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Consumer Affairs first wrote about unintended acceleration in a Prius August 1. It had just 600 miles on the odometer but a driver was reporting problems with acceleration and the display. It won Consumer Affairs Lemon of the Week Award. August 12, Consumer Affairs is writing again about the same problem.

This time they are making more serious claims. They are saying this suggests "a serious flaw in the vehicle's computer system, electronic controls or software program." Now, Consumer Affairs said they reported about this last year as well. They all go to shop and technicians look into it but no one can repeat unintended acceleration or find a problem.

[Source: Consumer Affairs]


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  • 10 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      nerve wracking experience..purchased a new 2007 highlander hybrid, had alot of water in our are. on way to work , had to cross 3-10 inches of water. suv proceeded not far from water and quit. engine had to be replaced. next day after picking uo, engine light came on, had a sensor replaced. next day after picking up vehicle, engine light came on, catalytic converter has to be replaced. havn't picked up vehicle from this incident yet. very afraid of whats next..... vehicle purchased new, has a little over 3,000 miles on it. high priced payments for a nightmare
      • 8 Years Ago
      Bob R.--I highly doubt CR is reposting wire service articles as their own. Or trolling for lawsuit clients.

      Are you a conspiracy theorist?

      • 8 Years Ago
      Here's a disasterous one for a Ford F-150:

      "I WAS IN A BANK DRIVE-UP DRIVING MY DAUGHTER¿¿S 2004 FORD 150 TRUCK. WHEN I STARTED TO LEAVE THE TRUCK LURCHED AND THE ENGINE WENT TO FULL SPEED. I IMMEDIATELY APPLIED THE BRAKES BUT THEY DID NOTHING TO SLOW THE TRUCK. I WAS HEADED STRAIGHT FOR THE BANK WHERE THE TELLERS WERE, SO I TURNED SHARPLY TO THE RIGHT. THE TRUCK KEPT GOING AT A HIGH RATE OF SPEED WITH ME TRYING TO STOP IT WITH THE BRAKES. IT SHOT THROUGH THE PARKING LOT AND ACROSS A VERY BUSY ROAD WHERE A CAR HIT ME. THE IMPACT OF THE OTHER CAR DIDN¿¿T EVEN PHASE THE TRUCK. IT KEPT GOING, OVER THE CURB ACROSS THE STREET, THROUGH A BURGER KING PARKING LOT AND RAMMED INTO METAL STAIRS ON THE SIDE OF A JEWELRY STORE WHERE IT FINALLY STOPPED. I HIT THE STAIRCASE AT A TREMENDOUS RATE OF SPEED YET THE AIRBAGS DIDN¿¿T DEPLOY. THE CAR THAT HIT ME WAS TOTALED AND THE DRIVER WENT TO THE HOSPITAL. MY DAUGHTER¿¿S TRUCK WAS TOTALED AND I HAD TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL WITH INJURIES THAT TURNED OUT TO BE BRUISES ALL OVER MY BODY, ESPECIALLY ON MY LEGS. THE STAIRCASE WAS DESTROYED AND A CAR NEARBY HAD DAMAGE. THE INSURANCE WAS NOT ADEQUATE TO COVER ALL THE DAMAGE. THE INSURANCE COMPANY SENT SOMEONE OUT TO DO AN ENGINEERING REPORT ON THE TRUCK BUT HE COULD NOT FIND THE CAUSE. THAT DIDN¿¿T SURPRISE ME AS THERE WAS LITTLE LEFT TO INSPECT. THIS WAS DEFINITELY A MECHANICAL FAILURE. I DID NOT HAVE MY FOOT ON THE GAS PEDDLE. I WAS TRYING TO STOP THE TRUCK WITH THE BRAKES AND STEERING TO AVOID PEOPLE AND OTHER OBSTACLES. FORD NEEDS TO LOOK INTO THIS AS IT IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS FLAW OR DEFECT. I AM GOING TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR A LOT OF MONEY TO REPAIR THE DAMAGE THAT THE INSURANCE DIDN¿¿T PAY."

      And a close call for a BMW 325i:

      "DT*: THE CONTACT STATED THAT WHILE PULLING INTO A PARKING SPACE, THE VEHICLE ACCELARATED WITHOUT EFFORT. THERE WAS EMERGENCY BRAKING WHICH RESULTED IN THE VEHICLE HITTING A CONCRETE SUPPORT PARKING STRUCTURE ON THE FRONT RIGHT SIDE OF THE VEHICLE. THE VEHICLE ALMOST CONTINUED OVER THE EDGE OF THE PARKING STRUCTURE WHICH WAS TWO STORIES ABOVE THE GROUND. SUBSEQUENTLY, WHILE THE VEHICLE WAS BEING DRIVEN HOME THE REAR ABS BRAKE LIGHTS AND THE BRAKES LIGHTS ON THE DASHBOARD ILLUMINATED. DURING THIS PERIOD, THE VEHICLE SLOWED DOWN WITHOUT APPLYING PRESSURE TO THE BRAKE. ALSO, THE VEHICLE SURGED FORWARD. THE CONTACT HAD THE VEHICLE TOWED TO THE DEALER AND IT WAS EXAMINED. ACCORDING TO THE DEALER, THE VEHICLE WOULD NEED DIAGNOSTIC TESTING AT A CHARGE BEFORE THE BRAKES CHIP CAN BE REPLACED. THE DEALER DETERMINED THAT THERE WAS NO ABNORMAL CODE IN THE COMPUTER.*AK"
      • 8 Years Ago
      ConsumerAffairs.com is a site run by a law firm, and often reposts wire service articles as their own, in addition to writing these kinds of inflammatory articles. I suspect they are trolling for lawsuit clients.

      They have failed to demonstrate that the surprise acceleration occurs at a rate any greater than found in other cars for the usual reasons: stuck throttle pedal, wrong pedal pushed, carpet stuck up against pedal, etc.

      There's over a million of these cars on the road now, and I have a Google News alert set which informs me of any articles that mention the Prius, and the only mention I've ever seen of uncontrolled acceleration comes from these guys.

      - Bob R.
      • 8 Years Ago
      No, Don, I'm not a conspiracy theorist. Thanks for asking.

      Back on May 5, 2006 on the PriusChat web site, I documented an specific instance of this where an AP wire article had been largely copied but with ConsumerAffairs.com's own staffer attributed as the "author".

      See:
      http://priuschat.com/lofiversion/index.php/t19233.html

      If you read the fine print on ConsumerAffairs' very own "submit a complaint" form, they are quite explicit that the information will be shared with attorneys who may contact you:

      "We work with attorneys with specific expertise in many areas of consumer law. It is sometimes necessary for them to contact you in order to determine whether there is a legal remedy for your complaint. There is no charge for any such consultation. Check below if you DO NOT want to be contacted by an attorney."

      See:
      http://www.consumeraffairs.com/php/a_report.php

      So, Don, no "conspiracy", just easily verifiable facts. Next question.

      - Bob R.
      • 7 Years Ago
      On the 30th of Aug, while pulling into a parking slot, my 2007 Prius accelerated on its own resulting in major damage to the front when it impacted 2 parked cars. It happened so fast that I had no time to react until I hit a fence and stopped.
      • 7 Years Ago
      on 8/30/07 while pulling into a parking slot my 2007 Prius accelerated by itself, at full speed. It damaged two parked cars and major damage was done to the front of the Prius.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Don, this is an article written by Consumer Affairs, not Consumer Reports (or "CR", as you wrote). I would trust Consumer Reports, but not Consumer Affairs to write fair, balanced reports.

      Complaints about unintended acceleration are very common for all makes and models. I suspect the Prius is being singled out only because it has "fancy electronics" that can be scapegoated, rather than making the driver accept responsibility.

      For other examples of this problem, check the following website:

      http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/complain/complaintsearch.cfm

      Enter in pretty much any make and model, and you'll find complaints about uncontrolled acceleration (listed under VEHICLE SPEED CONTROL). For example, for the 2004 Honda Accord:

      "WHEN PARKING THE CAR IN A PARKING LOT, AS I WAS TURNING INTO THE PARKING SPACE THE CAR JUMPED (WENT VERY FAST FORWARD AND HIT THE WALL IN FRONT OF ME) EVEN THOUGH I HAD MY FOOT ON THE BRAKES I FELT I HAD NO CONTROL OF THE CAR AND THE ENGINE TURNED OFF ON IT'S OWN. I ALSO NOTICED IT JUMPED GEARS, IT WAS NO LONGER ON D BUT D3. THIS INCIDENT CAUSED DAMAGE TO THE BUMPER OF THE CAR.*AK"

      "AT A STOP WITH THE BRAKES DEPRESSED RPMS ACCELERATED. THIS CAUSED CONSUMER'S VEHICLE TO REAR END THE VEHICLE IN FRONT. DEALERSHIP WAS NOTIFIED, BUT DID NOT RESOLVE THE PROBLEM. VEHICLE WAS STILL DRIVABLE. *AK *NM"

      "WHEN COMING TO A STOP APPLIED BRAKE BUT CAR ACCELEARTED LIKE GAS PEDAL WAS BEING APPLIED RPM SPEEDED UP. END RESULT WAS REAR ENDING CAR IN FRONT OF ME. CRASH RESULTED IN $2700.00 AMAGE TO MY VEHICLE AND $800.00 TO CAR WHILE AT DEALERSHIP FOR ROUTINE SERVICE MENTIONED PROBLEM TO SERVICE PERSON HE STATED HE HAD NO KNOWLEDGE OF PROBLEM DID NOT ATTEMPT TO DUPLICATE PROBLEM."

