toyota http://michiganradio.org en Are U.S. consumers facing recall fatigue? http://michiganradio.org/post/are-us-consumers-facing-recall-fatigue <p>General Motors has been in the headlines recently over its recall of more than 1.5 million vehicles due to ignition switch problems that are being blamed for some 13 deaths.</p><p>Toyota is also in the news after having agreed to pay more than $1 billion to settle with the Justice Department over a delayed recall of millions of its vehicles.</p><p>But are U.S. consumers facing recall fatigue?</p><p>Sonari Glinton covers the auto industry for NPR, and he joined us today.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 19:45:02 +0000 Stateside Staff 16965 at http://michiganradio.org Are U.S. consumers facing recall fatigue? Ford, Toyota end collaboration on hybrid trucks http://michiganradio.org/post/ford-toyota-end-collaboration-hybrid-trucks <div><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) -&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Ford and Toyota are ending joint research into hybrid systems for trucks and SUVs.&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">The companies said Tuesday that they will each develop the systems independently.</span><br><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Ford and Toyota agreed to the partnership two years ago after the CEOs of both companies met by chance in an airport. Engineers talked frequently and paid visits to each other's labs.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">But Ford product development chief Raj Nair said both companies need to focus on finishing development and putting the systems into vehicles. Ford wants to offer hybrid trucks and SUVs by the end of the decade.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">There is currently no full gas-electric hybrid system on the market for rear-wheel-drive vehicles like trucks. The hybrid systems in Ford and Toyota cars are made for front-wheel-drive vehicles and don't have enough power for trucks.</span></div><div>&nbsp;</div><p> Tue, 23 Jul 2013 20:46:05 +0000 The Associated Press 13661 at http://michiganradio.org Ford, Toyota end collaboration on hybrid trucks Airbag defect prompts large recall for Japanese automakers http://michiganradio.org/post/airbag-defect-prompts-large-recall-japanese-automakers <p>There are regular-old recalls, and then there are big recalls.</p><p>This recall fits in the big recall category.</p><p><a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/11/us-toyota-recall-idUSBRE93A04D20130411">Reuters </a>reports four Japanese automakers are recalling 3.4 million vehicles sold around the world because of faulty airbags supplied by the Takata Corp.</p><blockquote><p><span id="articleText">The move announced on Thursday is the largest recall ever for airbags made by Takata, the world's second largest supplier of airbags and seatbelts. Shares of Takata tumbled almost 10 percent in Tokyo trading.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">The recall is the largest since Toyota pulled back more than 7 million vehicles in October. The scale of the recent safety actions underscore the risk of huge global supply chain problems as automakers increasingly rely on a handful of suppliers for common or similar parts to cut costs, analysts have said.</span></p></blockquote><p><span id="articleText">Here's the problem with the airbags according to <a href="http://pressroom.toyota.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=3862&amp;view_id=34052">Toyota</a>:</span></p><blockquote><p><span>The involved vehicles are equipped with front passenger airbag inflators which could have been assembled with improperly manufactured propellant wafers.&nbsp; Improperly manufactured propellant wafers could cause the inflator to rupture and the front passenger airbag to deploy abnormally in the event of a crash.</span></p></blockquote><p><span>The recall affects Toyotas, Hondas, Nissans, and Mazdas manufactured in or after 2000.</span></p><p>Go to these links to find out if your vehicle is under recall:</p><p><strong><a href="http://owners.honda.com/service-maintenance/recalls">Honda recalls</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.toyota.com/recall">Toyota recalls</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="http://www.nissanextendedwarranty.com/recalls/nissan-recalls.html">Nissan recalls</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="https://www.mymazda.com/MusaWeb/displayRecall.action">Mazda recalls</a></strong> Thu, 11 Apr 2013 15:48:14 +0000 Mark Brush 12095 at http://michiganradio.org Airbag defect prompts large recall for Japanese automakers Ford wants (big) piece of Toyota's Prius hybrid pie http://michiganradio.org/post/ford-wants-big-piece-toyotas-prius-hybrid-pie <p align="LEFT">Ford Motor Company set an all-time record for&nbsp;hybrid sales in December, selling nearly 8,000.&nbsp; About half were C-Max sales, and about half, the hybrid version of the&nbsp;Fusion.</p><p align="LEFT">The company also beat its previous January record for hybrid sales by more than 500%.</p><p align="LEFT">Granted,&nbsp;the total number of hybrid sales for the company isn't much compared to its higher-volume sellers.