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February 9, 2010 | By Jerry Hirsch and Coco Masters
Toyota is recalling its 2010 Prius and Lexus hybrids worldwide because of brake problems, marking another setback for a carmaker already plagued with recalls and suspended sales because of safety issues. The recall will include 437,000 vehicles, including 133,000 Prius and 14,500 Lexus models in the U.S. to update software in their anti-lock brake systems. In addition, the company is recalling about 7,300 of its 4-cylinder 2010 Camrys in the U.S., also for a possible brake-related problem.
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BUSINESS
February 15, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
America loves trucks. California? The Prius hybrid. Toyota's Prius was the best-selling vehicle in the state for the second consecutive year in 2013, highlighting California's radically different taste in automobiles. Nationally, Ford's F-Series truck has been the bestselling vehicle for more than three decades. The Prius ranked 16th in sales nationally. For drivers in such places as Texas, Montana and much of the Midwest, trucks are practical - but also a lifestyle statement.
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AUTOS
December 20, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch
Two key Toyota models, the flagship Camry sedan and the Prius v wagon, failed an important new crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an insurance industry group. Honda's newly redesigned Accord tied for the top safety rating with the Suzuki Kizashi, a car that will soon no longer be sold in the United States. The redesigned Ford Fusion also scored well. The results raise concerns that the Toyota models can't provide protection from serious injuries in common accidents.
AUTOS
February 12, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
Toyota Motor Corp. on Wednesday announced a massive global recall of its popular Prius hybrid to fix a software glitch that could cause the car to stall. The Japanese automaker also launched a recall of about 260,000 RAV4 sport-utility vehicles, Tacoma trucks and Lexus RX350 SUVs sold in the United States to address a separate issue. The Prius recall includes 1.9 million vehicles sold from 2010 through 2014 model years. It involves about 1 million cars in Japan, some 700,000 in North America and the rest from Europe and other regions.
BUSINESS
July 26, 2008 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Toyota is raising the U.S. price of its Prius hybrid by $500 for the 2009 model. Toyota Motor Corp.'s U.S. sales unit said the suggested retail price for a Prius will rise 2.2%. Base prices will range from $22,000 for the standard Prius to $24,270 for a touring model. The Japanese carmaker also announced new prices for a dozen other Toyota and Scion models, with an average increase of $181. Lexus, Toyota's luxury brand, announced higher prices for four vehicles as well.
OPINION
September 24, 2005
Re "Sticker shock," editorial, Sept. 17 I'm not used to blasphemy on The Times' editorial pages, but there it was Saturday. Yes, we Prius owners tend to wax on with unsolicited self-righteous orations about all the benefits of driving a hybrid. Our family is probably worse than most because we have two Priuses (Prei?) and a Honda Civic hybrid. I enjoyed reading The Times editorial, right up to the last sentence. Just a car? How can your editorial page ignore the heritage that made us the gridlocked, smog-choked slice of heaven that we are today?
AUTOS
April 17, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
Since introducing the first Prius in Japan back in 1997, Toyota Motor Corp. has sold 5 million hybrids worldwide, including 2 million in the U.S., the automaker said Wednesday. Toyota said the owners of its hybrids have saved more than 3 billion gallons of gasoline compared with vehicles powered by gasoline only. According to Department of Energy estimates, the hybrid vehicles on the road today save nearly 500 million gallons of petroleum annually in the U.S. "Toyota not only created the hybrid segment, they have consistently dominated it since launching the Prius in the U.S. back in 2000," said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book.
AUTOS
April 19, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
Toyota's announcement Friday that it will start building the Lexus ES 350 at a factory in Georgetown, Ky., is part of a larger policy of moving production of cars to the markets where they are sold that could result in the automaker's Prius hybrid being built in the U.S. In an interview with The Times, Toyota's North American CEO Jim Lentz said the Prius would be the only major gap in Toyota's North American production once the Lexus assembly line...
BUSINESS
January 13, 2010 | By Jerry Hirsch
Toyota calls the lemon-lime-colored hybrid vehicle a concept, but shoppers can expect to see a version of this compact car -- kind of a svelte version of the Toyota Matrix -- in showrooms in several years. This is Toyota channeling Apple Inc. Just as Apple has built a family of products around its original iPod -- from the tiny Shuffle to the Wi-Fi-enabled iPod Touch -- Toyota plans to build its Prius into a sub-brand. The concept it unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit is labeled the FT-CH dedicated hybrid concept, but Toyota executives acknowledge that it will become the Prius compact car offering.
BUSINESS
June 22, 2011 | Reuters
Toyota Motor Corp. will roll out the hybrid Prius' big brother this fall in the U.S. market. The Prius v is targeted at young families, with the "v" representing the versatility of increased interior room and cargo space. The Japanese automaker hopes to begin selling the vehicle in the U.S. in October, said Ed La Rocque, Toyota's U.S. marketing manager for advanced technology vehicles. Toyota will offer a plug-in version of the current Prius model in the first quarter of next year and a smaller version dubbed the Prius c in the first half, making the U.S. market the only one in the world with four Prius models.
