no longer be sold in the U.S.

The new IIHS crash test involves a front-end crash where the car strikes a thing object (like a pole or tree) in the outside 20% of the hood; this is important because as it stands, now, most of the reinforcement is in the middle 60% of the car.

“About 10,000 deaths a year are in frontal crashes and about one-fourth of those are ‘narrow offset,’ ” says IIHS spokesman Russ Rader.  ”We think it is important to look at how people are actually dying in real-world crashes.”

The fact that the 2013 Honda Accord did so well on the IIHS test surprises few people.

“The 2013 Honda Accord is an incredible vehicle,” said Tod McLaughlin of Apple Valley Honda in Wenatchee. “It has been getting rave reviews for style, safety, technology, gas mileage, and now this. Honda did its research and new this test was coming and showed an anxious concern for the safety of Honda drivers and passengers.”

It is interesting to point out that the moderately priced vehicles performed better than the luxury vehicles subjected to the narrow offset test. Of the 18 moderately priced vehicles tested, 13 of them received an “acceptable” or “good” rating. Of the 11 luxury midsize sedans tested, only three passed the test. The Acura TL (Honda’s luxury brand) was one of the luxury vehicles that earned a “good.”

At the end of the article it addresses how Toyota’s vehicles did so poorly. Toyota responded that the IIHS tests well above the federal requirements but it will now respond to the challenge. I think that contrasts very interestingly with Honda who had been following the IIHS test development very closely “for some time” and took the initiative to improve its vehicles before the test. What do you think? Does this say anything about the values of the different automotive companies?

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