Toyota Motor Sales USA has announced that its Tundra full-size pickup is scheduled to be the to the vehicle that drags the space shuttle Endeavour on the final leg of its journey to the California Science Center on October 13. The California Science Center will be the final resting place for the Endeavour. I mentioned previously that the space shuttle's trip down some Los Angeles streets required the removal of old-growth trees, angering some Los Angeles residents.
Yesterday Toyota handed the keys to its RAV4 EV over to car geeks in the media for the first time. Along with allowing the first non-Toyota folks to drive the new EV also comes a slew of new statistics and facts about the electric SUV. The RAV4 EV is completely electric powered and will arrive in select California dealerships later this summer.
Toyota will recall 778,000 cars and SUVs across the US and Canada, the company has admitted, having identified a problem with the suspension that could cause it to unexpectedly collapse. The recall, Toyota said, predominantly affects the RAV4, with 760,000 models impacted, though around 18,000 Lexus HS 250h sedans are also affected. However, the company also says that it is still working on a fix, and will have to notify owners when it's ready.
Toyota can't seem to catch a break from cars that are desperate to accelerate, with the Japanese company recalling a further 144,000 vehicles after spotting issues with mats jamming the gas pedal. Two models of 2010 Lexus SUV - including Toyota's hybrid version - have been added to an existing recall over concerns that the floor mats could inadvertently cause the accelerator pedal to jam.
BMW and Toyota have inked an extension to their collaboration agreement, working together on fuel cells, electric powertrains, lightweight components and, most excitingly, "a future sports vehicle." The new memorandum of understanding (MoU) will see the German and Japanese companies team up for "long-term strategic collaboration" with BMW bringing its sportscar prowess and Toyota its green technologies expertise to the table.
Verizon is hoping to get your next car online, launching the 4G Venture Forum for Connected Cars to push LTE integration - along with the cloud, mobile content and more - into dashboards. A partnership with BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Kia and Toyota, along with links to MIT, the 4G Venture Forum for Connected Cars "will collaborate and explore ways to deliver connectivity to vehicles of all types, by leveraging open standards and discussing ways to accelerate development of the 4G LTE ecosystem across automotive OEMs, suppliers, device manufacturers, application developers and content publishers."
The Nintendo DS is finding all sorts of uses outside of gaming, from school use to museum touring. And now the handheld can fill a new role in Toyota vehicles. In Japan, Toyota has begun offering a game card called Kuruma de DS, which allows DS owners to pair their handheld with their Toyota Smart Navi car navigation system so that the DS can be used like a remote control by passengers.
California has gained a reputation as one of the scripted governmental bodies in the world when it comes to the environment, and like it or not, there's no denying that its legislation drives green technology. At the moment the top six automakers in the state - Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda and Nissan - are required to sell a certain number of all-electric or fuel-cell cars every year. California has updated its mandate so that by 2018, any automaker that sells 20,000 vehicles or more in the state will also be held accountable.
Slowly but surely we’re seeing more electric cars headed to production, and for an affordable price. Toyota yesterday took the wraps off its much awaited RAV4 EV at the Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles. The electric SUV is expected to have a 100 mile range on a single charge, and will take around 6 hours to recharge with a 240V/40A adapter. Toyota say that the driving performance of the electric version will be just as good as the gas powered RAV4 V6.