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Posts Tagged ‘toyota prius

Toyota Prius Unintended Acceleration Preliminary Findings

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Written by youngmanmaster

March 19, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Weekend Getaway (Prius Commercial)

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Written by youngmanmaster

March 15, 2010 at 9:04 pm

Toyota Offers Preliminary Findings From Technical Field Examination of Alleged ‘Runaway Prius’ in San Diego – Toyota Engineers Conclude Two Days of Investigation; Driver’s Account Of Event Inconsistent With Initial Findings

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SAN DIEGO, March 15 /PRNewswire/ — At a press conference today, Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. offered key preliminary findings of technical field examination and testing that were performed on March 10 and 11 regarding an alleged “runaway Prius” event dramatically covered by national news media.

Toyota engineers completed an investigation of the 2008 Prius driven by Mr. James Sikes that was the subject of a 911 emergency call on Monday, March 8. The driver reported that the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed, the accelerator pedal was stuck, and that the vehicle was out of control and could not be stopped. The emergency operator repeatedly instructed the driver to shift the car into neutral and turn off the power button.

A California Highway Patrol officer intercepted the vehicle and instructed the driver to press firmly on the brakes, apply the emergency brake and turn off the car, at which time the Prius came to a safe stop.

While a final report is not yet complete, there are strong indications that the driver’s account of the event is inconsistent with the findings of the preliminary analysis.

Toyota engineers employed data download/analysis, static and dynamic testing as well as thorough inspections of all relative components. In addition, they retraced the reported driving route taking into account driving time and accounts from the 911 recording.

The investigation revealed the following initial findings:

  • The accelerator pedal was tested and found to be working normally with no mechanical binding or friction. It should be noted that the Prius is not subject to a recall for sticking accelerator pedals and the Prius component is made by a different supplier than the one recalled.
  • The front brakes showed severe wear and damage from overheating. The rear brakes and parking brake were in good condition and functional.
  • A Toyota carpeted floor mat of the correct type for the vehicle was installed but not secured to the retention hooks. It was not found to be interfering or even touching the accelerator pedal.
  • The pushbutton power switch worked normally and shut the vehicle off when depressed for 3 seconds as the 911 operator advised Mr. Sikes to do.
  • The shift lever also worked normally and neutral could be selected. The neutral position is clearly marked and can be easily engaged by moving the lever left to the “N” marking.
  • There were no diagnostic trouble codes found in the power management computer, nor was the dashboard malfunction indicator light activated. The hybrid self-diagnostic system did show evidence of numerous, rapidly repeated on-and-off applications of both the accelerator and the brake pedals.
  • After examination of individual components, the front brakes were replaced and the vehicle was test driven, during which the vehicle was observed to be functioning normally.
  • During testing, the brakes were purposely abused by continuous light application in order to overheat them. The vehicle could be safely stopped by means of the brake pedal, even when overheated.

The Prius braking system uses both conventional hydraulic friction brakes and a regenerative braking system which switches the electric drive motors into brakes to generate electricity. The system features a sophisticated self-protection function which cuts engine power if moderate brake pedal pressure is applied and the accelerator pedal is depressed more than approximately 50 percent, in effect providing a form of “brake override.”

This function, which is intended to protect the system from overload and possible damage, was found to be functioning normally during the preliminary field examination.

Toyota engineers believe that it would be extremely difficult for the Prius to be driven at a continuous high speed with more than light brake-pedal pressure, and that the assertion that the vehicle could not be stopped with the brakes is fundamentally inconsistent with basic vehicle design and the investigation observations.

These findings suggest that there should be further examination of Mr. Sikes account of the events of March 8.

NHTSA investigators were present during Toyota’s examination, and are conducting their own investigation of the vehicle and its performance. Toyota’s examination was also observed by a congressional staff member.

A California driver says his Toyota wouldn’t stop even though he was braking hard. CNN’s Deborah Feyerick reports.

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Honda Fit and Toyota Prius Top Consumer Reports New-Car Best Value List – Annual Auto Issue Names Best and Worst New-Car Best Values in Eight Categories

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YONKERS, N.Y., Feb. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Honda Fit and the Toyota Prius topped the list of new-car best values according to Consumer Reports’ 2010 Annual Auto Issue beating out more than 280 cars in eight categories.

The Honda Fit and the Toyota Prius each earned a value score of 2.08 and provided the best overall value despite being very different cars. Scores are expressed in relation to the value of the average vehicle (designated 1.00). A score of 2.00 represents twice the value of the average model.

While the Prius IV ($26,750) is more expensive than the Honda Fit ($16,020) and has a higher cost per mile (47 cents vs. 42), the Prius performed notably better in Consumer Reports’ battery of road tests, earning a score of 80 versus the Fit’s 68. Both cars have excellent reliability.

“A low price doesn’t always equal a good value,” said Rik Paul, automotive editor at Consumer Reports. “Our best value list can help consumers choose a car that will give them the best bang for the buck.”

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Consumer Reports Names Six New Top Pick Cars for 2010 – Mazda5, Cheverolet Traverse and Volkswagen GTI among the new additions

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YONKERS, N.Y., Feb. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Consumer Reports names six new models to its annual Top Picks car list for 2010. Comprised of nine different car brands, this year’s list is the most diverse group of Top Picks in over a decade.

Findings from Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Issue, including the new Top Picks, were announced today at a Washington Automotive Press Association (WAPA) press conference in Washington, D.C.

The Mazda5, Nissan Altima, Subaru Forester, Volkswagen GTI, and Chevrolet Traverse and Silverado join the Hyundai Elantra SE, Infiniti G37, Toyota Prius and Lexus LS460L as Consumer Reports’ selections for best models of the year based on performance, reliability, and safety.

“The diversity of this year’s Top Picks reflect how competitive the industry has become,” said Rik Paul, Consumer Reports’ automotive editor. “Today’s car buyers have more choices than ever when looking for good all-around cars.”

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MotorWeek Announces 2010 Drivers’ Choice Award Winners

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. – (Business Wire) MotorWeek, television’s longest running automotive series, announced the winners today of its 2010 Drivers’ Choice Awards which recognize best in class vehicles in a variety of lifestyle categories. “Emerging from what was a difficult year, this year’s winners represent new benchmarks being set by the auto industry for engineering, design and fuel efficiency,” said MotorWeek host and executive producer John Davis.

The Toyota Prius took top honors as Best of the Year for making improvements on virtually every front including, fuel efficiency, power and versatility. It was also named Best Eco-Friendly.

“The Prius winning the prestigious MotorWeek Drivers’ Choice Best of the Year and Best Eco-Friendly awards is truly an honor that reflects how far hybrid technology in the U.S. has come in one short decade,” said Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager. “Since it was introduced in 2000, the Prius has been an icon for positive change. Now, with over 800,000 currently on American roads, Prius has helped change the way people think about transportation, the roles cars play in the environment, and what people could expect from their cars in the future.”

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