So Long, Toyota FJ Cruiser

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Sometimes automakers quietly scuttle a car at the end of its run. Others throw a last hurrah, like the Volkswagen New Beetle Final Edition. Toyota, it seems, took a page from the latter playbook with the FJ Cruiser Trail Teams Ultimate Edition, which signals an end to the SUV's eight-model-year run. It hits dealerships in February 2014.

Toyota will build just 2,500 Trail Teams Ultimate Editions, which the automaker calls the "toughest and most capable FJ ever." The trim sports its own paint — a unique white grille frame and TTUE-specific blue — plus an off-road suspension with Toyota Racing Development springs and Bilstein race shocks, a quarter-inch-thick skid plate, rock rails, a roof rack and 16-inch alloy wheels with massive BF Goodrich A/T KO tires.

By Kelsey Mays | November 6, 2013 | Comments (5)

Recall Alert: 2007-13 Toyota FJ Cruiser

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Toyota is recalling 11,489 model-year 2007-13 FJ Cruiser SUVs due to auxiliary headlights that do not comply with federal safety standards for brightness, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The affected vehicles were manufactured between Jan. 25, 2006, and Feb. 23, 2013, and are equipped with a Toyota Auxiliary Driving Lamp Kit mounted to the front bumper. These lamp assemblies include 55-watt bulbs that, in combination with the upper beam headlights, are too bright and exceed the maximum light output allowed by federal safety standards. Excessively bright lamps could temporarily blind oncoming drivers, increasing the risk of a crash.

Toyota said it will begin notifying owners later this month, and dealers will replace the 55-watt bulbs with 35-watt bulbs for free. Owners can call Toyota at 800-331-4331 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236, or for more info, go to www.safercar.gov.

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By Matt Schmitz | May 3, 2013 | Comments (3)

Recall Alert: 2007-13 Toyota FJ Cruiser

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Toyota is voluntarily recalling 209,000 model-year 2007-13 FJ Cruiser SUVs due to a problem with the driver and front passenger seat belts.

According to Toyota, the seat belt retractors for the driver and front passenger are mounted in the vehicle's rear access doors; due to insufficient strength of the rear door panel, cracks may develop over an extended period of time if the rear door is repeatedly and forcefully closed. If cracks occur in the panel around the lower seat belt retractor anchor, the seat belt retractor may become detached. No accidents or injuries have occurred as a result of this problem, Toyota stated.

Toyota said it will begin notifying affected owners in the "near future," and dealers will fix the problem for free. For more info, owners can call Toyota at 800-331-4331 or go to www.toyota.com/recall.

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By Matt Schmitz | March 15, 2013 | Comments (2)

Recall Alert: 3,235 2009-13 Toyotas

Toyota
Southeast Toyota Distributors is recalling 3,235 vehicles spanning model-years 2009-13 due to problems with the occupant sensing system, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The affected vehicles were modified by Southeast Toyota Distributors to include accessories such as leather seat covers, seat heaters or head-restraint DVD system. During the installation process, the passenger seat occupant sensing system may not have been tested. This could cause the airbags to not deploy or to deploy inappropriately for the passenger's size, increasing the risk of injury. 

By Jennifer Geiger | January 28, 2013 | Comments (2)

Recall Alert: 2007-2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser

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Toyota is recalling 655 model-year 2007-12 versions of the FJ Cruiser SUV due to problems with an accessory brake kit, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The affected vehicles use Toyota Racing Development (TRD) brake kits P/N PTR09-35070 and TRD High-Performance brake kits P/N PTR09-35100. Improper installation of the kits could damage the outer brake tube because of interference with the balance weight. Brake fluid could leak from the damaged tube, resulting in loss of braking performance and an increased risk of an accident.

Toyota will notify owners starting in mid-November, and dealers will replace the affected parts for free. Owners can call Toyota at 800-331-4331or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more info.

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By Jennifer Geiger | October 31, 2012 | Comments (0)

Car Backseats to Avoid

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Car shoppers without families often overlook the backseat. It can go empty weeks at a time, until friends jump in for that trip across town and find out Johnny's shiny new ride has a backseat best suited for groceries, overcoats and Hobbits. No one expects a two-door hatchback or sports car to offer much room in back, so we've picked cars that look like they should have decent room … but don't. If Johnny pulls up in one of these, call dibs for the front seat right away. You'll thank us later.

By Kelsey Mays | August 15, 2012 | Comments (13)

Recall Alert: 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser, 2009-11 Tundra

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Toyota is recalling 1,489 FJ Cruiser and Tundra vehicles because the tire pressure monitoring system may not be properly calibrated, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In certain 2011 FJ Cruisers and 2009-11 Tundras sold with accessory light-truck tires, the tire pressure warning lamp may not illuminate if the pressure in any of the tires falls below the threshold for when the lamp should light up. Driving with underinflated tires increases the risk of tire failure and could lead to a crash.

The recall is expected to begin next month. Dealers will properly calibrate the tire pressure monitoring system at no charge. For more info, owners can call Gulf States Toyota at 800-444-1074 or NHTSA’s vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236.

By Dave Lee | March 28, 2011 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 22,000 Toyota Vehicles

Toyota Tundra

Toyota is recalling about 22,000 vehicles from the 2008-11 model years because the tire pressure monitoring system in these vehicles was not properly calibrated, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The recall affects the 2008-11 Toyota FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser, Sequoia, Tacoma and Tundra.

In the affected vehicles, the tire pressure warning light will not illuminate at the required minimum activation pressure. This could lead to tire failure and increase the risk of a crash.

Dealers will re-initialize the system to restore the proper calibration at no charge. Owners can call Toyota at 800-331-4331 or NHTSA’s vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236.

By Dave Lee | March 7, 2011 | Comments (0)

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