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Archive for September, 2007

Toyota Recalls 55,000 Camry, Lexus Floor Mats

September 27, 2007 Leave a comment

Looks like Toyota has tainted its reputation for quality. And I think this incident has a great chance of purging shoppers’ confidence if not responded to in due time.

As reported by Detroit Free Press, the Japanese automaker will recall 55,000 floor mats due to complaints of unintended acceleration caused by the mats sticking underneath the accelerator pedal, federal safety officials and the automaker said Wednesday.

Toyota Camry and Lexus floor mats can slip and trap accelerator pedal, hence the recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration took the unusual step of highlighting Toyota’s recall announcement, advising owners of other Toyota models, including the Prius hybrid and Avalon sedans, to ensure their floor mats are properly installed.

NHTSA data show 40 complaints for the ES 350 believed to be related to the problem. There were seven crashes and 12 injuries due to unintended acceleration, Reuters divulged. Unsecured floor mats were found in the majority of vehicles involved in crashes, NHTSA said. There were a handful of complaints for the Camry.

In some reports, drivers traveled for miles and reached speeds exceeding 90 miles per hour before the car stopped, safety officials said.

“We have also received complaints about the RAV 4 (crossover) and Tacoma (pickup),” said Rae Tyson, NHTSA spokesman. “We will continue to monitor all of the other Toyota vehicles not involved in the recall.”

As was previously reported by the Free Press, NHTSA had opened an investigation into the floor mats after amassing 40 reports of unintended acceleration in 2007 Lexus ES 350 sedans, including 8 crashes and 12 injuries. Since then, the federal safety agency has received complaints from owners of other Toyota models about the problem. In a number of original complaints, drivers said the vehicles only stopped after an accident.

One driver told NHTSA the vehicle had hit speeds of 100 mph. over a 6-mile stretch of freeway due to the problem, the report added. A Michigan-resident woman said the problem caused her to lose control of her Lexus, triggering a rollover crash.

Also, driver-complainants said they were unable to shut off the engine by pressing the button as the car accelerated. This is because some ES 350s are sold with stop/start buttons rather than conventional ignitions.

It was then when Toyota told safety officials that if an optional all-weather floor mat is not properly secured by clips to the floor, it could stick under the accelerator pedal. In certain cases, the Japanese automaker said owners had simply put the rubber mat over the standard floor mats. The company added it had dealt with the problem through a mailing to customers earlier this year.

In an interview, the Japanese automaker said the recall involves 30,500 mats for the ES 350 and 24,500 mats for the 2007 and 2008 Toyota Camry. Car owners will be told of the recall in October, and offered replacement mats in November. The automaker also warned drivers to check their floor mats and make sure that only one was installed.

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New Beemer kisses a pole.

September 27, 2007 Leave a comment

This 2007 BMW 750 is going to need a heep of parts to get it back on the road. Truthfuly, I don’t think that anyone in their right mind will even dream about repairing this one. This is most likely destined for the auto parts yard.

The auction in North Carolina had a few of these high end cars today. I will look out for the price next time so I can post it here. Wondering how much it sold for.

Categories: 750, auto parts, bmw, smashed, wrecked

Listen To Forbes

September 27, 2007 Leave a comment
Are you thinking about buying a car? If you are, then I wish you luck because you’re definitely gonna have a tough time choosing from a lot of new cars today. Would you go for a hybrid? Or would you go for a diesel engined car? If you have read the New York Times article I think you might consider buying a diesel unit since they are going to have better resale value than a gasoline vehicle. If you are going to the dealerships, don’t forget to brush up on your bargaining skills as you would definitely need them, since you would haggle more when buying a car than when you are just purchasing auto parts such as Honda racing parts.
Forbes gives us a rundown of things that you should never say to a car dealer. The first one is: “I’m ready to buy now”. According to Forbes: “It shows that you’re too eager and willing to consider an offer, and it also gives salespeople the advantage by allowing them to talk you up as opposed to you talking them down.”

Another is don’t say “I can afford this much per month”. The reason according to Rob Gentile of Consumer Reports is that “often the dealer will focus on a monthly payment scheme, insisting you are receiving a great deal, but at the end of the day you won’t really know what you paid.”

