2017 Toyota Accolades

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Will Toyota have a happy new year? Well, it’s certainly shaping up to be award-winning with numerous honors collected in the first two weeks of 2017.

Safety

This week, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Highlander a 2017 TOP SAFETY PICK+. It joins nine other Toyotas that had previously earned the group’s highest safety rating. That’s more than any other manufacturer. Plus, three other vehicles were 2017 TOP SAFETY PICKS. So, that’s a whopping 13 IIHS awards overall so far.

2017 Toyota and Lexus TOP SAFETY PICK+ winners: Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Prius (built after August 2016), Prius v, RAV4, Lexus ES 350, NX, RC and RX.

2017 Toyota and Lexus TOP SAFETY PICK winners: Avalon, Yaris iA and Lexus CT 200h.

Sales

Meanwhile, one Toyota and three Lexus models were named Edmunds Most Wanted vehicles – a new designation by one of the leading car shopping and information online platforms. Individual models were called out in 16 segments based on a combination of market factors such as units sold, days-to-turn and shopper interest as well as editorial opinion. Other than Honda/Acura, no other automaker had more than one vehicle on this new list.

Most Wanted Vehicles in their segments: Sienna, Avalon, Lexus RX 350 and ES 350

Technology

Toyota’s future, though, could be even brighter – based on the response to its Concept-i at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week. Its advanced integration of artificial intelligence, in particular via its Yui personal digital assistant, helped it claim a Mashable “Best Tech of CES 2017” honor, a Popular Mechanics “Editor’s Choice Award” and TechRadar’s “Best Car Tech” designation. And while it didn’t take the top prize, Toyota’s groundbreaking concept vehicle was a “Best Automotive Technology” finalist in Engadget’s “Best of CES” awards.

Environment

At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit this week, Cars.com presented its “Best of 2017” awards and named the 2017 Toyota Prius its “Eco-Friendly Car of the Year.” The popular online car-shopping guide said the latest redesign of the Prius, “the face of the hybrid segment,” addressed its “biggest driving-comfort shortcomings, widening the appeal of the already popular model.”

Design

Rounding out the accolades, the 2018 Lexus LS 500 – unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday – claimed the 2017 EyesOn Design award for Design Excellence – Interior Design. The EyesOn Design awards, officially sanctioned by the show, are selected by a panel of design leaders representing automakers and design schools around the world.

Whew! Just imagine what the next 50 weeks will bring!

(Source: Toyota)

The “Low Tire” Light – Demystified

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The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Light. This little yellow indicator may alarm you, yet it doesn’t mean you need to be afraid of it.

Winter. A word that can be described in many ways and by many elements. It can often times be the test of your vehicle’s ability to perform at its finest. Other than vehicle batteries failing in winter, one common issue that often comes up is the “low tire” light. The Tire Pressure Monitoring System indicator is available in all Toyota vehicles to let you know that your vehicle has loss a specific amount of air pressure. This is especially common in the winter months with fluctuating temperatures. And if you live in Michigan, it is no surprise to have one day be sixty degrees and twenty degrees the next. Scientifically, air expands and contracts with certain temperatures. The tire PSI (Pounds per square inch) may fluctuate from the starting of your vehicle on a cold day until a few minutes into your drive. Without getting into the science too deep, the driven tires create heat and the air (PSI) pressure will expand.

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PSI indicator on a Air Compressor nozzle.

What does science, your tires and weather have to do with all of this?

The TPMS is a computer that reads PSI from each of your tire’s sensors (located in the tire’s valve stems) If the PSI number falls below a certain PSI threshold, the TPMS light goes on indicating that there is a loss in tire pressure. For example, your vehicle’s tires may have a PSI of 35. If the threshold in the system is set to 32 PSI and the tire loses 31 or more PSI, the indicator light may go on. (Please note, all tires, vehicles, systems and PSI thresholds are different. Check with Labadie Toyota or consult your Owner’s Manual for specifics on your particular vehicle.)

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A valve stem located on the tire of a Toyota vehicle. The tire sensor is located in the valve stem inside the tire of most Toyota vehicles.

If your TPMS light comes on, there’s no need to panic. Find a location to safely pull into, walk around the vehicle and look for significantly flat/low tire(s). If you do not see a tire that appears significantly low, drive your vehicle to Labadie Toyota into the Service department bays. A Service Adviser or technician will be able to assist you with inspection and inflation of your tires.

(Tip: It may also be helpful to purchase a tire gauge to keep in your vehicle’s glove compartment to gauge your tire PSI.)

If you are no where near Labadie Toyota, find a fuel station where air is available. Be sure to check the side wall of the tire to ensure the proper PSI for inflation. For example: if you see 40 PSI for proper inflation, inflate the tire a few pounds (PSI) less to allow room for air expansion. If the TPMS light does not go off right away, it may take a few miles down the road until it resets itself depending on the vehicle. (See Owner’s Manual)

In the case the TPMS light is blinking, contact Labadie Toyota to have it diagnosed. This anomaly can be couple of possible issues including a faulty sensor.

For more information, please contact Labadie Toyota on this or any other questions you may have in regards to your Toyota vehicle.

You can also read more about the TPMS on Toyota’s website here:

http://www.toyota.com/search/search.html?keyword=tpms&locale=en

 

 

 

A Modern Dealership Experience

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A beautiful 2015 Toyota Highlander hanging out in our front lot.

When you thought about the 21st Century initially, did you think of flying cars? Sounds like a great concept, in theory, but what are the ways it could improve our lives more so than the expansion of digital communication? That is, unless we were able to travel safely in a flying car from A to B at the speed of a Google search. (Dangerous, no?)

