Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues

Filed under: Convertible, Hybrid, Sedan, Recalls, Safety, Crossover, Lexus, Luxury

2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

When it rains, it pours. Toyota has announced a pair of separate but voluntary North America recalls covering approximately 235,000 vehicles built between 2006 and 2011. The larger of the two recalls targets Toyota’s hybridized crossovers, the Lexus RX400h and Toyota Highlander Hybrid. 133,000 units, including 2006-2010 Highlander and 2006-2008 RX crossovers are covered in the campaign. The other recall affects 102,000 IS350 sedans, IS350C convertibles and GS350 sedans built between 2006 and 2011.

With the CUVs, the faults in the parallel circuits of the transistors can cause heat damage in the inverter assembly, triggering an abundance of warning lamps and sending the vehicle into limp mode. The Lexus sedans are being recalled due to loose bolts on the variable valve timing controller. Detected by unusual underhood sounds on startup, the issue can cause the engine to stop while driving. The inverter issue is also triggering similar recalls in Japan and Europe.

At the moment, it’s unclear if any of these issues have caused any crashes or injuries. Toyota says it plans to notify owners of the recall via snail mail. Additional information for owners can be found on the recall sites for Toyota and Lexus or by calling Toyota’s customer service line, at 1-800-331-4331. Scroll down for the complete recall notice from Toyota.

Continue reading Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues

Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 10:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues

Filed under: Convertible, Hybrid, Sedan, Recalls, Safety, Crossover, Lexus, Luxury

2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

When it rains, it pours. Toyota has announced a pair of separate but voluntary North America recalls covering approximately 235,000 vehicles built between 2006 and 2011. The larger of the two recalls targets Toyota’s hybridized crossovers, the Lexus RX400h and Toyota Highlander Hybrid. 133,000 units, including 2006-2010 Highlander and 2006-2008 RX crossovers are covered in the campaign. The other recall affects 102,000 IS350 sedans, IS350C convertibles and GS350 sedans built between 2006 and 2011.

With the CUVs, the faults in the parallel circuits of the transistors can cause heat damage in the inverter assembly, triggering an abundance of warning lamps and sending the vehicle into limp mode. The Lexus sedans are being recalled due to loose bolts on the variable valve timing controller. Detected by unusual underhood sounds on startup, the issue can cause the engine to stop while driving. The inverter issue is also triggering similar recalls in Japan and Europe.

At the moment, it’s unclear if any of these issues have caused any crashes or injuries. Toyota says it plans to notify owners of the recall via snail mail. Additional information for owners can be found on the recall sites for Toyota and Lexus or by calling Toyota’s customer service line, at 1-800-331-4331. Scroll down for the complete recall notice from Toyota.

Continue reading Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues

Toyota and Lexus recalling 235,000 hybrid CUVs and sedans over separate issues originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 10:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Alfa Romeo dumping FWD Mito, Giulietta hatches in favor of RWD sedans

Filed under: Europe, Alfa Romeo

Europeans should be dancing in their nearest piazza, as Alfa Romeo is ditching its front-drive MiTo and Giulietta to return to its rear-drive roots, according to a report from the UK’s Car. The switch is expected to happen in 2015, and is meant to bring Alfa Romeo closer to Maserati.

Car is claiming that a 3 Series-fighting Alfa will hit the streets first, followed by a larger model to contend with the 5 Series. After that, Alfa will field a pair of SUVs, its first models of that body style. We sincerely hope all of these cars come with sweet-sounding, high-revving six-cylinder engines.

While we’re quite happy for European gearheads, the shift in logic has us wondering, once again, what this means for Alfa Romeo’s long-promised return to the US of A. Both the MiTo and Giulietta were slated for the US market at some point in 2013, according our most recent report. We’re half way through the year now, and there hasn’t been so much as a whimper indicating that timetable would work.

Based on remarks Sergio Marchionne made at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, bringing Alfa back properly is more important than bringing it back quickly. That logic could explain this latest possible delay. Getting American Alfa Romeos right for Americans could also explain things, which is perhaps a lesson learned from the Dart’s rushed launch.

In any case, with this news that two of the core models of Alfa’s US return are being ditched within the next 30 or so months, we’re left wondering (again) when the legendary Italian brand will return to our shores.