You should never mention that you have a trade-in. This is because dealers will highlight the pros of trade-in but in the end, you will get less for your old car than when if you sell it on your own. Forbes also advises you not to say “I’m only buying the car with cash” but advises to say something like “I haven’t really thought that through yet. Maybe we’ll see what you have after we agree on a price.” The other things that you should never say are: “I’m not sure…which model do you think I need?”; “Oh, I’ve wanted one of these all my life.”; “I’ll take whatever the popular options are.”; “What’s the lowest price you can give me?”; “Sure, I’ll look at the numbers with you.”; “I think you can do a lot better than that.”

This site gives humorous approach to the tips which reads: “I’m ready to buy (ka-ching!), I can afford this much (over twelve years then), Yes, I have a trade in (let the games begin!), I’m paying cash (we HATE you), I’m not sure what vehicle I want (we know EXACTLY what we want to sell), I’ve wanted on of these forever (SUCKER), I’ll take the popular options (yum!), What’s the lowest price? (and we can’t go ANY lower), Sure I’ll look at the numbers (step into my parlor said the spider to the fly), I think you can do better than that (**** you!).”

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Fashion and Cars in One

September 25, 2007 Leave a comment
What does a dress and a luxury car have in common? Well, it may be the weirdest question you may encounter today but if you look closely, these two exactly different things are related to each other. The spirit of creating both with passion, style and details made these two different things related to one another. Just like the Dodge Ram pickup car cover, the news was early delivered to us by The Auto Channel on their official website. Click this link to read more.

This may be the reason why people were not surprised upon knowing the British luxury car maker Bentley Motors and the great English fashion designer Vivienne Westwood collaborated. The two powerful forces had their very first collaboration last year on “Vivienne Westwood Shoes 1973 – 2006” which happened in Castello Visconteo Sforzesco of Vigevano outside Milan. And this year, the two expensive personalities will be joining forces again to push through a fascinating venue of both elegance and creativity on the forthcoming Milan Fashion Week.

The collaboration of Vivienne Westwood and Bentley Motors will be happening on the highly anticipated fashion exhibition happening on the 26th day September 2007 at the Palazzo Reale in Milan. We all know Milan is the design and style capital of the world so this is just the right place where fascinating things could happen. On the show, she will be displaying some of her creations which was first seen in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

The collaboration of elegant English fashion plus the master of luxury vehicles Bentley Motors can also be seen on an exclusive event that celebrates the sponsorship of sophistication of the car manufacturer in Düsseldorf’s German Fashion Week. The event enhances the bonding between the two fabulous individuals which further adds more daring lines especially with skills and talents working together.

On the particular event, the British luxury car maker will be showcasing the ever glorious bright yellow 1992 Bentley Continental convertible in front of the Piazzetta Reale. The presence of this classic, timeless and enticing luxury vintage car will convey the sprit of individuality, fashion, uniqueness and elegance. This will also be highlighted by the passion toward fashion as given more justice by the signature of Vivienne Westwood’s creations.

Vivienne Westwood is also blessed to receive the Bentley Continental Flying Spur she can use the entire time she is in the city during her visit in Milan. Bentley Motors will also give the world famous fashion designer a chance to take a seat in another fine creation – the iconic Continental GTC. The newest cabriolet made by the British car maker that shows how fashionable and stylish a car can be. It is also the car that shows the styling mobility of the British car maker.

The show-off will be happening at the Women’s Fashion Week and they will have another exhibition at the Men’s Fashion Week coming this February 2008.

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Let’s Take It Slow…

September 21, 2007 Leave a comment

We’ve been judging cars by their speed and performance. The fastest is always the best – I guess that’s the world’s standard for a great car. The need for speed is the most essential stuff to some adrenaline junkies… zoom! I myself prefer speed rather than cool cars with their clean and perfect parts like Subaru struts. Anyway, the top fastest cars in the automobile world have always been the talk of the town. Names such as Ferrari, Bugatti, Porsche, and Mercedes are a few of the fastest nameplates in the world…

Now let’s put the pace in a much slower speed shall we? If we often talk about the top fastest cars, let’s put it on the other way around – let’s talk about the top slowest cars in the planet!