BUSINESS
February 12, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
Toyota Motor Corp. launched a massive global recall of its popular Prius hybrid to fix a software glitch that could cause the car to stall, an aggressive reaction to counter past criticism of its slow response to defects, experts said. The Japanese automaker also said it would recall about 260,000 RAV4 sport utility vehicles, Tacoma trucks and Lexus RX350 SUVs sold in the United States to address a separate issue. The recall of the Prius, one of America's best-selling passenger cars and the top-selling vehicle in California, covers 1.9 million hybrids from the 2010 through 2014 model years.
AUTOS
December 18, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
For the second consecutive year, the Toyota Prius liftback topped Consumer Reports' annual list of vehicles giving buyers the best bang for their automotive buck.  The hulking Nissan Armada SUV won the prize for the worst value. Consumer Reports said the Prius - the best-selling vehicle in California - had the best combination of reliability, resale value, fuel economy and driving performance of the cars measured by the magazine.  The five-year ownership cost of the hybrid amounts to 47 cents per mile.
AUTOS
November 5, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
Toyota Motor Corp. revealed a sneak peak of its FCV Concept hydrogen fuel cell vehicle Tuesday, an early version of the car it thinks will popularize fuel cell autos just as the Prius made hybrids mainstream. “It is a very intriguing proposition for us,” said Bill Fay, general manager of Toyota's U.S. sales arm. “We think it could be the best zero emissions solution that hits the market.” The four-seater, which looks like a futuristic and aggressive Prius, is expected to go on sale sometime in 2015.  There's no word on what the price might be. Although there is a dearth of hydrogen stations -- just a handful in California and some in pockets on the East Coast -- there are plans to build more as automakers start to sell fuel cell cars.
BUSINESS
October 28, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
The dominance of Japanese automakers in Consumer Reports' auto reliability ratings is starting to fade, with two European automakers and one U.S. brand placing in the top 10 this year. Lexus, Toyota Motor Corp.'s luxury division, scored the top spot this year, followed by Toyota and Acura. Audi, the luxury division of Volkswagen, came in fourth, followed by Mazda, Infiniti, Volvo, Honda and then the sole U.S. brand, the GMC truck division of General Motors Co. Subaru placed 10th.
AUTOS
October 28, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
Consumer Reports dumped some its favorite vehicles -- Toyota's Camry, RAV4 and Prius V -- from its list of recommended cars Monday because the vehicles scored poorly in an insurance industry crash test. The influential magazine said it looked at the results of what is known as the small overlap crash test in making the decision to revoke its endorsement for the vehicles. The Camry is the bestselling passenger car in the United States, and the RAV4 is one of the most popular compact sport utilities.
AUTOS
October 23, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
It's a white-out on the highway. Car paint company PPG Industries says white continues to be the most popular auto color globally and is increasing its lead. The share of white cars built during the 2013 model year rose to 25% from 22% in the prior year. Silver and black tied for second at 18%. They were followed by gray, red, natural hues, blue and green. PHOTOS: Cheapest cars with best gas mileage White also remains the most popular color in North America, accounting for 21% of the cars built in the region in the past year, the same as last year.
BUSINESS
February 12, 2014 | By Jerry Hirsch
Toyota Motor Corp. launched a massive global recall of its popular Prius hybrid to fix a software glitch that could cause the car to stall, an aggressive reaction to counter past criticism of its slow response to defects, experts said. The Japanese automaker also said it would recall about 260,000 RAV4 sport utility vehicles, Tacoma trucks and Lexus RX350 SUVs sold in the United States to address a separate issue. The recall of the Prius, one of America's best-selling passenger cars and the top-selling vehicle in California, covers 1.9 million hybrids from the 2010 through 2014 model years.
AUTOS
January 15, 2003 | John O'Dell, Times Staff Writer
Car show time at the beginning of a new year is time for automakers to leak tidbits, unwrap new vehicles and test the waters of public opinion. Among the goodies collected by Highway 1 at the Los Angeles and Detroit auto shows during the last two weeks: * Toyota Motor Corp. is planning to replace its Prius gasoline-electric hybrid this year with a 2004 model that is bigger and more powerful than the current compact sedan.
AUTOS
October 21, 2013 | By Jerry Hirsch
Federal safety regulators have opened an investigation into problems with the brakes on the 2009 Hyundai Genesis cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it has received 23 complaints alleging that drivers have to push down hard on the brake pedal and reduced brake effectiveness in upscale cars from Hyundai. There was one reported crash. PHOTOS: Cheapest cars with best gas mileage The federal agency said that several complaints indicate that the problem was diagnosed as a faulty ABS, or anti-lock braking, module.  One driver reported crashing into a stopped vehicle after the brakes didn't respond properly.
AUTOS
October 10, 2013 | By David Undercoffler
If you've been eyeing the new plug-in version of Toyota's popular Prius hybrid, it's a good thing you waited. The automaker announced Wednesday it would be slashing the price of the 2014 plug-in Prius by at least $2,000 in an effort to lure more people to the greenest member of the Prius family. The 2014 plug-in model will now start at $29,990, a 6% drop from 2013, despite no changes to the car. The more upmarket Advanced model will command $34,905, which is more than $4,000 cheaper than the same car in 2013.
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