Apr 242024


Latino Traffic Report (LTR) has learned that Tesla, Inc. (Tesla) is recalling certain 2024 Cybertruck vehicles. The accelerator pedal pad may dislodge and cause the pedal to become trapped by the interior trim.

Tesla service will replace or repair the accelerator pedal assembly, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed in June 2024. Owners may contact Tesla customer service at 1-877-798-3752. Tesla’s number for this recall is SB-24-33-003.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety (NHTSA) Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.nhtsa.gov  and search for NHTSA Campaign Number: 24V276000. The recall is expected to impact 3,878 units.


Hyundai/Genesis Spotlight Latina Company Execs

 Noticias  Comments Off on Hyundai/Genesis Spotlight Latina Company Execs
Mar 082024

Marking Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, Reuters released its list of Top 20 Trailblazing Women in Automotive. Latino Traffic Report (LTR) has learned that included in the list were two Latinas, Genesis Motor North America chief operating officer Claudia Marquez and Angela Zepeda, chief marketing officer for Hyundai Motor America. In naming recipients for its list, the publication sought nomination of individuals who have had a lasting impact on their industries, with a demonstrable track record of influence, impact, and leadership. Nominations were received from a broad set of industry stakeholders including but not limited to Reuters Professional and the communities served by Reuters Events.

Photo by Jonathan Vandiveer

“Having Angela Zepeda recognized as a global Trailblazer by Reuters is an exceptional recognition for Angela and the company,” said Randy Parker, CEO, Hyundai Motor Company. “Angela brings many natural talents to her role as CMO, and we applaud her for the significant contributions she has given to the organization and the Hyundai brand DNA through her creative marketing abilities and successful leadership. Keep on trailblazing!”

Zepeda (right) has made several significant achievements in her role at Hyundai including a first-ever social media initiative to celebrate football’s biggest game. Hyundai went offline to conquer the Big Game weekend in the all-new Santa Fe SUV and handed its Instagram account over to twenty-two other brands including, Weber Grills, the Los Angeles Rams, the Houston Texans, Mint Mobile and more. Thereby, creating never-before seen unique product content and applauses from many audiences.

Zepeda is also an expert in marketing to women, with a keen understanding of the emotional triggers involved in women’s retail habits. She has spoken on the topic at various conferences, including the ISSM CONVERGE Conference, the WLN Conference, the M2W Conference in Chicago, and the Marketing to Women Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In response to the recognition for Marquez (right), José Muñoz, president and global COO of Hyundai Motor Company, and president and CEO of Genesis Motor North America said: “Claudia has been blazing trails in this industry since I’ve known her, so it’s no surprise that Reuters is recognizing her leadership. Since joining Genesis two years ago, Claudia has made a tremendous impact on the business and the brand. As a leader she lives the Genesis brand values of performance and excellence and is well respected throughout the industry and with our retail partners. We are so very proud to honor her and the other Trailblazing women in this wonderful industry.”

Under Marquez’s leadership, Genesis strengthened its position in the United States with recording-breaking sales, expansion of its U.S. retail network, and increasing brand awareness.

In 2023, Genesis reported a best-ever annual U.S. sales achievement with 69,175 vehicles sold, representing a 23 percent year-over-year increase. The brand also expanded its U.S. retail network with the opening of several standalone facilities.

Marquez has more than 28 years of experience in the automotive industry. Previously, she served as CEO of Hyundai Motor Mexico and has held positions in multiple automotive brands, including BMW, MINI, Land Rover, Nissan, and Infiniti.

LTR celebrates the accomplishments of these Latinas and wishes them continued success.


Generous Gas Savers: From SUVs to EVs

 Features  Comments Off on Generous Gas Savers: From SUVs to EVs
Feb 062024

Remember when the auto industry looked at hybrids with a stink eye? That was back when in 1999 when the modern versions first emerged. According to Axios, electrified vehicle sales—hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric vehicles (EV)—reached 17.7 percent of auto sales in the United States in 2023 with the Honda CR-V hybrid leading hybrid sales. Government mandates for increasing fuel economy combined with fluctuating gas prices, encourage car buyers to seek vehicles that save gas or better yet, don’t use gas at all. With that in mind, Latino Traffic Report (LTR) offers this list of recently tested gas savers for our readers to consider.

Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid

When Toyota announced plans to build the 2022 Corolla Cross, it created an immediate buzz. Many wondered if Toyota could or should attempt to improve on the top-selling Corolla by making it sportier and more versatile, i.e. a compact crossover?  Enter 2023 and Toyota has taken the Cross one step further by introducing a hybrid version, the Corolla Cross Hybrid.

On the outside, the hybrid version differs from its gas-powered sibling with unique front and rear styling. The test model, Corolla Cross HV HSE, also came with the available two-tone paint, and 18-inch alloy wheels. All-Wheel Drive (AWD) is standard on all Cross hybrids.

Assembled in  Huntsville, Alabama at the brand-new Mazda Toyota Manufacturing plant, the  hybrid is available in three new grades: S, SE and XSE. As a hybrid, it’s is also priced above its gas-powered sibling.

That means the all models come with an improved Toyota Safety Sense suite that includes pre-collision warning with emergency braking, dynamic radar cruise control, road sign assist to read speed limits, and the all-important blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert. Also standard on the top-of-the-line test model were premium LED head lamps, taillamps and fog lamps, Softex-trimmed seats with the addition of heated front seats and a power driver’s seat.

Happily, the Toyota Audio Multimedia System, with Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and USB-C charge ports is standard on all trims. Users can interact with the system through intuitive touch and voice activation controls.

Under the hood is a peppy 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 196 horsepower. Fuel savings being the optimum question for a hybrid, it has an EPA estimated fuel economy of 45 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. It averaged 38 mpg during the test drive. Adding to that is 63.8 cubic feet of cargo room with the second-row seat folded flat.

Having spent a week in the Cross Hybrid, LTR can confirm that a more versatile and fuel-efficient Corolla was definitely a good idea. Pricing for the 2024 Corolla Cross Hybrid starts at $29,320 and the as-tested price for the Corolla Cross Hybrid XSE came to $37,208. All prices include destination fees.

Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid

Freshened in 2021, the Hyundai Santa Fe didn’t just get a modified exterior, that year also introduced a new hybrid powertrain with AWD and extensive new driver safety and convenience features. LTR recently tested the 2023 Santa Fe Hybrid Limited AWD. In typical Hyundai fashion, the hybrid brought an extended package of luxury features, like a panoramic moonroof, leather seating with heated and cooled front seats, and heated rear seats, combined with a respectable average fuel economy of 29.8 miles per gallon on the test drive.

Powered by a 1.6 inline four-cylinder turbocharged engine with 178 hp and 195 ft.–lb. of torque and matched to a six-speed transmission with paddle shifters, the hybrid did have a turbo delay when accelerating but switching to the Sport mode, one of three available, seemed to cure that. The hybrid propulsion system is the first application of its kind in the Hyundai SUV line-up.

Advanced technology included smart cruise control, surround view and blind spot monitors, Blue Link connected services for three years, and Harman Kardon premium audio. Unique to Hyundai, is the blind spot camera that displays in the instrument cluster, which is preferable to displaying in the entertainment screen, as others have done, which is distracting.

For fans of the Santa Fe, particularly its design, 2023 will be the last year to purchase one as the fifth generation, all-new 2024 Santa Fe is coming and it marks the debut of a completely new look for Hyundai. Judging from initial images, it borrows design cues from Ford on the headlamps, and Land Rover on the silhouette. Pricing for the 2023 Santa Fe Hybrid starts at $37,545 with destination fees. The as-tested price came to $43,115.

Lexus NX 350h

LTR had the unique opportunity to test two versions of the Lexus NX 350, the gasoline-powered and most recently, the hybrid version, NX 350h. Like its sibling, the 350h includes the lux styling and amenities that Lexus is known for, but as a hybrid, it’s the top-of-the-line model, which promises a little more features, as well as impressive fuel economy.

Fully redesigned from the inside out in 2022, it’s powered by Lexus Hybrid Drive system that  pairs the fuel injected 2.5-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine that produces 189 horsepower with two high-torque electric drive motor-generators that assist with acceleration and passing. It has an EPA estimated fuel economy of 41 mpg in the city and 37 on the highway. The test model achieved 32.5 mpg during the week-long test drive.

Standard safety features on the test model included the essential blind-spot monitor, Road Sign Assist, and Dynamic Radar cruise control.

The beautifully finished interior on the test model included tan heated and cooled leather seats, wood accents, and the huge and optional 14-inch touchscreen (the 9.8-inch is standard) that comes with a three-year trial for Drive Connect location guidance services like Cloud Navigation, Destination Assist, and Intelligent Assistant. The larger screen also included Lexus Interface that guests can use a Bluetooth handheld device, smart key or manual login to access. Lexus Interface also incorporates a Voice Assistant available through voice activation or accessible via a button on the steering wheel.

Other standard features included the Head-Up Display, a power moonroof, and Intuitive Parking Assist. The steamlined door handles fit nicely into the door panel but opening the door took a little figuring out.

The test model also included 18 stand-alone options varying in price from a key glove ($25) to 20-inch alloy wheels ($1,310) and which added an extra $10,000 to the starting price of $48,795. Other interesting options included power folding heated rear seats, the Mark Levinson audio system, and a panoramic view monitor.

As-tested MSRP came to $58,445. Pricing for the 2024 NX 350h starts at $44,665.

Genesis Electrified G80

While hybrids have improved gas mileage, the best gas saver is one that doesn’t use gas at all, or electric vehicles (EVs). Genesis joined the EV market with the 2023 Electrified G80 sedan. Initially, the challenge for EVs was their limited range. The restricted range at the onset—as well as charging infrastructure or lack thereof—labeled them as secondary vehicles, limited to city driving. The Electrified G80 hit the market with an impressive range of 282-miles enough to take on a road trip from Austin to Johnston City or roughly 100 miles round trip, and the childhood home of President Lyndon Baines Johnson. It handled the challenge nicely although it did lose 20 miles of range compared to the actual mileage of the trip.

The latest Genesis exterior design is a head turner. Distinctive without looking overworked, the signature Crest Grille has been adjusted for the EV to make it more aerodynamic.

Inside, the premium sedan did not disappoint, with Nappa leather seats, matte wood trim, and a huge 14.5-inch HD screen for the infotainment system and a 123-inch digital instrument cluster. For an added touch, Genesis sourced various natural or recycled materials for its interior such as leather with natural dyes for the seats, console, and rear seat armrest, recycled wood, and environment-friendly, recycled PET fabrics.

Safety features were also well represented with a blind-spot monitor, smart cruise control, and forward and parking collision avoidance, among other features.

While charging infrastructure for EVs has improved, especially with onboard technology that helps drivers locate the nearest charging stations, during the test drive, the Electrified G80 would not charge from a the standard 110-volt home outlet. Another concern about EVs is their incompatibility to extreme weather, which made charging in hot Texas weather tough and expensive. While the quick charger cut off after 20 minutes, the 20 miles of charging that was successfully added cost $10. The only extra feature was the Hallasan Green exterior paint ($575). Available in only one trim, the as-tested MSRP came to $81,495.





Premium Hybrid Review: 2024 Lexus LC 500h

 Lexus, Reviews  Comments Off on Premium Hybrid Review: 2024 Lexus LC 500h
Jan 302024

Getting behind the wheel of a six-figure vehicle can be intimidating, especially if it’s not yours. When the Atomic Silver 2024 Lexus LC 500h arrived for a Latino Traffic Report test drive, it made quite an impression with its super car exterior design including hidden door handles and tail lamps that were inspired by the glow of a jet’s afterburners. Officially designated a premium touring coupe, the LC 500h offers a first-class driving experience for the auto enthusiast with deep pockets.

Lexus revealed the gas-powered LC 500 in 2016 and the 500h hybrid followed shortly after. In order to be competitive, premium coupes must check several boxes and the LC 500 ticked off most. Beyond its striking design, it promised a driving experience usually reserved for sports cars.

Less of a performance vehicle than its sibling, the 500h hybrid powertrain includes a 3.5-liter, six-cylinder engine that produces 295 horses and 258.2 1b.–ft. of torque assisted by two electric motors and matched to a multi-stage hybrid automatic transmission. Five drive modes, including Normal, Custom, Comfort, Eco, and Sport Plus, can be used to enhance performance further.

The EPA estimated fuel economy for the hybrid is 26 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. The as-tested model achieved an average of 25.1 mpg in mostly city driving. Fuel economy, however, may not be what prospective buyers care most about.