Alfa Romeo dumping FWD Mito, Giulietta hatches in favor of RWD sedans originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 21 Jul 2013 13:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2,500 Chevy Cruze sedans recalled for “improperly fastened” steering wheels

Filed under: Budget, Sedan, Recalls, Safety, Chevrolet

2011 Chevrolet Cruze

2011 Chevrolet Cruze – Click above for high-res image gallery

Chevrolet has reportedly issued a recall of 2,100 of its Cruze compact car in the U.S. and 400 units in Canada after one car was found to have an improperly attached steering wheel. While the defect sounds terrifying, Chevrolet says the mishap hasn’t caused an accident or any injuries.

According to The Detroit News, Chevy is confident that only one car had the issue, and the recall is a precautionary measure. According to the story, Chevy says it inspected more than 2,000 vehicles at the plant where the defective Cruze was built and several hundred more at dealerships and didn’t find any with a similar fault.

Those affected by the recall will be asked to take their Cruze in to the dealership to be inspected for the fault, which will be repaired for free if a problem is found.

Gallery: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze 1LT: Review

2011 Chevrolet Cruze 1LT2011 Chevrolet Cruze 1LT2011 Chevrolet Cruze 1LT2011 Chevrolet Cruze 1LT2011 Chevrolet Cruze 1LT

Photos copyright (C)2011 Steven J. Ewing / AOL

[Source: The Detroit News]

2,500 Chevy Cruze sedans recalled for “improperly fastened” steering wheels originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 08 Apr 2011 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Volkswagen Jetta ranked last among small sedans by Consumer Reports

Filed under: Sedan, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Volkswagen

2011 Volkswagen Jetta

2011 Volkswagen Jetta – Click above for high-res image gallery

The new for 2011 Volkswagen Jetta received a new, far lower base price tag of $15,995, but Consumer Reports evidently feels that the more affordable sticker has come at too high of a cost to the vehicle itself. The buyer-centric organization ranked the Jetta dead last among 11 small sedans tested for the April edition of its magazine.

David Champion, senior director of the group’s Auto Test Center says, “In an effort to bring the car’s starting price down, VW cheapened the previous Jetta’s interior and suspension, making it less sophisticated and compromising handling.”

CR isn’t pulling any punches while describing why the sedan fares so poorly, calling it “a shadow of the agile, well-finished car it once was.” Ouch. Specifically, the VW was dinged hard for sub-par handling and cornering grip, poor interior fit and finish and its coarse-sounding 2.5-liter, five-cylinder. In addition, CR came away disappointed with long brake distances and a six-speed automatic that is reluctant to downshifting.

We’re thinking VW may not like CR’s take on the Jetta, but at least the automaker can point to increased sales as the reason the automaker decided to remove so much of what made the Jetta so popular with enthusiasts.

Other vehicles tested were the Chevrolet Cruze in both LS and LT trims and the Hyundai Elantra. The Cruze models are now rated at the middle of CR’s small sedan pack, with a Very Good overall score. The Elantra came away with laurels for the being the best small sedan in its class, and the Hyundai was the only small sedan among the latest four tested to be given CR’s official Recommendation. Hit the jump to read over CR’s press release.

Gallery: 2011 Volkswagen Jetta: First Drive

Photos copyright (C)2011 Damon Lavrinc / AOL

[Source: Consumer Reports]

Continue reading Volkswagen Jetta ranked last among small sedans by Consumer Reports

Volkswagen Jetta ranked last among small sedans by Consumer Reports originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 05 Apr 2011 15:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Kia recalling 70,000 Optima sedans over rollaway fears

Filed under: Sedan, Recalls, Kia

2007 Kia Optima

According to The Detroit News, Kia is recalling 70,115 examples of its 2006-2008 Optima sedans over a weak shift cable that could break and cause the car to roll unexpectedly when parked. Kia first noticed the problem in 2007 and changed manufacturing processes to try and cure the issue. They also notified technicians to look for flaws in customers’ Optimas and address the issue if there was a problem.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started an investigation into the 2007 model in November after getting three reports of weak or broken shift cables in automatic transmission cars preventing owners from shifting between Park, Drive and Reverse. In one case, a broken cable caused a parked car to roll away.

In response to the NHTSA inquiry, Kia has done more testing and evaluation on the cars and decided that a recall was necessary. Despite the recall, Kia says the problem hasn’t resulted in any “real world safety incidents.”