The slowest vehicles… these are the cars that you really need to avoid when you’re on a two lane street and you’re in a hurry going to the office. Actually, slow drivers can be determined by the car they are driving. Of course, if the car’s speed is just quite fair, the tendency is that he’ll be moving too slow as a sloth. But there’s nothing wrong if your cars are included in the slowest list. Slow cars can be the safest way to hold you from getting hurt because of such cravings for speed. The thing is, if you want to start your day right, avoid the slow cars as much as possible!

I found a list compiled by http://www.autothing.com/ about the top 10 slowest cars in the world according to their opinion of course! Check out if your car is included on the list below. Now dig in… slow:

1. TOYOTA CAMRY– Old or new, by far the worst… we’d rather get run over by one.

2. TOYOTA COROLLA – Older models electronically limited at 5 miles per hour
3. NISSAN SENTRA – Steer clear!- old Sentras don’t respond to gestures or horns
4. FORD ESCORT – So slow, you may almost think the one ahead is parked
5. GEO METRO – Don’t let this small car fool you! It can be very, very slow
6. FORD & CHEVY CONVERSION VANS – Older models only, especially those with mismatched doors
7. CADILLAC DEVILLE – Older models are huge Cadillac’s with four doors – enough said
8. FORD AEROSTAR & CHEVY ASTRO – They’re literally boxes with wheels, so please do not follow
9. BUICK CENTURY – Many visitors say ALL Buicks, but we’ll single this one out
10. CHRYSLER TOWN & COUNTRY – Do soccer moms realize there’s a world outside the minivan?

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Toyota Wants another Japan Assembly Plant

September 18, 2007 Leave a comment
The Toyota Motor Corporation is looking forward to building another facility plant in Japan. The company said that the new plant will be its second plant in the home turf following the first plant built two decades ago. The officer from Toyota mentioned that news last Monday.

Katsuaki Watanabe revealed that the fastest growing Japanese car maker is planning to build another Japanese assembly plant. When he was asked about the company’s plan, he said that “it is true that are we are considering” building a plant in Japan, but he did not further elaborated on that. I assume the plant will be making Toyota car parts like the Mazda plant that makes the Mazda distributor rotor for their car models.

The famous maker of the Prius was noted to have impressive car sales in the US car market accounting their Camry sedans including their Lexus luxury car brand. These car models were reported to a have huge amount of sales against the reputed top selling car maker in the US General Motors Corporation. The Japanese car maker was even reported to overpower GMC this year.

The news last week revealed that the Japanese car maker is looking between Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido as well as the northern region of the main island where they can build their new Japanese assembly plant.

The automaker’s official also revealed that Japan is the best place where certain models like hybrid cars and luxury cars can be made best. The automaker is also looking into building more cars with better mileage in the new plant.

We can never deny the fact that almost all car makers are venturing into hybrid cars because of this vehicle’s popularity. Japanese car makers are the number one producers of these hybrid cars making them build more facility plants for their hybrid cars.

Toyota also revealed that the plant in southern Japan will be doubling its production of luxury cars for the different markets of the world.

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Green fabric From Mazda

September 15, 2007 Leave a comment

Automakers like Toyota, Honda, and General Motors as well as Nissan are focusing on the development of the so-called green vehicles. We already have the Prius. That looks weird but it saves a lot of fuel. The Insight, looks even weirder which might be the reason it has gone the way of dodos, but is also very frugal at the pump. Then we have promises from General Motors. These promises include the Chevy Volt (a sleek car that may not look as good when it comes to production), the Opel Flextreme and the plug-in Vue. Although the Yukon and Tahoe Hybrids are coming this fall, I still count them as promises.
While these automakers are so absorbed in the greeness of a vehicle, other automakers are striving to make green auto components. Although paint may not be considered as a component, I would just like to add here that Ford has succeeded in making the painting process a much greener task. The fumes given off during spray painting new cars are recycled by the automaker to be used as fuel. And then, there’s this automaker from Japan known for the use of Wankel engines – Mazda.

The automaker which also makes the Mazda control arm recently announced that they have created the first fabric derived from plant fibers for automotive application. The biofabric, as the material is called, was made by the automaker in partnership with other Japanese companies which are Teijin Limited and Teijin Fibers Limited. According to them, the biofabric does not contain any traces of oil-based materials.

The fabric will be used as seat covers and door trims for the Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid which will be unveiled by the automaker at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show this October. For those who are wondering what the Premacy looks like, well, in the United States and in Europe, the Premacy goes by the name of Mazda5.

“Mazda succeeded in developing this 100 percent plant-derived biofabric for use in vehicle interiors by leveraging the technical expertise we have amassed in the Hiroshima area,” said the company’s senior executive officer for R&D Seita Kanai. “We are convinced that our new technology, which enables the manufacture of this material without any oil-based resources, will become a cornerstone for future biotechnologies aimed at reducing the burden on the environment. Mazda, working together with our locally-based partners, will continue its research and development programs aimed at achieving a future car society that is eco-friendly,” he added further.

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Sunday’s Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 Results

September 15, 2007 Leave a comment

MotorSport.com released Sunday’s Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 results. Among the 22 competing car racers, Dario Franchitti from Scotland was able to win the grand price with an impressive result of 200 laps in 1 hour, 44 minutes and 53.7950 seconds at 279.783 kph. Scott Dixon of New Zealand followed on the second spot with 200 laps as well making Sam Hornish Jr. of United States catch the third spot garnering a total of 199 laps close to 198 laps given by Ryan Hunter-Reay of United States on the seventh spot.

These car racing teams battled up to win the grand prize displaying their gorgeous car parts like the spoilers, Chevy brake pads and many more.

Motorsport had quoted Franchitti saying, “They were telling me it’s close on fuel. When he (Dixon) ran out of fuel he wiggled a little, and I had to dodge him by going high. After I collected the car I knew we had won the race, and won the championship.”

Dixon was also disappointed with the result but he was quoted by Motorsport saying, “I can take being beaten on the track in the heat of battle, but it’s a little harder running out of fuel. Ultimately it was about mileage and we didn’t make any today.”

Herald Tribune released these eesults from Sunday’s Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 on their official website.

1. Dario Franchitti, Scotland, 200 laps, 1 hour, 44 minutes, 53.7950 seconds, 279.783 kph (173.886 mph).
2. Scott Dixon, New Zealand, 200, 1.8439 seconds behind.
3. Sam Hornish Jr., United States, 199.
4. Helio Castroneves, Brazil, 199.
5. Scott Sharp, United States, 199.
6. Tony Kanaan, Brazil, 199.
7. Ryan Hunter-Reay, United States, 198.
8. Hideki Mutoh, Japan, 198.
9. Buddy Rice, United States, 198.
10. A.J. Foyt IV, United States, 198.
11. Danica Patrick, United States, 198.
12. Sarah Fisher, United States, 196.
13. Dan Wheldon, England, 193, out of fuel.
14. Marty Roth, Canada, 190.
15. Milka Duno, Argentina, 184.
16. Ed Carpenter, United States, 164.
17. Kosuke Matsuura, Japan, 156, electrical.
18. Vitor Meira, Brazil, 133, contact.
19. P.J. Chesson, United States, 94.
20. Tomas Scheckter, South Africa, 73, mechanical.
21. Darren Manning, England, 62, mechanical.
22. Marco Andretti, United States, 34, contact.

Point Standings
1. Dario Franchitti, Scotland, 637.
2. Scott Dixon, New Zealand, 624.
3. Tony Kanaan, Brazil, 576.
4. Dan Wheldon, England, 466.
5. Sam Hornish Jr., United States, 465.
6. Helio Castroneves, Brazil, 446.
7. Danica Patrick, United States, 424.
8. Scott Sharp, United States, 412.
9. Buddy Rice, United States, 360.
10. Tomas Scheckter, South Africa, 357.

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Jaguar XF In Frankfurt: The Debut!