&nbsp; Ford sold&nbsp;more than 19,000&nbsp;non-hybrid Fusions in January, dwarfing the hybrid Fusion sales of 3,043.</p> Mon, 11 Feb 2013 15:52:12 +0000 Tracy Samilton 11175 at http://michiganradio.org Ford wants (big) piece of Toyota's Prius hybrid pie In this morning's Michigan news headlines... http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-michigan-news-headlines-149 <p><strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Good crowds at this years' Detroit auto show</span></strong></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Another North American International Auto Show has wrapped up, and ticket sales were up yet again. The show drew more than 795,000 people, the best crowd since 2004 according to Chevy dealer and </span>NAIAS<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> committee member Scott </span>LaRiche<span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">"We have seen an actual spring board over the last few years, and we're slowly climbing up there towards that 800,000 mark, and realistically,if you look at it from the standpoint of the media that attended, over 5,500 media, we did break the 800,000 mark," said </span>LaRiche<span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Now the car companies are on to the Chicago for that cities auto show.</span></p><p><strong><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Former Detroit Mayor </span>Kwame<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Kilpatrick's trial continues after weekend jail stay</span></strong></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Kilpatrick corruption trial continues after the former Detroit mayor had to spend the weekend in jail on a separate matter. From the <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130128/METRO01/301280379/Kwame-Kilpatrick-leaves-prison-after-weekend-stay?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE">Associated Press</a>:</span></p><blockquote><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Former Mayor </span>Kwame<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Kilpatrick has been released after spending the weekend in prison for violating parole in a 2008 conviction that booted him from office.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Michigan Corrections Department says Kilpatrick violated parole by not disclosing all financial transactions last fall. He still owes Detroit $855,000 in restitution and must report details about his income and expenses.</span></p></blockquote><div><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Kilpatrick will go from jail to federal court where the corruption case against him and several of his associates has been going on since September.</span><br>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong style="line-height: 1.5;"><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Toyota is King again</span></strong><br>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The </span><a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130128/AUTO0104/301280362/Toyota-dethrones-GM-selling-nearly-9-75-million-vehicles-12?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE" style="line-height: 1.5;">Detroit News</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> says so:</span><br>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Now it's official: Toyota is once again the world's top automaker.</span></div><div>&nbsp;</div><blockquote><div><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Toyota Motor Corp. released its tally for global vehicle sales for last year Monday at a record 9.748 million vehicles — a bigger number than the estimate it gave last month of about 9.7 million vehicles.</span></div><div><span style="line-height: 1.5; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-size: 14px;">It was already clear Toyota had dethroned General Motors Co. as the Detroit-based automaker fell short, selling 9.29 million vehicles.</span></div></blockquote><div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="line-height: 1.5;">GM first lost their top-selling title to Toyota in 2008, then GM regained the title in 2011 after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">2012 showed that Toyota is up and running again.</span><br>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Since we're talking about this horse race, we should note that Volkswagen is close behind as the world's third largest automaker.</span></div><p> Mon, 28 Jan 2013 15:13:46 +0000 Mark Brush 10964 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's Michigan news headlines... Toyota tops GM in global auto sales http://michiganradio.org/post/toyota-tops-gm-global-auto-sales <p>With projected vehicle sales of 9.7 million in 2012, Toyota has once again dethroned General Motors as the world’s top-selling automaker.</p><p>GM increased its global vehicle sales to 9.29 million but could not keep pace with the Japanese automaker as it unveiled new versions of its popular Camry model.</p><p>German automaker Volkswagen followed close behind with 9.07 million in global sales.