• Toyota's fixing recalled pedals with just a small metal shim

    Toyota just starting rolling out accelerator fixes to its dealers. The fix itself doesn’t actually seem as hard as Autoblog and Aol Autos found out at LaFontaine Toyota in Dearborn, Michigan. (Fun Fact: Ford’s HQ is in Dearborn) The process is just popping out the pedal and figuring out what size shim needs to be inserted into the recalled pedal. After that, a system diagnostic is… Read More

  • Tesla Motors' Next VP of Manufacturing Is A Toyota (Veteran)

    Right off the heels of filing for a $100 million IPO, electric car company Tesla Motors this morning announced that it has hired former Toyota production engineering GM Gilbert Passin to lead the company’s vehicle manufacturing operations as Vice President of Manufacturing. Passin has 23 years of international automotive experience under his belt, most recently serving as general manager… Read More

  • Toyota plug-ins to arrive in limited fashion within a year

    Want a plug-in car, but the Leaf and Volt aren’t doing it for you? Well, Toyota will be entering the market soon, though you should only count on it if you’re feeling lucky. First half of 2010 will only see 150 of these new plug-in Priuses (Prii?) on our shores, though they’re planning a full-size rollout for 2011. Now hang on a second… apparently these things only get… Read More

  • Toyota to showcase two new electric/hybrid cars this month

    The world’s No. 1 auto maker Toyota has announced [JP] it will exhibit a four-seat electric car at the 41th Tokyo Motor Show for the first time (the show opens October 24 and will run through November 4). It’s sized at 2,730×1,680×1,490mm. Visitors will also get to see an update of Toyota’s hybrid car Prius at the show. Read More

  • Toyota's anti-drunk driving gadget elicits comparison to, yes, Nazi Germany

    Help me understand this. Toyota today announced some sort of anti-drunk driving “gadget” (more like a complete system, including a digital camera and a breathalyzer) that prevents a car from being turned on if it detects a certain amount of alcohol in your system. You know, to help reduce the number of drunk driving-related accidents, which in the U.S. caused nearly 12,000 deaths… Read More

  • New battery material could boost efficiency of electric cars by a factor of ten

    Electric cars have one major problem: Especially in the case of long drives, owners have to make too many stops to charge the battery. Now a group of researchers from Toyota and Tohuku University (in Northern Japan) announced progress on their work to do away with this inconvenience. They were able to make single crystals of lithium cobalt oxide, a chemical compound used in the production… Read More

  • Video: Toyota's brain wave-controlled wheelchair

    It’s always good to know some big companies don’t forget to come up with technological innovations that aren’t aimed at a large or wealthy group of consumers. In this case, Toyota has announced the development of a system that makes it possible for drivers to control wheelchairs with their thoughts alone. And it supposedly works excellent. Read More

  • i-Real: Toyota updates its futuristic tricycle

    Formerly known as iSwing, Toyota‘s single-seat personal mobility cars gained worldwide attention back in 2005 when TIME magazine called it one of the ”coolest inventions” of that year. But now Toyota has decided to update the vehicle (by reworking the 4-wheel car into a 3-wheel “chair”), give it a new name (i-Real) and let the Central Japan International Airport… Read More

  • New Toyota Prius has rooftop solar panels, is 10% more fuel-efficient

    We reported it last year in July and Toyota is to deliver very soon: The world’s biggest automaker today announced the newest version of their Prius hybrid vehicle, due out in Japan in May, will be equipped with solar panels. Toyota claims the new model will also come with a brawnier and more fuel-efficient engine (the picture shows a model from last year). Read More

  • Toyota introduces world's first rear-seat center airbag

    Toyota today said in Tokyo it has developed the world’s first rear-seat center airbag to better protect passengers sitting in the back seats from a side-on collision, especially in regard to secondary injuries. The Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) rear-seat center airbag will be available in Toyota cars sold in Japan in the near future (the company didn’t say which models will… Read More

  • Toyota looking to build next hybrid from seaweed

    Trying to improve on their existing hybrid tech, Toyota is looking at what materials actually go into that hybrid you’ve been looking at. One of the more esoteric materials that they are considering is bioplastics. Read More

  • Toyota's ‘urban commuter’ is for driving to and fro' work

    Fresh off its first ever loss, Toyota sure hopes it can interest you car-driving commuters to ditch the gasoline engine and drive a clown car. It’s calling it the “urban commuter,” and it’s designed to get you to and from work in your humdinger of a city, powered only by a battery. A battery! Read More

  • Solar-powered Toyotas in the works

    Although it’s pretty certain that every major car manufacturer has “plans” to develop a solar-powered vehicle, Toyota appears to be actually putting out PR about it. According to the Nikkei, they’ve got plans for what is likely a Prius augmented by solar panels on it and elsewhere, and later for a solar-only vehicle as well. Read More

  • New Insight and Prius: Separated at birth?

    How in the hell does Honda expect people to choose the Insight over the Prius if they can’t tell the difference between the things? Honestly, it looks like the grille and headlights are the only difference between these two eco-cars. Not only that, but they’re similarly spec’ed and get identical mileage. Are they trying to pull something over on us here? And didn’t I… Read More

  • Toyota iQ gets 55+ MPG, coming to Europe in January

    Gas, schmas. Here’s the Toyota iQ, an actual, real car that’s available for pre-order in Europe now and will hit the roads there in January. It’s small, yes, but it can hold four people – Toyota recommends three adults and one child – and best of all, it gets a pretty amazing 55+ miles per gallon. Read More

  • Honda attacks Toyota in North America, wants to sell 100,000 low-priced hybrid cars

    Spy shot of Honda’s new hybrid car (unconfirmed) Honda yesterday announced they hope to sell 100,000 units in North America of a new hybrid car slated for release on April 22, 2009 (Earth Day). The five-door, five-passenger vehicle lower is planned to not only be cheaper than the current Civic hybrid model (base price in the US: $22,600) but also to outperform Toyota’s hybrid… Read More

  • Can Toyota's Winglet become a Segway killer?

    Toyota says it’s newest invention, the Winglet, is a personal assistant robot but their move rather resembles an open attack at Segway. The vehicle the world’s biggest manufacturer of automobiles presented today will feature an electric motor, two wheels and a set of sensors to ensure stability. Just like its American counterpart, the Winglet (odd name) is ridden in a standing… Read More

  • Google Tops Reputation Survey in U.S.; No. 2 Worldwide. Do You Agree? Vote In The TechCrunch Reputation Poll.

    Which Companies Do You Trust Or Admire The Most?
    ( surveys) Who do you trust more, Google or Toyota? The answer might depend on where you live. In its annual corporate reputation survey of 60,000 people worldwide, the Reputation Institute finds that Google scores highest in the U.S., but is No. 2 worldwide after Toyota. On the global list, Ikea is No. 3, Johnson & Johnson is No. 5… Read More

  • Toyota to sell solar panel-equipped Prius next year

    The Nikkei, Japan’s biggest business newspaper, reports today [JP] Toyota will use solar panels in its next-generation Prius hybrid cars to be sold starting 2009. The company’s Japanese website doesn’t offer any official information so the news is yet to be confirmed. The redesigned Prius will come equipped with solar panels on the roof, partly powering the… Read More

  • Toyota's new digital dash includes the road you can't see

    While not a new idea, Toyota is executing a neat play on the digital road in its new Crown Hybrid series of cars. Using infrared cameras and other sensors, a virtual representation of the road ahead is displayed under the instrument panel. It’s smart, too; pedestrians and other objects are highlighted so the driver can be informed of things in the road before he can see them. The idea is… Read More