With the digital age upon us and constantly growing, ways of life are changing from personal to business. How we connect with people, brands, buy and sell is affected by the world around us. Ratings, reviews, media and accessibility to products and services drive us to choose business A over business B. To some, the many avenues to solve a problem or make a purchase is way too clouded with digital noise and to others, every new avenue on either end is an opportunity.  The concept behind a modern car dealership experience should be no different.

We’re taking a dive into the modern dealership experience here at Labadie Toyota, But wait! Before you think we’re going completely all digital, let me clarify, we’re not.

The modern dealership experience is simply this; excellent buying experience while we provide you with the tools and lines of communication to reach out to our various departments. This year we launched a brand new (and ever expanding) website for mobile, desktop, tablet and game console viewing convenience. We now can connect with you through email, phone, texting, social media messaging (Facebook, etc) and the old-fashion method of you stopping by to visit us. :) We’re listening to your suggestions and we focus on the areas of opportunity may be for further revision. Lastly, we’re still putting you in contact with a real, live, human sales professional who will guide you in the right direction. This is very good news for you and it is all apart of our efforts to provide our take on the modern dealership experience.

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Labadie Toyota Dealership (Oct. 2016) http://www.labadietoyota.com

Buying or leasing a vehicle should not be a complex and painful event. It should be as simple as you viewing what you are interested in, maybe trying something new and working with a highly-trained, professional sales consultant who will guide you in the best direction. After the sales process is complete, you’re always welcome to visit us, ask questions in regards to your vehicle and gain the best possible feedback on your vehicle’s needs from day one to the day you’re ready to trade-in or buy again. Simple. Right?

As we progress in the days and years to come, our goal is to help you in any way we can in regards to your vehicle purchase, lease and/or maintenance needs. We continue to train on the latest technologies, implement new tools/ lines of communication and refine our day-to-day process to ensure your experience at Labadie Toyota is a great one! We’ve said it many times and truly believe that if it was not for you helping us along the way, we wouldn’t be here today.

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Labadie Toyota Dealership Facebook page (Oct. 2016) http://www.labadietoyota.com

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you and continue to welcome your support as we build, refine and ultimately define the modern dealership experience in the 21st century. Don’t be a stranger; give us a call, send us a message on Facebook, comment on our videos or stop by and see what we have going on. We definitely would like to know what’s working, what may be missing and what we should keep doing. :)

We’ll see you soon!

Fall is Officially Here…

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Labadie Toyota Service drive in the evening.

Fall is officially here! And what a year it has been in 2016! The 2017 Toyota vehicles are on their way, a few have already hit the lot (Camry, Sienna, Yaris IA) and we can’t wait to show you what they have in store as well.

As we go into the final quarter of the year, we’d like to thank you for your continued support and suggestions. We’ve made many great changes to better serve you and we will continue to make refinements along the way. We’ve launched a brand new website, enhanced our Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and this WordPress blog to keep you in the loop. We also had a little bit of fun, providing some laughs, with our online videos too!

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2016 4th of July Promo – Sales professional, Shawn Garson plays as a customer who just witnessed his car being destroyed by a firework (digitally mastered piece). Sales professional, Tyson Knaub, stands in the background, surprised.

With every step we’ve made and continue to make, we are certain of one thing…you helped us get to where we are today. This year marks the 70th year that Labadie Auto Company has been in business and it has been a great 70th year thus far!

As always, we’d like to invite you to join us for the ride in the next many years to come. Whether you’re looking for a new Toyota, pre-owned vehicle, rental, parts, maintenance or just a small bag of popcorn and a smile, you know where to go. Labadie Toyota.

Stay tuned as we finish out the 2016 year in the months to come. You never know what is new and exciting around the corner!

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2016 Morning on the new car lot. On the left, the 2017 Toyota Camry’s wait for you to come along!

TOYOTA PROVIDES UPDATE ON TAKATA AIR BAGS IN NEW VEHICLES

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Toyota will phase out the use of Takata frontal air bag inflators in production of new vehicles that contain phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate (PSAN) propellant without a drying agent (“desiccant”) by the end of October 2016.

The only U.S.-market Toyota/Lexus vehicles currently in production receiving Takata frontal PSAN air bag inflators without desiccant are the early production 2017 model year Lexus GX 460 and 2016 model year Toyota 4Runner. 

Models that may be in dealer inventory at this time equipped with Takata frontal PSAN air bag inflators without desiccant are:

·         2015 model year Lexus IS 250C/350C

·         2015 model year Scion xB

·         2015 and 2016 model years Lexus GX 460

·         2015 and 2016 model years Toyota 4Runner

·         2017 model year Lexus GX 460

Note, these are all frontal passenger air bag inflators.

Importantly, these non-desiccated Takata passenger frontal PSAN air bag inflators in these new vehicles are not subject to a current recall.

Based on multiple independent investigations and NHTSA’s independent expert, NHTSA has concluded that non-desiccated frontal Takata air bag inflators do not pose an unreasonable risk to safety until they reach a certain level of propellant degradation after long-term exposure to environmental moisture and fluctuating high temperatures. NHTSA and Takata are prioritizing recalls of these components based on when the involved inflators are likely to pose an unreasonable risk to safety, considering time, temperature and environmental moisture, which depends on a vehicle’s operating location. According to NHTSA’s current order, these components will be recalled by the end of 2018. 

Additional information about Takata recalls for Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles is available at toyota.com/recall.