While it doesn't even appear as a bad pixel on most enthusiasts' radar, the Toyota Venza serves legions of mainstream consumers perfectly well. To keep the unassuming family hauler from lagging behind its advancing competition, the automaker has introduced a refreshed and tweaked 2013 Toyota Venza at the New York Auto Show.
Toyota issued safety recalls Wednesday of approximately 681,500 vehicles in North America. The voluntary recalls affect the Venza, Camry and Tacoma models. The recall comes at a time when the Japanese company is defending whether it acted properly in its recalls of millions of vehicles in late 2009 and 2010 for sudden acceleration.
With all the exciting news coming out of Geneva, you'll have to excuse us for snickering just a little bit when we saw this press release. Yes, the Venza is as deserving of a mid-cycle refresh as any other vehicle, though it appears from this teaser that whatever tinkering Toyota has done will prove itself superficial at best.
While Toyota recalls are no longer the earth-shattering news they were back in 2009, they're still news. And today's announcement certainly qualifies for the modifier "big," with nearly half a million Tacoma pickups being recalled under one campaign, and 116,000 Venza crossovers and 70,500 Camrys under another.
Before, there was just one Toyota Venza. Oh sure, you could boost the equipment and outfitting by ordering option packages, but since its launch, the Venza has not carried a suffix. For 2012, Toyota is changing its strategy and now there are Venza LE, XLE and Limited trim levels for buyers to choose between.
The past few days have seen a new rash of stories about Toyotas run amok. First, a 2009 Venza struck a house in Hamilton, Ontario. According to The Hamilton Spectator, the driver said he lost control of the vehicle after experiencing uncontrolled acceleration. While 2009-2010 Venzas were recalled for the infamous floor-mat issue, police have yet to determine whether the Hamilton incident was a result of faulty hardware or driver error. No one was injured.