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Toyota is giving college students a sweet graduation present – a $1,000 rebate off a new car.
This rebate will come in handy, especially now that you have all those student loans to pay off. Running through Jan. 2, 2013, the rebate program will be available to students that meet certain education requirements. Open to recent college graduates and students who have graduated in the past two years, you’ll need proof of your college status to get that grand back.
As well as a diploma or degree, you’ll also need proof of employment. It does make sense… you do need to pay for that new ride. We’re not sure if your head fryer position at McDonald’s counts as steady full-time employment.
If you’ve got all that going for you, it’s time to pick your car. Grads will have their choice of the Toyota Camry (gas only), Corolla, Matrix, RAV4, Tacoma, Yaris, and all of the Scion models.
There’s one more thing – even if you qualify for the rebate, you’ll have to buy your new Toyota from one the 175 Toyota dealers serviced by Southeast Toyota Finance in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
You can check out all of the requirements in full detail at the Southeast Toyota Finance website.
[Source: The Car Connection]
Following up on Tesla’s battery problems, we got a chance to talk to Toyota about the upcoming RAV4-EV.
Toyota has been working closely with Tesla in developing their electric crossover. We were curious to see if the issue that is now worrying owners of Tesla Roadsters will be a problem with Toyota’s vehicle as well.
Jana Hartline, Toyota’s Environmental Communications Manager, told us “the powertrain system in our RAV4-EV will feature multiple safeguards designed to avoid full depletion of battery state-of-charge.” She didn’t comment further on what those safeguards are, but it may fall in line with what other EV manufacturers do.
The issue here stemmed from Tesla Roadster that was left with its battery fully depleted for two months. Afterwards the car could not accept a charge, and required a $40,000 repair.
While it’s good to hear that Toyota’s RAV4-EV has safeguards in place, the much larger issue is whether or not this is a fate that all electric vehicles can suffer.
There has been a trend of high profile NHTSA investigations recently, the most notable being Toyota‘s unintended acceleration and GM‘s Chevy Volt fire hazard. Although both cases have closed, NHTSA has announced a new case involving 830,000 Toyota vehicles for possible fire hazards.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are investigating a possible fire hazard that affects 830,000 Toyota vehicles made in 2007. This investigation consists the 2007 Toyota Camry, Solara, and RAV4. According to reports, Toyota owners have complained of a fire originating from the driver’s door. In a particular report, an owner claimed that a burning odor came from the door, then ignited in flames and destroyed the vehicle. No injuries were reported. Investigators believe it is a malfunction of the master switch controlling power windows.
Recently, Honda has also recalled a million CR-V and Fit models for defected power-window master switches that caused fires.
Before it was floor mats, now its power window switches. Sometimes the smallest components seem to cause Toyota the biggest problems.
The Canadian and Ontario governments both gave Toyota $140 million to jump-start its production capabilities, allowing the company to upgrade its factories in the province. Citizens of Ontario can receive up to $8,500 CAD in incentives to switch to electric, as a way for Ontario to ensure that 1 out of 20 cars will be juiced-up by 2020.
The electric RAV4, which can go 160 miles on a full charge, was shown at the LA Auto Show in November, before Toyota had decided on a final site for production. Many believed that it would be built at the old NUMMI plant, alongside Tesla Motors, but it turns out that the Fremont, California site is all Tesla’s. That company will also be supplying electric components to Toyota—a nice return on investment, seeing as Toyota owns 2.9% of the company.
GALLERY: Toyota RAV4 EV
[Source: CBC News]
Toyota has decided that the RAV4 electronic vehicle will not be made available to consumers. According to Geri Yoza, Toyota’s national business planning manager of advanced vehicle marketing, the vehicle will instead be focused for “very strategic applications” such as fleets and car sharing programs.
The RAV4 EV has made use of Tesla’s electric drivetrain and has been tested with 160 users receiving positive feedback, according to Yoza. Testers charged the RAV4 more frequently (around 10 times a week), costing $150 for six weeks.
This is Toyota’s first RAV4 EV after first launching the vehicle 15 years ago in 1996. The EV is the first vehicle in the world powered by nickel-metal hydride batteries, capable of achieving 78 mph (125 km/h) and a maximum range of 120 miles (190 km). The RAV4 is expected to arrive in the U.S by the first quarter of 2012.
GALLERY: Toyota RAV4 EV
Toyota is conducting a voluntary recall for RAV4 and Highlander models in America, to replace the side curtain airbag sensor assembly.
On certain RAV4s built between 2007 and 2008 and Highlanders from 2008, there are two side curtain sensors that detect the side angle of a vehicle during a rollover. These sensors could fail and illuminate the airbag warning light, which would prevent the rollover detection system from activating. If both of these sensors fail, however, the side airbags could be fooled into thinking a rollover has actually happened, and deploy.
Only North American vehicles have this feature, and no other Toyota or Lexus cars around the world are affected. None of the 214,000 RAV4s or 94,000 Highlanders affected have actually deployed their airbags, but given Toyota’s recent history with recalls it’s fair to say that they are not taking any chances.