Toyota Recalls 3.8M Cars for Floormat Issue

Toyota TundraToyota announced yesterday that they would recall 3.8 million cars in the United States in what is the largest ever U.S. recall. The removable floor mats can cause the accelerator to stick and push vehicles to speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour. Toyota is working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for a fix.

They advise that you remove the floor mat on the driver’s side immediately.

The following vehicles are affected:

  • 2007-2010 model year Toyota Camry
  • 2005-2010 Toyota Avalon
  • 2004-2009 Toyota Prius
  • 2005-2010 Tacoma
  • 2007-2010 Toyota Tundra
  • 2007-2010 Lexus ES350
  • 2006-2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350.

Their advice, if the car is accelerating out of control, is to step on the brake pedal with both feet, then try to put the car into neutral and switch the ignition to accessory power (where only the radio is on). Don’t turn off the power or the steering wheel will lock up. If you have a start/stop button, like in the Prius, you can hold the button down for three seconds to shut off the engine.

Toyota to recall 3.8M vehicles over floor mats [Associated Press]

(Photo: alexdixon )


Buying A Prius Is An Emotional Decision

Toyota PriusHave you seen all the Toyota Prius commercials lately? The ones with the people dressed up as foliage and climbing on top of one another? It was to highlight how “green” the vehicles are and announce that Prius was launching another generation of the hugely popular hybrid-electric. At first, my wife didn’t even realize they were people and I, to this day, think it’s just a little bit creepy. 🙂

However, despite the creepiness of the ads and the whole slew of new hybrid-electric cars, I still would love to have a Prius (or a Tesla!). The only problem I have is that it’s not a financially sound decision. It’s an emotional one (which is fine too!).

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Test Drove the Toyota Prius

Toyota PriusLast weekend, on July 4th no less, my wife and I stopped by our local Toyota dealership and test drove a Prius. Fortunately for us, neither one of us drives a gas guzzler (I drive a 2003 Toyota Celica and my wife drives a 2004 Honda Civic) and neither one of will need a replacement car for quite some time but with a day off and being in the neighborhood running errands, we figured stopping by would be a fun little diversion. Our friends from New York own a Prius, which they love, and we’ve ridden in it before, but never really “test drove,” complete with salesperson pointing out every last feature. Overall, we were impressed and it certainly would be on the short list of vehicles we’d consider if we were to replace either of our cars.

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Top 10 Highest Mileage Cars in 2008

With the price of a barrel of oil around $100 and the price of a gallon of gasoline inching towards $4, you’ve probably got fuel on the brain this year. If you also have a new (or new to you) car on the brain as well, you might want to know the top 10 fuel efficient MPG cars of 2008 right? Well, if you scour the EPA website, you’d get the following list of top 10 (with ties) cars.

But, before we hit the actual list, here are some interesting, but not surprising, points worth noting:

  • All vehicles have 4 cylinder engines.
  • All mileages are based on the new EPA MPG testing guidelines.
  • The average is a weighted average based on 55% city driving, 45% highway driving.
  • A lot of Toyota’s and Honda’s on the list but there are some American cars on the list like the Ford Escape Hybrid and Mercury Mariner.
  • The first seven cars on the list are hybrids, three of those are SUVs!
  • All of the cars are capable of going over 30 MPG.
  • The number #1 vehicle, the Toyota Prius, has a starting MSRP of $21,200 (but you have to get on a waiting list!).
  • The number #10 vehicle, the Honda Fit, has a starting MSRP of around $13,950 – very reasonable for a 30.2 MPG (if that truly is important to you).
Rank Vehicle Vehicle Type City MPG Highway MPG Avg. MPG
1 Toyota Prius, 1.5L, Auto (CVT), HEV Sedan 48 45 46.7
2 Honda Civic Hybrid, 1.3L, Auto (CVT), HEV Small Car 40 45 42.3
3 Nissan Altima Hybrid, 2.5L, Auto (CVT), HEV Sedan 35 33 34.1
4 Toyota Camry Hybrid, 2.4L, Auto (CVT), HEV Sedan 33 34 33.5
5 Mercury Mariner Hybrid FWD, 2.3L, Auto (CVT) SUV 34 30 32.2
5 Mazda Tribute Hybrid 2WD, 2.3L, Auto (CVT) SUV 34 30 32.2
5 Ford Escape Hybrid FWD, 2.3L, Auto (CVT) SUV 34 30 32.2
6 Toyota Yaris, 1.5L, Man(5) Small Car, Hatchback 29 36 32.2
7 Toyota Corolla, 1.8L, Man(5) Small Car 28 37 32.1
8 Toyota Yaris, 1.5 L, Auto(4) Small Car, Hatchback 29 35 31.7
9 Honda Fit, 1.5L, Man(5) Small Car, Hatchback 28 34 30.7
10 Honda Fit, 1.5L, Auto(5) Small Car, Hatchback 27 34 30.2

Curious about what #11 was? Not too exciting, it is the Automatic transmission version of the #7 car, the Toyota Corolla.

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