Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Toyota Safety Recall Information

Please read carefully:

Toyota announced 1/26/10 a temporary stop sale on most vehicles that it builds in the United States. This is what I know as of 1/27/2010. I spoke with our district manager last night. There are two manufacturers for the accelerator pedals that Toyota uses, Denso and CTS. I believe that Denso produces the pedals for Lexus and the Japanese built Toyotas as well as all Scions, and CTS produces most of the pedals for the vehicles produced here. The vehicles with the CTS pedal are the ones affected.

The included vehicles are: Toyota, Avalon, Corporate, Camry (some), Corolla, Matrix, Highlander, RAV4, Sequoia, Tundra.

If you own one of these cars, you are not affected: All Lexus or Scion, also not affected are Toyota Prius, Tacoma, Sienna, Venza, Solara, Yaris, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser, Highlander hybrids and select Camry models, including all Camry hybrids, which will remain for sale.

This is not the same recall that requires shortening the accelerator pedal so that it does not come in contact with the floor mat! Unfortunately the 911 call from a related incident has been incorrectly re-played by some of the media. It is unfortunate and also incorrect.

Jim McNatt Toyota joined a conference call held by Toyota officials for Gulf State Toyota dealers,and during the question and answer period it was asked if anyone had any vehicle in service or heard of any issue with a sticking pedal and not one dealer had or even heard of one. I believe the problem is that the pedals may become sticky over time and I have seen my share of 300,000 plus mile Toyota's since I began here in ’05. Toyota is an ultra conservative company, that is why the stopped sale on the effected cars. I also, believe this is the main reason they have the excellent reputation for quality.

As posted in my previous blogs, I used to bleed Ford blue. I had a big chip on my shoulder back in '05 when I started here about what I believed as "So Called Toyota Quality". As I stated, I have seen more than my share of 300,000 mile Toyota's. I now believe them to be the best car manufacturer provide the best quality, long lasting vehicles that my precious money can buy. My chip is long gone.

Here is the fix: Denso is ramping up production and will begin producing enough pedals to change out all of the CTS pedals in as little as 14 days.

If you are experiencing a sticky pedal: Call our service department (888-285-2372) so an appointment can be scheduled. Although extremely rare, for those experiencing a sticky pedal, transportation will be provided to you and no cost. The symptoms may present as such: The condition does not occur suddenly. It can occur when the pedal mechanism becomes worn and, in certain conditions, the accelerator pedal may become harder to depress, slower to return or, in the worst case, stuck in a partially depressed position.

You may call the Toyota Cares hotline at 800-331-4331 between the hours of 5am to 6pm Mon-Fri and Sat 7am to 4pm. Click for latest details.

Update 1/28/10 Statement from Toyota on Supplier CTS

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America (TEMA) has been working closely with supplier CTS on a revised design that effectively remedies the problem associated with accelerator pedals. Pedals featuring the revised design are now in full production at CTS to support Toyota’s needs. Meanwhile, we are also working with them to test effective modifications to existing pedals in the field that will be rolled out as quickly as possible.

“We commend CTS for working diligently and collaboratively to find a solution to the potential problem and in developing a new design,” said Chris Nielsen, TEMA’s Vice President of Purchasing. “CTS is a long-term and valued supplier to us.”

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tips to improve gas mileage

1gaspump So I’m watching Brink the other day on the Science Channel (I know that I just achieved Goober status, but someone has to watch this stuff!) and there was a report on ways to maximize your car’s fuel economy. The guys they interviewed had taken a car that got great mileage already at 30 MPG and improved it to 37 MPG. That's over a 20% increase.

I know that gas is on the cheap now compared to last summer’s high of over four dollars per gallon. I also believe that the price will go back up with the summer driving season. I am paid on a commission basis and because of the struggling economy; my pay has gone down with it. That means two dollar per gallon gasoline is like four dollar per gallon to me! I have to think about stretching dollars now more than ever. I don’t think that I am the only one.

Back to saving YOU money… These guys did off the wall things to improve mileage, like removing the outside mirrors and installing “moon” wheel covers to reduce drag. I am not advocating this, and the fuel mileage improvements from those two items were minor. What was surprising, is that they reported a three mile per gallon improvement just by switching to synthetic oil. I will use synthetic only from now on. The main reason synthetic oil improves mileage is because it reduces friction. It doesn’t take much to connect the dots here; if it reduces friction then it stands to reason that it will substantially reduce wear as well. That is why Toyota’s new 2.7 liter 4 cylinder engines require only full synthetic oil. Synthetic oil is a little more expensive than conventional but has extended change intervals.

