When the Houston Police Department releases its monthly list of the most stolen vehicles, the makes and models rarely change. What does move the needle a bit, however, is the total number of vehicles stolen each year. According to police, there were just over 13,500 thefts last year, a 4 percent inc ... More >>
Say you've decided to buy a new car. Say you haven't done this in a REALLY long time. Say you have NO idea what you are going to buy or even what to look for. Welcome to my world about a month ago. My truck was totaled by a driver who ran a red light. I had been driving that Toyota truck for 14 year ... More >>
For nearly 15 years, I drove the same vehicle, a Toyota pickup truck. I purchased it new in 2000 and it was still going strong thanks to a very sturdy make and the fact that I drove it less than 10,000 miles per year. With only just over 170,000 miles on it, I assumed I'd drive it at least another f ... More >>
There's an old saying that when people feel strongly about a sports betting premonition that they should "bet the farm." The phrase is never uttered with the thought that anyone anywhere would literally do that, though. However, apparently Iganga, Uganda is not part of "anywhere." (And internationa ... More >>
photos by Marco TorresQueen Cora Dunham (center) with Les Twins at the Mrs. Carter Show Afterparty.Houston loves Beyoncé. Monday, July 15th, 2013 will forever be remembered as the night she owned H-Town, performing a monster 24-song set at a sold-out Toyota Center show. Fans lined up from early in ... More >>
Car years are like dog years. They age much faster than we do. The average life cycle of a car is getting shorter and shorter as automakers compete to have the latest and greatest redesign on the block. In between redesigns, many automakers try to trick you into thinking that a car is "all-new" when ... More >>
Believe it or not, the average transaction price for new cars is more than $30,000 these days. That's a lot of money. But just because you're on a budget doesn't mean you have to settle for something boring. What you drive says a lot about you, and your average economy car doesn't say much at all. ... More >>
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced today that Texans will be part of a $29 settlement with Toyota over its actions after claims that various models had sudden, unexplained accelerations that endangered drivers. Texas and 27 other states "investigated whether Toyota adequately and promptly ... More >>
If Mitt Romney won't tell you which need to be closed, we will.
The FBI thinks an Alabama girl who was allegedly kidnapped by her stepfather this week will be moving through the Houston area on the way to Mexico. Ailene Lander was at a doctor's office Septmeber 17 in Dothan, Alabama when she was taken by Charles Partin, investigators say. "There is a concern t ... More >>
Purse-snatching is hardly the most manly of crimes -- you pick a feeble-looking victim you're sure you can outrun, make a grab and then run for the hills. Sometimes, though, you misjudge your prey. That's what the guy pictured here did, and although he got away Crime Stoppers and the Webster polic ... More >>
This weekend is the big Houston Art Car Parade, where children and adults of all ages can gander at their fellow Houstonians' labors of car love. Each car is a marvel to the ingenuity and the insanity of this race known as the modern Texan. The Art Car festivities have cars on our brains. Rock a ... More >>
Enrique Iglesias, Jennifer Lopez and Wisin Y Yandel are heading to Houston's Toyota Center on August 26. This marks the third time that Iglesias has been in Houston in the past year, logging a RodeoHouston date this spring and a Toyota show last fall. Does he own land here or something? From the l ... More >>
Are corporate-sponsored free records a good move?
Executive Chef Junnajet "Jett" Hurapan of the new Blu Restaurant and Lounge (2248 Texas Dr; www.blusugarland.com) in Sugar Land's Town Square, couldn't stop smiling when I was taking pictures of him in the kitchen. "In New York, the photographers didn't want me to smile," he says, but for me he smil ... More >>
On this day in 1965, British songstress Petula Clark reached number one on the charts with "Downtown," a pop classic with an unforgettable hook that has become a mainstay of oldies radio, film soundtracks and TV advertisements in the years since. The song even served as a plot point in an episode o ... More >>
O HAI GUYS DID WE MENTION WE'RE STILL IN DALLAS?â€‹I have one thing to say in advance of tonight's episode: Dean Fucking Fearing. Thank God. An honest-to-Christ Texas chef as a judge on this show for a change. That out of the way, on to the Quickfire Round! Fearing, as mentioned, is the guest judg ... More >>
Photo by HPDNoel Sosa-Ruiz: On the run with a CHL.A domestic dispute ended in murder when a man gunned down a woman at her dentist-office job Thursday evening, Houston police say. Yodani Cruz-Rojas, 29, was killed in a flurry of gunshots from Noel Sosa-Ruiz, 41, with whom police say she was ... More >>
Luck be a lady tonight....The Houston police are telling us about an incident involving what might be the luckiest Good Samaritan ever. It unfortunately involves a fatal accident on the Gulf Freeway. The driver of a red GMC pickup truck died in a crash about 12:30 a.m. today on the Gulf Free ... More >>
We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them. So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning, from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even. This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula involv ... More >>
From Reddit (via the Bayou Blog) comes this note, apparently left on a car parked at the AMC Gulf Pointe 30 on the Gulf Freeway. We thought Toyota had a bunch of U.S. plants, but we bow to this writer's more sophisticated understanding of the subtleties of world economics.