</p><p>Christine Tierney of The Detroit News <a href="http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130114/AUTO01/301140379/1121/auto01/Toyota-retakes-global-auto-sales-crown-from-GM">has more</a>:</p> Mon, 14 Jan 2013 20:01:23 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 10757 at http://michiganradio.org Toyota tops GM in global auto sales Toyota back to being #1 http://michiganradio.org/post/toyota-back-being-1 <p>Analysts expect Toyota will overtake General Motors this month to become the ‘world’s number one auto maker’.</p><p></p><p>In 2011, Toyota lost its crown as the world’s top auto company, after the company’s auto sales plummeted following questions about safety at Toyota and the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami.</p><p></p><p>But Toyota sales are up this year. The company expects to sell 9.7 million vehicles. That’s more than analysts expect GM will in 2012.</p><p></p> Wed, 26 Dec 2012 22:40:06 +0000 Steve Carmody 10532 at http://michiganradio.org Toyota back to being #1 Toyota pays record fine for delaying recall, failure to report defects http://michiganradio.org/post/toyota-pays-record-fine-delaying-recall-failure-report-defects <p>Toyota Motor Corp. will pay a record $17.35 million fine for its failure to report a safety defect to federal officials and for delaying the subsequent recall.</p><p>The fine, levied by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is the highest civil penalty relating to recall violations ever paid out to the organization, the Detroit Free Press reports.</p><p>More from the <a href="http://www.freep.com/article/20121218/BUSINESS01/121218011/Toyota-fined-maximum-penalty-failing-report-safety-defects">Freep</a>:</p> Tue, 18 Dec 2012 18:51:39 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 10420 at http://michiganradio.org Toyota pays record fine for delaying recall, failure to report defects Toyota Sales up 31 Percent http://michiganradio.org/post/toyota-sales-31-percent <p>Toyota is enjoying big sales for cars and trucks.&nbsp; That’s a tremendous rebound from the start of 2012.</p><p>This month Toyota’s car and truck sales are up 31 percent over a year ago.</p><p>That’s hard to imagine compared to earlier this year - when there was a string of Prius product recalls, and the company struggled to recover from tsunami-related production delays.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 13 Nov 2012 23:06:01 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 9904 at http://michiganradio.org Toyota Sales up 31 Percent Ford's C-Max ads call out Toyota's Prius with gentle humor http://michiganradio.org/post/fords-c-max-ads-call-out-toyotas-prius-gentle-humor <p>Ford Motor Company hopes to earn a place on the hybrid map in the U.S. with its new C-Max.</p><p>The company knows that won't be easy.&nbsp;</p><p>No one comes even close to the dominant sales position of the Toyota Prius line of vehicles - the original Prius, the smaller Prius C, and the larger Prius V.</p><p>Ford's new C-Max has a major bragging point:&nbsp; it beats the fuel economy of the Prius V by&nbsp;7 miles per gallon on the highway.</p><p><span style='font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 11pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;'>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DCykU616W0<span style="display: none;"> </span></span></p><p>The Prius is beloved&nbsp;by its owners; it has&nbsp;one of the highest loyalty ratings of any car.&nbsp;</p><p>So Ford has chosen a&nbsp;gentle style of humor over an aggressive pitch to sell the C-Max.</p><p><span style='font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 11pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;'>Ford today launched a series of ads using a cartoon character, "La Linea," -- a revival of&nbsp;the classic 1970s character from a popular Italian animated children’s series.</span></p><p><span style='font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 11pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;'>The ads show the character overcoming the performance limitations of a Toyota Prius, by driving a Ford C-Max.&nbsp; You can see one of the ads here:</span></p><p>“The ads are done with just the right tonality of competitiveness versus a strong competitor. It clearly positions our product in a fun way,” says <span style='font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 11pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;'>Matt VanDyke, director, U.S. Marketing Communications, Ford Motor Company<span style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span>.</span></p><p><span style='font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 11pt; mso-fareast-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;'> Thu, 04 Oct 2012 14:51:25 +0000 Tracy Samilton 9359 at http://michiganradio.org Ford sets sights on Toyota with C-MAX news http://michiganradio.org/post/ford-sets-sights-toyota-c-max-news <p>Ford Motor Company is taking on Toyota in a market the Japanese automaker once dominated - fuel efficient passenger vehicles. The 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid and Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in Hybrid are going on sale this fall.</p><p>Ford announced today that the 2013 Ford C-MAX can go further on a tank of gas than the Toyota Prius v.</p><ul><li>570 miles for the C-MAX vs. 450 miles for the Prius v.</li></ul><p>The 2013 C-MAX hybrid gas-electric vehicle has an mpg rating that is the same for the city and the highway - 47 mpg. Ford notes that is 7 mpg better than Toyota Prius v on the highway.