Another recommendation was window tinting. They estimate that the average car air-conditioning compressors require about six horsepower to run. Installing window tint help keeps the interior cooler and reduces the draw on that six horsepower robbing compressor!

Making sure your tires are properly inflated will also maximize fuel economy by reducing rolling resistance. This doesn’t add to your fuel mileage but most likely your tires are under inflated and that definitely hurts your gas mileage! It substantially decreases tire life too. Keep your tires properly inflated!!!

It’s no coincidence that the things needed to maximize fuel economy also makes your car last longer. Making your car last longer with a small dollar and time investment and getting a return in lower gas bills… Sounds like a no-brainer!

Toyota Announces Details of Remedy to Address Potential Accelerator Pedal Entrapment

Torrance, Calif., November 25, 2009 - - Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS) announced today details of the vehicle-based remedy to address the root cause of the potential risk for floor mat entrapment of accelerator pedals in certain Toyota and Lexus models. Toyota issued a consumer safety advisory on September 29 on this issue and has, as an interim measure, commenced the mailing of safety notices to certain Toyota and Lexus owners on October 30.

The models involved are: 2007 to 2010 MY (model year) Camry, 2005 to 2010 MY Avalon, 2004 to 2009 MY Prius, 2005 to 2010 MY Tacoma, 2007 to 2010 MY Tundra, 2007 to 2010 MY ES350, 2006 to 2010 MY IS250, and 2006 to 2010 MY IS 350.

The specific measures of the vehicle-based remedy are as follows:

1. The shape of the accelerator pedal will be reconfigured to address the risk of floor mat entrapment, even when an older-design all-weather floor mat or other inappropriate floor mat is improperly attached, or is placed on top of another floor mat. For the ES350, Camry, and Avalon models involved, the shape of the floor surface underneath will also be reconfigured to increase the space between the accelerator pedal and the floor.

2. Vehicles with any genuine Toyota or Lexus accessory all-weather floor mat will be provided with newly-designed replacement driver- and front passenger-side all-weather floor mats.

In addition, as a separate measure independent of the vehicle-based remedy, Toyota will install a brake override system onto the involved Camry, Avalon, and Lexus ES 350, IS350 and IS 250 models as an extra measure of confidence. This system cuts engine power in case of simultaneous application of both the accelerator and brake pedals.

Toyota is in the process of completing development of these actions and for the ES350, Camry, and Avalon will start notifying owners of the involved vehicles via first-class mail by the end of this year. The remedy process regarding the other five models will occur on a rolling schedule during 2010.

Dealers will be trained and equipped to make the necessary modifications to these models starting at the beginning of 2010. Initially, dealers will be instructed on how to reshape the accelerator pedal for the repair. As replacement parts with the same shape as the modified pedal become available, they will be made available to dealers for the repair, beginning around April 2010. Customers who have had the remedy completed will have the opportunity to receive a new pedal if they desire.

In the meantime, owners of the involved vehicles are asked to take out any removable driver’s floor mat and not replace it with any other floor mat until they are notified of the vehicle-based remedy, as notified in the consumer safety advisory and the interim notice.

The brake override system will be made standard equipment throughout the Toyota and Lexus product lines starting with January 2010 production of ES350 and Camry and is scheduled to be incorporated into new production of most models by the end of 2010.

The safety of our owners and the public is our utmost concern and Toyota has and will continue to thoroughly investigate and take appropriate measures to address any defect trends that are identified.

Owners who have further questions are asked to visit or or contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331 or Lexus Customer Assistance at 1-800-255-3987.

Toyota Floor Mat Recall

Toyota/Lexus Consumer Safety Advisory: Potential Floor Mat Interference with Accelerator Pedal
Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. takes public safety very seriously. It believes its vehicles to be among the safest on the road today.

Recent events have prompted Toyota to take a closer look at the potential for an accelerator pedal to get stuck in the full open position due to an unsecured or incompatible driver's floor mat. A stuck open accelerator pedal may result in very high vehicle speeds and make it difficult to stop the vehicle, which could cause a crash, serious injury or death.

Toyota considers this a critical matter and will soon launch a safety campaign on specific Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Throughout the process of developing the details of the action plan, it will advise the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Until Toyota develops a remedy, it is asking owners of specific Toyota and Lexus models to take out any removable driver’s floor mat and NOT replace it with any other floor mat. The following models are affected:

• 2007 – 2010 Camry
• 2005 – 2010 Avalon
• 2004 – 2009 Prius
• 2005 – 2010 Tacoma
• 2007 – 2010 Tundra
• 2007 – 2010 ES350
• 2006 – 2010 IS250 and IS350

Should the vehicle continue to accelerate rapidly after releasing the accelerator pedal, this could be an indication of floor mat interference. If this occurs, Toyota recommends the driver take the following actions:

First, if it is possible and safe to do so, pull back the floor mat and dislodge it from the accelerator pedal; then pull over and stop the vehicle.