[Source: The Detroit News | Image: AOL Autos]

Report: Kia recalling 70,000 Optima sedans over rollaway fears originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 11 Mar 2011 17:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Cadillac recalling over 95,000 previous-gen CTS sedans

Filed under: Sedan, Recalls, Safety, Cadillac, GM

2006 Cadillac CTS

2006 Cadillac CTS – Click above for high-res image gallery

General Motors is recalling 95,927 Cadillac CTS sedans from the 2005 to 2007 model year over faulty passenger sensing systems in the front passenger seat.

According to NHTSA, repeated flexing of this sensor mat can cause it to kink, bend or fold, which can sever the connections of the mat’s sensors to safety devices within the car. Most specifically, a damaged sensor may not be able to detect the presence of a front seat passenger and could disable the air bag, increasing the risk of injury in a crash.

GM has not yet notified NHTSA of when the recall is expected to ramp up, but owners may contact the automaker with any questions prior to receiving the official notice. Dealerships will replace the passenger sensing system free of charge. For the full details, follow the jump to read NHTSA’s statement.

Gallery: 2006 Cadillac CTS

2006 Cadillac CTS2006 Cadillac CTS2006 Cadillac CTS2006 Cadillac CTS2006 Cadillac CTS

[Source: NHTSA]

Continue reading Cadillac recalling over 95,000 previous-gen CTS sedans

Cadillac recalling over 95,000 previous-gen CTS sedans originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 23 Dec 2010 16:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rumormill: Rumblings of Zeta-based family of rear-wheel-drive GM sedans persist

Filed under: Sedan, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Rumormill, Luxury

Cadillac Sixteen concept car in the wet

The ongoing yarn about General Motors fielding a brace of rear-wheel drive flagship sedans based on a new generation Premium Zeta platform has hit the big time, with Motor Trend reporting that the platform will underpin a sport sedan for Chevrolet. Last month, the rejigged Zeta was touted as the basis for a flagship Buick that would finally, and properly, challenge Lexus. MT’s report says there will be two wheelbases for this new Zeta, and that those two variants will do duty under a Cadillac, a U.S. Buick and potentially a Chinese-market Buick, and several Holden models along with the aforementioned Chevy.

As the basis for premium sedans, General Motors could spend the money to make it properly light and strong through the use of high-strength steels. The Chevy sport sedan mentioned would be “a kind of four-door Camaro” – Pontiac G8 GXP redux, anyone? – while the Buick only gets described as “cushier,” and both would go on the shorter wheelbase Zeta.

The most interesting tidbit could be Cadillac’s use of the long-wheelbase platform. MT prices a Cadillac flagship at between $125,000 and $140,000 and says the Zeta-based Cadillac, Whitacre’s S-Class rival for the Crest-and-Wreath brand, will sit beneath it. If it all comes to pass, that would give Cadillac a larger CTS, then an XTS, then a properly sporting high-end luxury competitor, then a one-Caddy-to-rule-them-all ne plus ultra model by 2014 or so. Hat tip to Joshua!

[Source: Motor Trend]

Rumormill: Rumblings of Zeta-based family of rear-wheel-drive GM sedans persist originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 24 Sep 2010 14:26:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rumormill: General Motors mid-size sedans going all four-cylinder

Filed under: Sedan, Buick, Chevrolet, GM

Straight from the “No Surprise” department comes word from GMInsideNews that all of General Motors mid-size offerings will come equipped with four-cylinder engines as the only available powerplant.

GM has made it clear for the last few years that a large part of its future product strategy is to downsize its engine line-up in preparation for the new 2015 CAFE standards. The shift has already begun with the introduction of the 2011 Buick Regal, available with either a 182-horsepower direct injected 2.4-liter or a turbocharged 2.0-liter putting out 220 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque.

The next model to go all-four-banger will be the next generation Chevrolet Malibu, slated to arrive late next year and likely packing – to begin with – the same 2.4-liter four. A range of direct injected engines, both naturally aspirated and turbocharged, are in the works, so the General won’t be hurting for options, but expect the V6 to stick around for GM’s larger offerings, including the next Impala.

[Source: GMInsideNews]

Rumormill: General Motors mid-size sedans going all four-cylinder originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 31 Aug 2010 18:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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