Sleek and low with an aerodynamic lift in the back and sitting on 21-inch forged alloy wheels, the hybrid version shares the same head- turning exterior design of its gas-powered sibling. The interior on the test model also raised the bar for bells and whistles with opulent two-tone (white and dark blue) heated and cooled leather seats with suede accents and piping, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and suede-like Alcantara trimmed door panels. There is a back seat, but it’s nearly impossible to access, even for a diminutive adult, but it could be used for extra cargo room.

Super user friendly, particularly when setting the 20 preset channels, its infotainment touchscreen measured 12.3 inches, now standard throughout the lineup. The center instrument cluster, however, needs to be updated. Other standard premium features include a panoramic view monitor, and Intuitive Parking Assist. The test model included a few options like the Bespoke Build Package ($3,200) that allows customers to select from a mix of performance and styling components exterior/interior trim, and colors, the Mark Levinson audio system ($1,220), and the white and blue interior ($1,900).

Beautiful inside and out, the as-tested price for the 2024 Lexus LC 500h coupe came to $109,705. Pricing starts at  $100,450 including destination fees.

Si: If you’ve got buckets of money, love hybrids, and want a car that turns heads, the LC 500h is worth considering.

No: While it’s as striking as its gas-powered sibling, the hybrid lacks its performance and the fuel economy was just OK, and for the price, there should be a massage function for the front seats.


Chevrolet, Jeep, Hyundai, Kia, Genesis, Toyota, and Volkswagen Models Win Hispanic Motor Press Awards

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Nov 202023

2024 Hyundai Kona HMPA Electric Vehicle of the year

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – November 16, 2023 – The Hispanic Motor Press Awards (HMPA)—
the premier automotive awards by independent Hispanic media and content creators including Latino Traffic Report founder Valerie Menard—revealed the winners for 2024 during the recent opening of the Los Angeles Auto Show (LAAS) and AutoMobility LA.

The fourteenth annual HMPA program presented by Quaker State identifies the best new vehicles for Hispanic car buyers, considering manufacturer advancements in cleaner mobility, technology, safety features, infotainment, and driver experience.

The HMPA top 2024 vehicles for Hispanics are:
Electric Vehicle – Hyundai Kona Electric
Family Vehicle – KIA Telluride
Pick Up Truck – Chevrolet Colorado
SUV – VW Atlas 7
Luxury Vehicle – Genesis Electrified GV70
Adventure Vehicle – Jeep Wrangler 4Xe
Best Tech – Toyota Prius

2024 Chevrolet Colorado HMPA Pickup Truck of the year.

“We are delighted to return to AutoMobility LA to announce our HMPA winners in collaboration with Quaker State,” states Ricardo Rodriguez-Long, a veteran automotive journalist and founder of the Hispanic Motor Press. “Hispanics continue to rise as a driving force shaping U.S. culture while impacting our economy including the automotive industry with 25 percent of vehicle sales. Today’s winners represent brands offering class-leading vehicles that align with Hispanic car buyers’ preferences as we assist them in making informed decisions.”

At the annual HMPA program, Quaker State joined forces with Hispanic Motor Press to award scholarships to college students specializing in communications,

2024 Genesis Electrified GV70 HMPA Luxury Vehicle of the year.

automotive, and technology fields. Adding even more excitement to the occasion, Daniel Suárez, driver of the #99 Quaker State Chevrolet for Trackhouse Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series, had the honor of presenting these prestigious scholarships.


“We are honored to support these aspiring future leaders by helping to energize their educational journeys,” says Amanda Luce, Quaker State Brand Manager. “On behalf of Quaker State, congratulations to the scholarship recipients and the winning brands for demonstrating automotive excellence among Hispanic car buyers.”

The winning vehicles will be showcased in an exclusive staged area throughout the duration of LAAS taking place through November 26 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

VW Atlas 7 HMPA SUV of the year

The 2024 HMPA Jurors represent a distinguished, independent group of Hispanic automotive journalists, content creators and industry influencers selected by the organization’s advisory board who volunteer their own time to participate and to help the Hispanic consumer make an informed choice. Over 100 new vehicles were tested during 2023.