If the floor mat cannot be dislodged, then firmly and steadily step on the brake pedal with both feet. Do NOT pump the brake pedal repeatedly as this will increase the effort required to slow the vehicle.

Shift the transmission gear selector to the Neutral (N) position and use the brakes to make a controlled stop at the side of the road and turn off the engine.

If unable to put the vehicle in Neutral, turn the engine OFF, or to ACC. This will not cause loss of steering or braking control, but the power assist to these systems will be lost.

-If the vehicle is equipped with an Engine Start/Stop button, firmly and steadily push the button for at least three seconds to turn off the engine. Do NOT tap the Engine Start/Stop button.

-If the vehicle is equipped with a conventional key-ignition, turn the ignition key to the ACC position to turn off the engine. Do NOT remove the key from the ignition as this will lock the steering wheel.

In the event owners choose not to remove their floor mat, Toyota strongly recommends that they ensure that the correct floor mat is being used, that it is properly installed and secured, that it is not flipped over with bottom-side up, and that one floor mat is not stacked over another. Information on proper floor mat installation can be found on and

Owners with questions or concerns, are asked to please contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center (1 800 331-4331) or Lexus Customer Assistance Center (1 800 255¬3987), or consult the information posted at and

September 29, 2009


- click here for Toyota & Lexus Carpeted/All-Weather Floor Mat Inspection, Application & Installation Instructions

- click here for Toyota Carpet Floor Mat Application Information Chart

- click here for Lexus Carpet Floor Matt Application Information Chart

- click here for Toyota All Weather Floor Mat Quick Reference Chart

- click here for Lexus All Weather Floor Mat Quick Reference Chart

2010 CrewMax Tundra Grade vs. 2010 Chevrolet 1500 Crew Cab LS

When you think of crew cabs, you think of a truck that's built for hard work, yet comfortable enough to take care of the "crew." Let's take a look at how the CrewMax Tundra Grade compares with the Chevy Silverado 1500 Crew Cab LS. Both are base, economical trims geared toward work.

Size matters when the crew is big

• Tundra offers 5.5 inches more leg room and 1.5 inches more shoulder room
• Besides stretching their legs, rear-seat passengers can relax with the reclining seat back
• Chevy rear seat doesn't recline; bottom cushion flips up to expand storage room
• Tundra CrewMax rear seat folds down to provide work surface and create more storage room
• Tundra CrewMax offers standard 13.9-inch front disc brakes, 13.6-inch rear disc brakes; Silverado 1500 Crew Cab LS comes with 13.0-inch front disc brakes and 11.6-inch rear drum brakes.

More engine power

• Chevy brags about 6.0-liter and 6.2-liter V8 engines in Silverado, but neither is available for the Silverado 1500 Crew Cab in LS or WT trim
• Tundra CrewMax has available 5.7-liter V8 with 380 horsepower, 401 lb-ft peak torque
• Standard on CrewMax Tundra Grade is 4.6-liter V8 with 310 horsepower, 327 lb-ft torque
• Silverado 1500 Crew Cab LS offers only 4.8-liter V8 with 302 horsepower, 305 lb-ft torque
• Chevy Crew Cab LS customers must switch down to the WT trim or pay more for the LT trim to find a bigger engine. The optional 5.3-liter V8 has 315 horsepower and 338 lb-ft torque, but it still doesn't compete with the Tundra's 5.7-liter i-Force V8

More towing power

• Tundra Grade CrewMax with 5.7-liter V8 and factory tow package has a max tow rating1 of 10,400 pounds (4x2) or 10,100 pounds (4x4)
• Tundra Grade CrewMax with 4.6-liter V8 and factory tow package has a max tow rating of 7,000 pounds (4x2) or 6,700 pounds (4x4)
• Silverado 1500 Crew Cab LS with 4.8-liter V8 (remember, that's all that's available in the LS trim) has a max tow rating of 6,700 pounds (4x2) or 5,400 pounds (4x4)

More convenience

• Tundra CrewMax comes standard with power vertical sliding rear window; offered only as an option on Silverado 1500 Crew Cab upper trim levels, not WT or LS
• Tundra CrewMax offers standard easy-up/easy-down tailgate; EZ Lift tailgate offered only as an option on Silverado 1500 Crew Cab upper trim levels, not WT or LS
• Tundra CrewMax offers available DVD navigation system; navigation not available on Silverado 1500 Crew Cab LS or WT