</p> Mon, 20 Aug 2012 16:30:55 +0000 Mark Brush 8729 at http://michiganradio.org Ford sets sights on Toyota with C-MAX news Toyota recalls RAV4 SUVs and Lexus sedans http://michiganradio.org/post/toyota-recalls-rav4-suvs-and-lexus-sedans <p>Toyota is recalling 778,000 RAV4 SUVs and Lexus HS 250h sedans to fix a suspension problem that could cause crashes.<br /><br />The company says if rear suspension nuts aren&#39;t tightened properly after a wheel alignment, the arms can rust and separate from the vehicle. Toyota reported nine crashes and three minor injuries from the problem.<br /><br />RAV4s covered by the recall are from the 2006 to 2011 model years. The Lexus sedans are from 2010 only.</p><p>Toyota says it&#39;s developing a plan to fix the problem. It will notify owners by mail when it&#39;s time to take the vehicles into dealers for a free repair.</p><p>In the meantime, the company is telling drivers to contact their dealers if they hear an abnormal sound in the rear of the vehicle.</p><p> Thu, 02 Aug 2012 14:12:18 +0000 The Associated Press 8517 at http://michiganradio.org Toyota recalls RAV4 SUVs and Lexus sedans No surprise, June auto sales were good. Surprise, they were better than we thought http://michiganradio.org/post/no-surprise-june-auto-sales-were-good-surprise-they-were-better-we-thought <p align="LEFT">Robust U.S. auto sales have been helping to keep&nbsp;a floor on the U.S. economy for months, and they kept up the good work in June.</p><p align="LEFT">Car sales&nbsp;surpassed the expectations of many analysts.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p align="LEFT">The good news included Detroit car companies.&nbsp; Ford sales rose 7% and Chrysler sales jumped 20% compared to June a year ago.</p><p align="LEFT">General Motors sales increased nearly 16%.</p><p align="LEFT">GM&#39;s Kurt McNeil says he expects a good second half of the year, too.</p> Tue, 03 Jul 2012 21:32:39 +0000 Tracy Samilton 8134 at http://michiganradio.org Japanese car companies 1 year after tsunami http://michiganradio.org/post/japanese-car-companies-1-year-after-tsunami <p>Japanese car sales in the U.S. have nearly recovered, a year after a tsunami devastated parts of Japan.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>The disaster affected many Honda and Toyota suppliers, and the companies&rsquo; car&nbsp;inventories in the U.S. plummeted.&nbsp;</p><p>Michelle Krebs is with Edmunds.com.&nbsp; She says Hyundai and Kia, along with&nbsp;Ford, General Motors and Chrysler, all benefited from the situation.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Mon, 12 Mar 2012 14:38:27 +0000 Tracy Samilton 6595 at http://michiganradio.org Japanese car companies 1 year after tsunami Feds investigate door fires in 2007 Camrys, RAV-4s http://michiganradio.org/post/feds-investigate-door-fires-2007-camrys-rav-4s <p>Federal safety regulators are investigating reports of fires in the driver&#39;s side doors of 2007 Toyota Camry sedans and RAV-4 crossover SUVs.</p><p>The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the problem could affect 830,000 vehicles.</p><p>The safety agency says in documents on its website that the fires appear to start in the power window switch on the door. Six fires have been reported to the agency. No one has been hurt.</p><p>The Camry is the top-selling car in the U.S., and the RAV-4 also is a consistent top seller for Toyota. The probe also includes the Solara, which is a coupe version of the Camry.</p><p>The investigation was opened Monday. It could lead to a recall, but there isn&#39;t one yet. Fri, 10 Feb 2012 14:31:29 +0000 The Associated Press 6176 at http://michiganradio.org GM retakes "top selling automaker" crown... sort of http://michiganradio.org/post/gm-retakes-top-selling-automaker-crown-sort <p>For those of you keeping score at home, it&#39;s GM <strong>9,030,000</strong> to Toyota&#39;s <strong>7,900,000</strong> for 2011.</p><p>Those are &quot;around&quot; numbers for the number of vehicles sold in 2011 by the automakers from the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/general-motors-ousts-toyota-retakes-title-of-worlds-top-selling-automaker/2012/01/19/gIQAqHJ6AQ_story.html">Associated Press</a>.</p><p>GM has retaken a crown it owned for 77 years before Toyota snatched it away in 2008.</p><p>Since that time, Volkswagen has been an up and comer as well. That company is the no. 2 automaker. It sold around 8,160,000 vehicles last year.</p><p>But some argue there&#39;s some fuzzy math going on to make GM the &quot;top automaker&quot; in the world.</p><p>More from the Associated Press:</p><blockquote><p>Some analysts have said that VW is the world&#39;s biggest automaker because GM&#39;s figures include vehicles made by its Wuling joint venture in China. Many don&#39;t count Wuling because GM doesn&#39;t have controlling interest in the company, but GM includes it in global sales figures.</p><p>Excluding Wuling, GM would have been topped by Volkswagen.</p><p>Being the world&#39;s top-selling automaker doesn&#39;t mean much for the bottom line. But GM retaking the title is an example of how far the company has come since its 2009 bankruptcy.