Auto manufacturers voluntarily submitted their entries, and the jury panel evaluated the vehicles’ features
including overall design, comfort, safety, economy, handling, performance, functionality, infotainment
integration, interior design, environmental requirements, driver satisfaction, and value.

Toyota Prius HMPA best technology of the year.

“These car makers have consistently shown an interest in the HMPA awards by making their vehicles available to Latino auto journalists to drive and review,” says Menard. “Considering Latino auto buying power and that Latino car buyers trust opinions from Latino journalists more than most, it makes good business sense to do so.”

Hispanic Motor Press Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 with the objective to educate and help the
Hispanic Consumer to move towards mobility that is clean, affordable, and capable of reducing greenhouse
emissions and improve our air quality.
For more information, visit HispanicMotorPress.org. Follow Hispanic Motor Press on
X@HMotorPressOrg, Facebook@HispanicMotorPress, and Instagram@HispanicMotorPress.

Plug-in Hybrid SUV Review: 2023 RAV4 Prime XSE

 Reviews, Toyota  Comments Off on Plug-in Hybrid SUV Review: 2023 RAV4 Prime XSE
Nov 162023

For SUV buyers who want versatility but would also appreciate better fuel economy and premium features, Toyota has an option, the RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid. It’s not an EV per se but it does allow owners to plug-in at home, still with a 120-volt outlet, and get 42 miles of electric range. That range enhances the EPA estimated fuel economy to an average of 94 miles per gallon (mpg) while driving on combined power. The average gas fuel economy is 38 mpg.

Latino Traffic Report (LTR) recently test drove the 2023 RAV4 Prime XSE with all-wheel drive. Charging at home produced a range of 43 miles, which was a little better than the EPA estimate. It also achieved an average fuel economy of 36.9 mpg during the test drive.

Some newer electric vehicles EVs require owners to purchase a Level 2 charger or install a 240-volt outlet to charge so the ability to fully charge with a 120-volt outlet added convenience to the experience.  However, because the charge plug was located on the right side rather that the left, it had to be backed into the garage to charge, which was a little inconvenient.

Like all hybrids, RAV4 Prime represent the top-of-the-line trim which brings premium features to the test model like its impressive 10.5-inch multimedia display (a seven-inch display is standard) that was easy to manipulate, particularly when setting presets. The 12.3-inch LCD instrument cluster, however, was a little more difficult to configure and a bit plain.

Available in a choice of SE or XSE grades, the top-of-the-line XSE comes equipped with an 11-speaker JBL Premium Audio including subwoofer and amplifier. The test model came with heated and cooled seats with red accent stitching, heated outboard rear seats, leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob with red stitching, and USB A and C ports, happy news for older cell phone owners, and 19-inch alloy wheels.

Any model that includes a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert as a standard feature gets an immediate advantage on the competition, and that includes the RAV4 Prime. Additional safety features on the test model included a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, and dynamic radar cruise control, among other features.

As a RAV4 it still offers the utility expected with three drive modes, from Eco to Trail, for better versatility and 33.5 cubic feet of rear cargo room for enhanced utility.

It’s powered by a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine with 176 horsepower and 165 lb.–ft of torque. On the road, the engine did not lag and the steering feel was tight and confident. The two-tone exterior color combination added $425 to the price and the Premium Package added $2,585 as well as a color head-up display, a panoramic roof, and a foot activated liftgate.

Pricing for the 2024 RAV4 Prime starts at $44,835. The as-tested MSRP came to $51,918.

Sí: The RAV4 Prime presents a premium option for SUV fans who want better fuel economy.

No: Placing the charging outlet on the right side made it awkward to charge.


EV Review: 2023 Toyota bZ4X

 Reviews, Toyota  Comments Off on EV Review: 2023 Toyota bZ4X
Sep 172023

Toyota may have been slow to join the electric vehicle (EV) bandwagon but that’s about to change. All-new for 2023, the bZ4X starts a process at Toyota to grow its EV inventory. Toyota plans to expand to around 70 electrified models globally by 2025.

Offered in two grades, XLE and Limited, in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive (FWD and AWD), Latino Traffic Report (LTR) recently had the chance to review the bZ4X Limited AWD, the top-of-the-line model. While the electric range did not meet expectations, it did offer the comfort and convenience of an SUV with added premium touches.

