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Archive for February, 2010

Toyota To Implement Brake-Override System in Future Models

February 17th, 2010

4836672_e7250a908fEarlier this morning, Toyota President Akio Toyoda announced that all future Toyotas will include a brake-override system which will basically disengage power transferred from the engine to the transmission when BOTH the accelerator and brake pedal are simultaneously pushed.  What’s good about this is that the auxiliary systems like the brakes and steering will still function normally, allowing the driver to safely steer and slow the car down.   From the outset, this seemed like a simple enough fix for a complex problem.

Our Take

In emergency situations, we still believe that a more intuitive approach is the best approach, period.   Placing the “off” button  next to the “power/on” button on the dashboard of every Toyota would have been better, though it’s probably not the most cost-effective solution.

The reasoning is that people are more apt to look for and/or push an “off” button for something that is on.  Detractors of the solution will argue that most devices like televisions and computers only have one button, serving as both the “on” and “off” button.  But then again, we’ve never had to turn a TV or PC on or off in an emergency that involved our life…

Do you agree?  We want to hear what you think.  Post a comment below.


Toyota Temporarily Shuts Down Two U.S. Factories

February 16th, 2010

With the number of cars recalled by Toyota totaling eight million worldwide, the automaker certainly has its hands full. With that in mind, Toyota has shut down two U.S. factories—one in Georgetown, Kentucky for four days and one in San Antonio, Texas for ten days.

While no one knows what the outcome of Toyota’s upcoming congressional hearings will be, it will most likely be awhile before the company’s reputation is fully repaired. Meanwhile, Toyota reports that its dealers are working around the clock to fix the millions of sticking accelerator pedals brought in by customers and claims that around 50,000 cars are fixed per day.


Nissan Taking Orders for All-Electric Leaf By August

February 12th, 2010

In spite of all the recalls being issued and negative press regarding certain other Japanese automakers, Nissan is charging ahead with their innovative 2011 Leaf and plans to start taking orders by August 2010. While electric cars are nothing new, the Leaf, according to Nissan, is the first all-electric vehicle designed for the mass market.

When you consider that all previous electric models have only been available for lease, the fact that Nissan plans to make the Leaf available for purchase shows the company’s faith in all-electric technology. More than 50,000 potential customers have already signed up for the latest updates on the Leaf on Nissan’s new website, so you can expect those slots on the waiting list to fill up fairly quick.

Nissan says the first Leaf models could be delivered as early as December 2010 in select North American markets, so seeing the Leaf (in production form) on the road isn’t too far away. Pricing for the Leaf will be announced in April and an official waiting list will be set up shortly after where you can put down a fully-refundable $100 reservation fee for your own all-electric, zero-emission 2011 Nissan Leaf. Sign up here to keep up with all the details on the Leaf’s upcoming release.


Top Ten Cars to Look Forward to in 2010: #1 Ford Fiesta

February 11th, 2010


The single most important car for Ford this decade will be the all-new 2011 Ford Fiesta.  It also happens to be the CarsDirect #1 Car to Look Forward to in 2010.  Commuters and enthusiasts alike will have another option in the highly-competitive subcompact car segment, and this option pushes its way to the top of our list because it offers the most value in its class, which is a feat in itself because it will go head-to-head with the ultra-popular Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris and Nissan Versa.

[Compare Specs: 2011 Ford Fiesta, 2010 Honda Fit, 2010 Toyota Yaris and 2010 Nissan Vera]

The 2011 Ford Fiesta is offered with either a 1.4-liter (95 hp) or 1.6-liter (118 hp) four-cylinder engine and a class-first: an optional six-speed automatic transmission, which helps the Fiesta get a remarkable 40 mpg on the highway.

Class-leading fuel economy, edgy European styling and a bargain basement price of $13,320* all add up to offer the car shopper extraordinary value.  On sale now.

Click here to get 2011 Ford Fiesta pricing in your area.


Honda Recalls 947,913 Vehicles Globally

February 10th, 2010

Earlier this morning, Honda said that it is recalling an additional 437,763 vehicles worldwide to fix the driver-side airbags in all 2001 and 2002 models like the Accord, Civic and CR-VThis includes approximately 378,758 vehicles here in the United States.

The problem lies in the design and discharge of the airbag’s deployment, namely, the inflation of the airbag.  Apparently, the driver-side airbags in 2001 and 2002 vehicles can deploy with enough force to rupture the inflator casing.  When the airbag gets deployed, the force generated from the airbag’s propellant might shatter the inflator’s casing, which could potentially shoot through the bag and injure occupants.

Honda’s website stated that a total of 12 incidents were reported, with one fatality.

Honda Vehicles listed in the recall include:

  • 2001-2002 Honda Accord
  • 2001-2002 Honda Civic
  • 2001-2002 Honda CR-V
  • 2001-2002 Honda Odyssey
  • 2002 Acura TL*

*Not all 2002 model year Acura TLs.

What to do if you own one of these vehicles:

Honda will be sending you a notice in the mail on where to take your vehicle for the repair.  If you are unsure as to whether or not your vehicle is part of the recall, click here to find a Honda dealer in your neighborhood.  If you still have questions, feel free to email me at: