The Standard Safety in the 2017 Toyota Highlander Gets High Rating

2017 Toyota Highlander

Toyota is a popular automobile manufacturer for a reason. Toyotas are comfortable, reliable, and safe. Really safe. For some time, Toyota has offered one of the safest overall lineups, earning more Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick + awards than any other manufacturer. The 2017 Toyota Highlander is one of many Toyotas on the list.

 The Top Safety Pick + award is the highest one given by the IIHS. To qualify, an automobile must pass five different crash tests with good ratings. These tests examine a vehicle’s front end, its sides, its roof strength, and its head restraints. A vehicle must also have acceptable or good headlight ratings. If a vehicle can pass all of these standards, then the IIHS rating will indicate that it is one of the safest options in its vehicle class.

 With so many advanced safety features and technologies, there are many automobiles who receive these awards from the IIHS. However, Toyota’s mid-size SUV is an exceptional example. Where most other vehicles only meet these safety ratings with the addition of optional features, the 2017 Highlander is safe and secure from the get-go, no matter which trim you choose. It’s the standard safety in the 2017 Toyota Highlander that makes it a Top Safety Pick plus. The Highlander is one of many Top Safety Pick Toyota vehicles, and one of many ways in which Toyota continues to put the customer’s best interest first.

Toyota CEO to Run Electric Car Division

Electric Car DivisionToyota has been largely opposed to battery-powered electric cars, instead focusing on developing hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, like the Mirai. Now the Japanese automaker is shifting its gaze to mass-market electric cars and their pick to head up the segment is evidence enough to how serious the company is. Akio Toyoda, Toyota CEO, will take the helm of the brand’s electric car division.

The brand’s CEO taking the helm is no laughing matter, especially not for competing automakers. Given Toyota’s track record for developing popular, fuel-efficient cars like the Prius, an electric car could be a game changer.

Toyoda’s involvement should speed up the research and development of the brand’s first electric car. He isn’t new to the world of electric cars, either.

The Toyota CEO helped create a deal with Tesla back in 2010. The brand also invested in Tesla. Tesla, in return, developed an electric powertrain for the RAV4 EV, a model largely developed to meet California’s emissions mandate.

Reports indicate Toyota aims to debut its first mass-market electric car in 2020 in conjunction with the Tokyo Olympics.

We here at Krause Toyota can’t wait to see what comes out of the new electric car division, headed up by none other than Akio Toyoda himself!

Thanksgiving Travel Tips

The Halloween hype has come and gone and, with the kids out of costume, it’s time to start planning your holiday travels. Whether you’re flying across the country or driving to another city, there are plenty of steps you can take to reduce your stress level. Here are some fantastic Thanksgiving travel tips from us here at Krause Toyota. Happy holidays!


  • Packing – Travelers choosing to fly should pack light and avoid extra bags. Many airlines charge for extra baggage and that can add up quickly. Instead, consider mailing your extra clothes and belongings to your destination. It will be cheaper and save you the hassle of transporting multiple bags to the airport.


  • Flying – No matter what airline you choose to fly on, sign up for email notifications about special deals, discounts, and holiday pricing. Arrive a few hours early, or more depending on the day of your flight, and plan ahead. Triple check that you have everything you need to travel as well.


  • Driving – Those who choose to hit the open road will find it much more crowded than open. Traffic jams and other obstacles are prevalent during the holiday season. Make use of technology like navigation systems and apps, to avoid those obstacles and arrive at your destination safely and on time.


Halloween Safety Tips

October has finally arrived and in just a few weeks the kids will be gearing up to collect some free candy! There’s a lot that goes into Halloween from a parent’s side, including costume preparation and supervising, so here are a few Halloween safety tips from us at Krause Toyota to make this year’s holiday one of the best!

  • Halloween Safety TipsCostumes – A costume is necessary for trick-or-treat night, unless you’re a teenager out for free candy. Make sure your child’s costume fits well and doesn’t drag along the ground. The last thing any parent needs is an injury due to tripping. Large masks can make it hard to see, so use makeup or face paint when possible. Attach a glow stick to your child’s costume to make them easier to spot as they walk back down the driveways with their loot!
  • Supervising – Supervising a large group of kids can be incredibly difficult, especially if they’re hyped up on candy. Kids older than the age of 12 can generally be out without supervision provided they stay to familiar areas and are in groups. Those under the age of 12 should be reminded not to run into the road and to stick to sidewalks. Make sure you aren’t distracted by a smartphone or other device!
  • Driving – Driving can be hazardous towards the end of the year. Check what time your area is holding trick-or-treat hours and avoid driving if possible. If not, keep a sharp eye out for children and drive slow!

Signs You Need New Brakes

Once you take every safety system into account, the braking system likely tops the list. Although new technology has made driving much safer, many of the systems, particularly those involving collision avoidance, are useless without a proper functioning braking system. Take care of your brakes to ensure all your systems are good to go on the road. Here are some of the most obvious and common signs you need new brakes from us here at Krause Toyota.

Signs You Need New Brakes

1.Squealing – A hard-to-miss sign that your brake pads need to be replaced, a high-pitched squeal is caused by metal hitting metal. In this case, the built-in indicator strips in the worn brake pads are hitting the rotors, causing the annoying squealing sound. If you hear this, you should take your car in for service as soon as possible to have the pads replaced.

2. Pulling – If your car pulls to either side when braking, odds are the brake lines are wearing unevenly or there’s something in the brake fluid that shouldn’t be there. Take your vehicle to a dealership for a quick fix before it becomes an expensive repair.

3. Sight – One of the best ways to see if you need new brakes is to literally see them. Look through the wheel spokes and you’ll likely see the brake pad pushed against the rotor. If the pad has more than a quarter-inch on it, there’s no need to worry just yet. If there is less than that, though, make a service appointment in the near future for a new set of brake pads.