Toyota defines electrified vehicles to include hydrogen fuel cell electrics, hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and now battery electric vehicles. According to the automaker, electrified vehicles accounted for about a quarter of Toyota’s total sales volume in the United States last year.

Size enhances the bZ4X’s capability and versatility.  The compact SUV is 3.7 inches longer than the RAV4, at 184.6 inches with a 6.3-inch longer wheelbase. For added convenience, cargo volume comes to 27.7 cubic feet behind the second row, but the second row does fold flat for added cargo volume.

The bZ4X comes standard with a 12.3-inch widescreen Toyota Audio Multimedia system with a three-year trial to Drive Connect that gives access to the voice activated Intelligent Assistant, Cloud Navigation, and Destination Assist. Also included as a three-year trial service, the Toyota App allows users to stay connected to their bZ4X with Remote Connect to activate headlights, unlock the rear hatch, and remote start the vehicle, among other commands and provides an easy-to-use map (essential on EVs) to find nearby charging station locations.

The test model included the available fixed panoramic roof and a power sunshade and heated and ventilated seats in the front and heated seats in the back.

Favorite standard safety features on all models include a blind spot monitor, tire pressure monitor with a view of each tire, and dynamic radar cruise control.

While the list of standard features is impressive, the bZ4X did have functional challenges, particularly regarding plug-in charging. According to Toyota, the test model should have an EPA estimated max range of 222 miles (the more basic XLE trim can reach a max range of 252), however, it only had 189 miles of range when delivered and during the weeklong test drive, the maximum range achieved from home charging was 149 miles. While it should charge with a conventional 110-volt outlet, Toyota does recommend installing a 220-volt outlet for quicker home charging. The 100-plus-degree Texas heat could also have hampered charging. Hot or cold, EVs don’t like extreme temperatures and EV buyers should take that into consideration.

Removing the charge chord required unlocking the vehicle and while this seemed bothersome at first, considering the rise in stolen charge cables, perhaps it’s worth the bother, especially for those without a garage.

For added convenience, however, Remote Charging capabilities, including checking the charge status, are also included with Remote Connect on the bZ4X and one year of unlimited complimentary charging at all EVgo-owned and operated public charging stations nationwide.

Pricing for the 2023 bZ4X starts at $43,350. The as-tested price came to $52,468.

Sí: The bZ4X comes with a healthy list of premium and convenience features.

No: The electric range is not competitive, especially when charging on a 110v outlet.


The All-New 2024 Toyota Tacoma Debuts in Blue Beetle

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Sep 032023

Latino Traffic Report has learned that the 2024 Tacoma, Toyota will appear in DC’s newest movie, Blue Beetle, featuring a Latino cast.  The action-packed movie, filled with heart and humor, features multiple generations of Tacoma as Jaime Reyes is forever changed when an ancient piece of alien technology, the Scarab, transforms the college grad into the hero, the Blue Beetle.

Jaime and the entire Reyes family depend on their favorite third generation Toyota Tacoma throughout the movie. The “Taco” is the pride and joy of Jaime’s Uncle Rudy, played by George Lopez. Watch how Blue Beetle, his family, and their trusty Tacoma are able to take on anything. Also, be on the lookout for a special cameo appearance by the All-New fourth generation Tacoma.

Toyota’s design and engineering teams collaborated with DC to develop a unique 2024 Tacoma design and signature paint featured in the film.

“We tasked our talented CALTY Studio team, led by Scott Roller, to conjure up a Tacoma that matched the singular style of the beloved, soon-to-be-iconic ‘Taco’ Uncle Rudy has made his own over the years, but in a way that was modern and integrated with the new 2024 Tacoma design,” said Tacoma Chief Engineer Sheldon Brown. “This is where the design of the ‘Blue Taco’ came from, and it was a pleasure to work on.”

Toyota trucks have a history in Hollywood, as the 1985 Toyota SR5 Xtra Cab was the coveted truck of Marty McFly in the 1980s film Back to the Future. Additionally, the first-generation Tundra was featured in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, with 600 T3 Special Edition Tundras sold that same year.