The problem some Toyota drivers have had with unintended acceleration of their vehicles -- a problem we first wrote about last April -- is not caused by any electronic flaws in the cars, a lengthy federal study has determined. The lengthy federal study could not determine, however, just what ... More >>
A Facebook page for the victims
Houston billionaires haven't joined Bill Gates' and Warren Buffett's Giving Pledge. Yet. â€‹One of the big stories this week is Bill Gates' and Warren Buffett's Giving Pledge, where the super-billionaires have promised to donate half their money to charity. Even better, they've convinced 38 other ri ... More >>
Toyota launches its Prius Facebook competition; we launch our Prius Facebook page.â€‹To celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of the Prius, Toyota is launching a Facebook competition to find "the most passionate Prius fan in the United States." From Toyota's press release:As a result, this car with the si ... More >>
50 Cent decides to be a little more selfish on upcoming LP Black Magic.
Photo courtesy FacebookOyedeji had a good academic record at Bellaireâ€‹A kid with a shining future, one who worked hard in class, who seemed to have everything before him, died this weekend, and Bellaire High is grieving.Tobi Oyedeji, 17, was set to play basketball for Texas A&M next year, but ... More >>
â€‹This morning, Live Nation announced more huge roadshows hitting Houston soon (enough), adding Shakira and prog-rockers Tool to Toyota Center's 2010 roster. On-sale information for Kings Of Leon and Roger Water's in-concert production of Pink Floyd's The Wall was also released; see the end of this ... More >>
Photo courtesy Brazos County SOPastorini, looking like he did after they called the Renfro pass incomplete in the title gameâ€‹Houston Oiler quarterback Dan Pastorini, the man who led the team to within a blown call of the Super Bowl, was arrested this morning on suspicion of driving while intoxicat ... More >>
â€‹Toyota announced today that it would pay the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration $16 million to settle allegations that it kept quiet about safety defects on its cars. The penalty is the largest that the federal government has collected from a car company."Toyota could have contested t ... More >>
Plus: Why are Mormons annoyed with Houston?
â€‹Toyota has announced during the last several months a series of recalls to fix the problem of its cars accelerating out of control. Last week, in perhaps the most dramatic move, the company said it would stop selling eight models of cars and trucks. Each of those fixes involved floor mats or gas ... More >>
â€‹We recently took a look at the 10 Biggest Bummers of Houston's Decade; in the spirit of equal time (and the season), we now offer the 10 Biggest Non-Bummers of the Oughts.This being Houston, some of these happy developments have a not-so-happy side, but that's to be expected, we suppose.Are we mi ... More >>
Photos by Groovehouse / Click here for a slideshowâ€‹Aftermath was running late on Saturday night after trying to get a teething baby to sleep. We drove our little Toyota as fast as we dared through a fog that on television would have contained dead pirates, eldritch horrors or Michael Jackson ... More >>
â€‹Toyota made big news today, with a press release titled "Toyota Announces Details of Remedy to Address Potential Accelerator Pedal Entrapment," by announcing the details of a recall that will apparently stop all those problems of Toyota's accelerating wildly out of control, as detailed in a Houst ... More >>
â€‹The Los Angeles Times published a lengthy story this weekend about unintended acceleration in Toyotas, something the Houston Press and Hair Balls have written about from time to time, starting with a cover story in April.The Times wrote the story in response to a highly publicized crash this summ ... More >>
â€‹The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a statement yesterday indicating that problems of unintended acceleration in Toyotas might be caused by something more than faulty floor mats. The statement from the federal agency was a response to Toyota's claims, released on Tuesday, ... More >>
Above, Method Man talks about his pellet-gun accuracy, which was a little off the night he allegedly shot Houstonian Mary Anderson, who is now suing him on several counts including assault. Besides playing House of Blues Friday with Redman and Ghostface, looks like Meth will spend some time in Hous ... More >>
Readers respond to "Wild Ride"
Between serious safety and environmental concerns, the Toyota Prius isn't the angel that everyone thinks it is.
Lesson Number One if you're dealing with Don McGill Toyota in West Houston, especially if you're not really fluent in English: Read all the fine print, even the parts where salespeople have folded the contract over so you can't see it.Texas AG Greg Abbott announced today a $78,000 settlement with th ... More >>
When the police pulled over Malcolm Riles earlier this week and told him he was driving a stolen car, the 29-year-old TSU grad student didnâ€™t know what to think. Initially, he said, one HPD car was behind him, but by the time he pulled into his apartment complexâ€™s parking lot, he and his passen ... More >>
See how your luck pans out at the Houston Museum of Natural Science
Fleetwood Mac opens the Toyota Center, the Chron hyperventilates, and a city grumbles
Despite five deaths in recent weeks, HPD stands by its car chases