Toyota Leads Automotive Innovation

One of Toyota’s main goals is to engineer and create new ideas for the vehicles of tomorrow. In fact, Toyota is a recognized leader in automotive innovation and has been issued more patents than any other automaker for the second year in a row.

Toyota Lead Automotive Innovation - Toyota Mirai
Toyota Lead Automotive Innovation – Toyota Mirai

In 2015, the United State Patent and Trademark Office issued 1,636 patents to Toyota. In addition, over the past eight years, Toyota has been awarded more patents than any other vehicle producer.

The Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) tracks patents each year and for 2015, Toyota was the only automaker included in the IPO’s top 20 list. This puts Toyota together with companies like Microsoft, Apple, IBM, and Google.

“As companies in the automotive industry transform themselves into broader mobility providers, no auto company better demonstrates innovation and technology for the future than Toyota,” said Jeff Makarewicz, senior vice president, Toyota Technical Center (TTC), Toyota’s North American research & development headquarters, in a statement.

Some of Toyota’s most recent patents include technology that helps autonomous vehicles detect and safely react to emergency vehicles, creating artificial skin for use on mannequins during pedestrian safety tests, and creating fabrics that actually clean themselves.

Here at Krause Toyota, we are proud to be part of such an innovative company and can’t wait to see what Toyota has in store for the future.

Toyota Earns Spot on List of World’s 50 Smartest Companies

There is no shortage of brains at Toyota and this is evident by its placement on the MIT Technology Review’s list of the World’s 50 Smartest Companies.

“We’re very grateful to be recognized by MIT…” said Jim Lentz, chief executive officer of Toyota Motor North America, in a statement. “Toyota’s scientists are committed to innovation and leading the way to a future of mobility that is cleaner, safer, and provides freedom of mobility for all.  In the spirit of kaizen, Toyota is committed to improving every day in the service of our customers and society.”

Toyota was ranked 17th on the list and was one of only two automakers to earn a spot. It even ranked higher than global tech giants like Intel, Microsoft, and IBM. To earn a place on the list, editors look at companies that “best combine innovative technology with an effective business model.”

2016 Toyota Fuel Cell Vehicle Mirai
Toyota earned high marks from MIT Technology Review for the release of the hydrogen-powered Mirai

Editors praised Toyota for its new Toyota Research Institute, which will focus on robotics, artificial intelligence, and the future of mobility. Toyota also earned high marks for the release of the hydrogen-powered Mirai along with Toyota’s dedication to building a strong network of hydrogen refueling stations.

Come visit us today at Krause Toyota to see the intelligent Toyota lineup that includes the Prius family, powerful Tundra, and stunning Avalon. Who knows, you might just feel smarter once you start driving one.

How to Pack Your Car for a Road Trip


Now that the summer is here, you probably have a road trip or two planned for your family. However, in order to have a successful road trip, one thing you need to do is make sure everything is packed away properly. Here are a few tips on how to pack your car for a road trip.


    • Have everyone in the family, pack a small bag with things they would like to do while in the car—books, tablets, handheld games, drawing pads, etc.

    • Snacks play a pivotal role in having a successful road trip. Pack plenty of easy-to-eat snacks that won’t make a big mess. Bring along a reusable water bottle for each person. You’ll want napkins and wet wipes to clean up any messes. Keep snacks and drinks in the center of the vehicle so all passengers can reach them.

    • When packing the trunk or cargo area, make sure the heaviest items are on the bottom. Then, of course, the lightest items go on the top.

      • Make sure you don’t pack your cargo area too high and impede your view out of the rear window. You also don’t want items to fall over and hit any backseat passengers.

  • If you’ll be stopping overnight before you reach your final destination, pack an overnight bag with a change of clothes and basic necessities. This way you won’t have to unpack the whole car.



Now that you know what to pack, make sure your car is road trip ready. Bring it in to Krause Toyota for a quick pre-trip check up.

Tips for Keeping Your Car Cool in Summer

Tips for Keeping Your Car Cool in SummerIt isn’t even summer yet and the heat is already getting into cars, making them generally miserable to drive until they cool down. It’s never too early to start following these tips for keeping your car cool in summer.

Parking your car in the shade is one of the best ways to keep your car from getting too hot, especially in a garage, if you have one. Also consider leaving the windows down on sunny days with little chance of rain, if you feel comfortable with it. Invest in a reflective sun shade to put in your windshield.

To cool your car off quickly, put your fan on high and close the upper vents so only the vents by your feet are putting out air. This forces the hot air up through the open windows. Once the hot air is out, you can open the vents again.

A good way to keep your seats cool, especially when you have dark leather or vinyl seats, is to throw a damp towel over them. This will absorb the heat from the sun and keep your legs from getting burned when you sit down.

Keep These Tips in Mind When Driving in the Rain

Driving in the Rain

Spring is officially upon us, and you know what that means: rain. So much rain. The old adage “April showers bring May flowers” warns us of the impending storms. So what’s a driver to do?


Prepare yourself for spring weather by checking out these tips for driving in the rain:

  • If possible, try to avoid driving in the rain, and keep in mind that the most dangerous time to drive is right after it starts raining.
  • Never use cruise control when it’s raining and try not to drive through small puddles, in an attempt to avoid hydroplaning.
  • Never, ever attempt to drive through large puddles, as merely a foot or two of water can make your vehicle lose touch with the ground.
  • Be sure that your vehicle has a well-stocked first aid kit prepared, in the event of an accident.
  • Lastly, leave much more room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you than you normally would.

Do you have any other rainy weather tips? Stay safe this spring, and to start your season out with a new vehicle, visit us at Krause Toyota.

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