</p></blockquote><p><a href="http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-19/gm-takes-crown-selling-more-than-9-million-vehicles-in-2011.html">Bloomberg Business Week&#39;s Tim Higgins</a> quotes one analyst saying the top automaker crown means &quot;bragging rights&quot; and might help with stock prices.</p><p>Higgins writes GM&#39;s stock did go up with the news, but the stock would have to go up significantly before the U.S. government would break even on its investment:</p><blockquote><p class="indent">GM rose 0.5 percent to $24.63 at 11:26 a.m. New York time.</p><p class="indent">The U.S. government still owns almost a third of GM. The government would have to sell its stake at an average of $53 a share to break even. GM earned $6.17 billion in 2010 and $8.47 billion in the first nine months of last year. Thu, 19 Jan 2012 20:15:38 +0000 Mark Brush 5864 at http://michiganradio.org GM retakes "top selling automaker" crown... sort of Toyota aims for 8.48 million vehicle sales in 2012 http://michiganradio.org/post/toyota-aims-848-million-vehicle-sales-2012 <p>TOKYO (AP) - Toyota says it aims to sell 8.48 million vehicles next year as it attempts a comeback from a year battered by the March disaster in Japan and the flooding in Thailand.</p><p>Toyota said in a release Thursday that its target for calendar 2012, which does not include group companies, would represent 20 percent growth from its global sales this year.</p><p>The manufacturer behind the Prius hybrid and Lexus luxury models said it plans to sell 8.95 million vehicles around the world in 2013. Thu, 22 Dec 2011 15:55:47 +0000 The Associated Press 5517 at http://michiganradio.org Toyota aims for 8.48 million vehicle sales in 2012 Toyota could lose "world's largest automaker" title http://michiganradio.org/post/toyota-could-lose-worlds-largest-automaker-title Toyota has sharply downgraded its expectations for what it will earn in the fiscal year that ends in March. Toyota expects a net profit of $2.3 billion for the fiscal year. That’s less than half the profit it predicted in August. The automaker is blaming a strong yen, which makes its vehicles less competitive on prices, outside of Japan. It’s also blaming recent heavy flooding in Thailand, which disrupted the distribution of auto parts. Toyota is on track to lose its title as the world's largest automaker this calendar year. It sank to No. Fri, 09 Dec 2011 17:23:19 +0000 Rina Miller 5319 at http://michiganradio.org Toyota could lose "world's largest automaker" title Toyota recalls half-million vehicles worldwide http://michiganradio.org/post/toyota-recalls-half-million-vehicles-worldwide <p>Toyota announced a voluntary recall today of roughly 550,000 vehicles worldwide in response to a possible issue with&nbsp; a crankshaft pulley that could effect steering. The majority of the recalled vehicles are in the United States.</p><p>The Associated Press reports:</p><blockquote><p>Toyota&#39;s U.S. sales unit said in a statement Wednesday that if the problem isn&#39;t corrected, there is a possibility the belt for the power steering pump may become detached from the pulley.</p><p>The recall affects 283,200 Toyota brand cars and 137,000 Lexus vehicles in the United States, including the 2004 and 2005 Camry, Highlander and Sienna.</p><p>Toyota spokesman Dion Corbett said some 38,000 cars are being recalled in Japan, as well as 25,000 in Australia and New Zealand. Corbett said there have been no reports of accidents or injuries related to the problems. Wed, 09 Nov 2011 19:01:59 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 4908 at http://michiganradio.org Toyota recalls half-million vehicles worldwide Robots for the sick and elderly, Toyota unveils a plan http://michiganradio.org/post/robots-sick-and-elderly-toyota-unveils-plan <p>Officials from Toyota Motor Corporation say the company will start selling robots that help elderly and sick people. The Associated Press reports the company is &quot;aiming for commercial products sometime after 2013.&quot;</p><p>From the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/01/toyota-robots-walking_n_1069266.html?ref=technology">Associated Press</a>:</p><blockquote><p>Toyota unveiled its ambitions for high-tech health care Tuesday, displaying experimental robots that the auto giant says can lift disabled patients from their hospital beds or help them walk.</p><p>The company aims to commercialize products such as its &quot;independent walk assist&quot; device sometime after 2013 &ndash; seeking to position itself in an industry with great potential in Japan, one of the world&#39;s most rapidly aging nations.</p></blockquote><p>Prices and overseas sales plans are still undecided.</p><p>Several years ago, the company demonstrated a violin playing robot:</p><blockquote><p>The 1.5-metre tall Violin-playing Robot, equipped with a total of 17 joints in each of its hands and arms, uses precise control and coordination to achieve human-like agility. It could also be used to assist with domestic duties or nursing and medical care.</p></blockquote><p>Here&#39;s a video of Toyota&#39;s robot playing Pomp and Circumstance:</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9sirG0UEGg Tue, 01 Nov 2011 14:28:00 +0000 Mark Brush 4786 at http://michiganradio.org Robots for the sick and elderly, Toyota unveils a plan