A Prius owner has complained to Consumer Affairs about the vehicle shutting down completely if one of the front wheels starts spinning in the snow.

"When my car is on any kind of slick surface that causes one of the front wheels to slip, ALL power to the drive system is stopped," said the reader named Christopher.

Apparently Christopher was driving up a snow-covered slope when one tire started to slip and the vehicle "came to a stop." After that the wheels refused to engage, he said. Christopher tried chains and again the vehicle stopped whenever a wheel started slipping. Finally, using human power and a deft touch on the throttle he was able to ascend the hill.

Toyota says the system is operating properly but Christopher feels this type of road condition would lead him to consider the vehicle "unsafe for road use."

Toyota also says an 8-to-10-degree slope is "fairly steep" and could cause the Prius's traction control system to activate. The company also said any vehicle without traction control would start spinning the tires, as well, and possibly lose control.

[Source: Joe Benton / ConsumerAffairs.com]

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