The 2024 Tacoma is the latest iteration of this off-road 4×4 icon and features an available i-FORCE MAX hybrid powertrain offering up to 326 horsepower and 465 lb-ft. of torque. This new truck has a rugged style, multiple powertrain options, 4×4 capability, and the latest safety and tech features. Also, new for 2024 is the first ever Trailhunter grade, which has been engineered from the ground-up to be the ultimate overlanding machine. The all-new 2024 Tacoma will be in dealerships by the end of the year.

Ford Recalls Certain Escape, Maverick, and Lincoln Corsair Models

 Recalls  Comments Off on Ford Recalls Certain Escape, Maverick, and Lincoln Corsair Models
Aug 072023

Ford Escape preproduction model shown.

2022 Ford Maverick.

Latino Traffic Report has learned that Ford Motor Company has issued a new recall for 125,322 model year 2020-2023 Ford Escape, 2022-2023 Ford Maverick and 2021-2023 Lincoln Corsair vehicles for a risk of fire due to engine failure. Ford advises customers to safely park and shut off the engine as quickly as possible if they hear unexpected engine noises, lose power, or see or smell smoke.

Affected vehicles have 2.5-liter HEV/PHEV engines that could fail prematurely. If they do, engine oil and/or fuel vapor may be released and accumulate near ignition sources, resulting in potential under-hood fires, localized melting of components, or smoke.

Lincoln Corsair.

This recall affects 86,656 Escapes, 35,501 Mavericks and 3,165 Corsairs, and Ford will notify owners beginning June 12. The remedy is under development and is expected to be available in the third quarter of 2023.

Vehicle owners can visit NHTSA.gov/recalls or call NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236 and check their 17-digit vehicle identification number to see if their vehicle is under recall. NHTSA also encourages everyone to download its SaferCar app to stay informed on current recalls.

Hyundai CEO Receives Top Honor in Spain

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Jul 222023

Muñoz is pictured here in the middle, holding the award.

Latino Traffic Report has learned that José Muñoz, president and global chief operating officer, Hyundai Motor Company, and president and CEO, Hyundai and Genesis Motor North America has joined the ranks of Rafael Nadal, Carlos Sainz, and other prominent Spaniards in receiving one of Spain’s top automotive honors.

Recently selected to receive the prestigious “El Abrazote de Manolo” award by the Spanish members of the Europe Car Of the Year (COTY) jury, the jury selected Muńoz for his longstanding global leadership in the automotive industry and ongoing advocacy for the industry in Spain and around the world.

“José Muñoz continues to make significant contributions to the motoring industry in Spain and internationally. On behalf of all of the COTY jury members in Spain, we offer our heartfelt congratulations,” said Xavi Pérez, COTY member. “This recognition by the Spanish members of the COTY jury is a tribute in memory of Manolo Domenech who left us 10 years ago and who represented a benchmark in motoring reporting.”

El Abrazote de Manolo, “the hug of Manolo,” is named after prominent Spanish motoring journalist Manolo Domenech who passed away in 2013. The award represents the Asturian expression ‘hug’ that Manolo Domenech used with people close to him.

“On behalf of the global team at Hyundai, I am deeply honored,” said Muńoz at a ceremony in Madrid. “Serving our customers with fantastic products and being part of a team with such a compelling vision for the future of mobility is reward enough; however, I am very thankful to the Spanish Car of the Year jury and sending a big abrazote to Manolo Domenech.”

This is the sixth El Abrazote de Manolo award. Previous recipients have included tennis champion Rafael Nadal, Formula One driver Carlos Sainz, Audi’s head of electrification Fermin Soneira Santos and COO of Kia Motors Europe Emilio Herrera, among others.

As the president and global COO of Hyundai Motor Company and the president and CEO of Hyundai and Genesis Motor North America, Muñoz is responsible for driving greater performance in key strategic regions, including Europe, India and the Middle East and Africa. This includes leading global talent acquisition & management to recruit and retain core talent in new technology-based businesses. He is also responsible for global sales, service and product planning as part of the global business operations divisiond and oversees the entire Americas market, including Hyundai Motor North, Central and South America, as the head of the Hyundai Motor Americas Region.

A native of Spain and earned his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from Polytechnic University of Madrid and has an MBA from Instituto de Empresa (IE) Business School in Madrid. He has also completed executive management programs from Cranfield School of Management in the U.K. and INSEAD Business School in France. He is fluent in English, Spanish and French.

¡Felicidades señor!