September 12, 2007 Leave a comment

The long days of waiting are all over! The 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show has opened its doors to all automotive eyes and enthusiasts! Now is the right time to unveil the best concept units and the best 2008 year model vehicles! The event holds the launching of all awesome cars that are expected to create an impact to the industry soon. And of course, the show is highlighted with ground-breaking concept cars for the future! Oh yes, the future of the automotive industry is clearly obvious – it’ll be successful for sure! These cars are the solid evidence that shows a good tomorrow for the automobile world. It is as clear as a windshield wiped down by a Mercedes Benz wiper blade!

One of the debuting vehicles that are very much anticipated by critics and fans is the Jaguar XF! The cat has been missed by its fans because it has rested for quite awhile. But fans don’t need to worry because the Jaguar is here with a brand new sedan – the Jaguar XF! The crowd will never be disappointed because this brand new sedan is packed with a lot of splendid features that will satisfy consumers way beyond their expectations.

“The XF is a stage in a personal journey for me. It has always been my career goal to return Jaguar to its rightful place as leader in automotive design. Cars like the original XJ6 left a lasting legacy and my ambition has been to create something as seminal. The XF is that car,” says Ian Callum, the Jaguar Design director in a featured story in Media.Ford.com.

According to the article, the Jaguar’s new design direction was first utilized in the XK sports car and the XF is the next step that follows. Indeed, the XF’s proportions are closely matched to the XK – the angle of the windshield rake being the same on both cars. Callum and his team aimed for a sporty, muscular look and gave the XF an extensive outline inspired by the XK with a powerful grille and well-built shoulders. One-piece headlights wrap around the corners onto the front wings together with the grille.

“It was time for Jaguar to be bold and the XF fits that brief perfectly. With its dramatic styling, powerful yet beautiful flowing lines and a distinctive face, the new XF looks like no other Jaguar sedan – and yet it could only be a Jaguar,” says Wayne Burgess, the XF senior manager for Jaguar Design.

“The engineering disciplines behind the XF are as ground-breaking as its new design language,” said Phil Hodgkinson, the Jaguar Programmes director. “New development processes and computer tools allowed us to work through the program at a quicker pace than anything previously. New technologies and materials combine strength with lightness.”

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Frankfurt Reveals Race-Inspired Aston Martin Cars

September 10, 2007 Leave a comment

Gorgeous looking cars are lining up for the upcoming Frankfurt Auto Show which is happening this September 11. Almost every car maker has a piece their whole line of car models to show off. Japanese car makers are also giving more new technologies to the cars that they are going to reveal on the mentioned show. Concepts and production cars will also pile up the entire European car show. Audi cars are also mentioned to show up with their new car parts like those Audi tail lights, Audi hoods and many more.

Of course, nothing beats the original James Bond car. Of course I am talking about Aston Martin. After it was completely sold to the private equity group who are the new owners of the UK luxury car, Aston Martin is back – and perhaps with more colors to spread. And now, the new Aston Martin reveals another batch of amazing vehicles with two limited-edition models at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The DB9 LM and the V8 Vantage 400 will be the newest hottest car models of Aston Martin and they would be parking their gorgeousness on the said show. The maker also announced that the presence of these new cars was inculcated with racing events.

The Aston Martin gave the DB9 LM a sportier new look from the 24-hour Le Mans race last June. It was derived from the DBR9. However, the new car which is going to show up on the auto show does not wear a fire extinguisher and roll cage but it has the Sport Pack including a revised suspension as well as the diamond-turned alloy wheels and color-keyed features as options. The interior parts are also painted with silver coats and there would also be an elegance attached to the leather upholstery on the seats.

The V8 Vantage 400 also had its platform taken from the 24-hour Nürburgring race last June. The N24 that was driven by the Aston Martin’s Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Bez was given a production vehicle standing as the V8 Vantage 400. It handles the same engine part of a V8 4.3L engine with 400 horsepower running on a 310 pound-feet of torque. It is also offered in a sport package.

So if you think being at the Frankfurt Auto Show is a bore, then think again. Hmm… two gorgeous sporty Aston Martin vehicles will be there. You don’t want to miss that, do you?

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