      "AS I WAS PULLING OUT OF MY PARKING SPOT AT THE LOCAL KMART, IN MY 2004 HONDA ACCORD EX, I NOTICED ANOTHER CAR BACKING OUT ALSO. I APPLIED MY BRAKE AND PUT MY CAR FROM REVERSE INTO DRIVE TO PULL A LITTLE WAYS BACK INTO MY PARKING SPACE SO I WOULD NOT GET INTO AN ACCIDENT, WHEN SUDDENLY AND WITHOUT WARNING (THE BLINK OF AN EYE) MY CAR CRASHED INTO ANOTHER VEHICLE. IN SHOCK, I PRESSED HARDER ON THE BRAKE, BUT MY CAR CONTINUED TO ACCELERATE AND I COULD NOT STOP IT. I HIT TWO OTHER PARKED CARS BEFORE THE BRAKES FINALLY STOPPED THE CAR. THANK GOD IT STOPPED AS MY CAR WAS HEADING TOWARD THE KMART STORE. ONE 85-YEAR OLD LADY WAS INJURED WHILE IN HER CAR. THE OTHER TWO CARS WERE EMPTY. A LOT OF DAMAGE TO 3 VEHICLES PLUS ALMOST $7,000 DAMAGE TO MY ACCORD. AFTER MY CAR WAS REPAIRED, I ASKED THE HONDA DEALERSHIP TO LOOK AT MY CAR AND THEY COULD FIND NOTHING WRONG. I ASKED TO HAVE THE CRUISE CONTROL DISCONNECTED AS I HAVE READ THAT MAY BE WHAT CAUSES "SUDDEN ACCELERATION ACCIDENTS" AND HONDA REFUSED SAYING IF SOMETHING WENT WRONG THEY WOULD BE LIABLE. THIS IS A NIGHTMARE, JUST HORRIBLE, AS I AM BEING FORCED TO DRIVE MY CAR AND I AM FRIGHTENED ANOTHER INCIDENT WILL OCCUR. SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE! *JB"

      "DT*: THE CONTACT STATED WHILE THE VEHICLE WAS PLACED IN REVERSE WITH SLIGHT BRAKE PRESSURE APPLIED, THERE WAS A PRONOUNCED VIBRATION PHYSICALLY FELT WITHIN THE ENTIRE VEHICLE FOLLOWED BY THE VEHICLE LURCHING BACKWARDS INTO A FENCE. THERE WAS MINOR DAMAGE TO THE REAR FENDER AREA, AND NO INJURIES WERE SUSTAINED. THE POLICE WERE NOT ALERTED. THE MANUFACTURER WAS NOTIFIED. UPDATED 12/18/2006 - THE SUDDEN ACCELERATION FAILURE OCCURRED TWICE. *NM"

      "UNINTENDED ACCELERATION CAR SHIFT LEVER WAS IN D3 AND THE BRAKE WAS DOWN WHEN THE ENGINE STARTED REVVING UP AND DOWN AS IF IN NEUTRAL. THINKING THE RACING NOISE WAS FROM ANOTHER VEHICLE THE DRIVER RELEASED THE BRAKE IN PREPARATION OF DRIVING. THE VEHICLE SUDDENLY LURCHED FORWARD BURNING RUBBER. RE-APPLYING THE BRAKES BROUGHT IT TO A STOP. AT THAT POINT IT WAS NOTICED THE GEAR SELECTOR WAS ON D3 RATHER THAN D. THE GEAR WAS PUT INTO DRIVE AND ALL SEEMED OK. THE FAILURE COULD NOT BE DUPLICATED LATER AND NO WARNING LIGHTS CAME ON. THE ONLY UNUSUAL THING WAS THAT WE HAD JUST USED THE VEHICLE TO JUMP START ANOTHER. *NM"

      "DT*: THE CONTACT STATED WHILE APPLYING BRAKE WHILE TRAVELING DOWNHILL, THE BRAKE PEDAL EXTENDED ALL THE WAY TO THE FLOOR BOARD AND THE VEHICLE ACCELERATED FORWARD CRASHING INTO A TREE. THE CONTACT WAS WEARING A SEAT BELT, AND NO INJURIES WERE SUSTAINED. THE VEHICLE SUSTAINED MINOR DAMAGE. THE POLICE WERE NOT ALERTED. THE VEHICLE WAS TOWED TO THE DEALER FOR INSPECTION. THE DEALER WAS UNABLE TO DUPLICATE THE PROBLEM OR FIND ANYTHING WRONG. THE MANUFACTURER WAS ALERTED. UPDATED 11/30/2006 - *NM"

      "WHILE DRIVING VEHICLE SPEED CONTROL FAILED. UPON DEPRESSING THE BRAKES THE RPMS INCREASED, AND VEHICLE JUST TOOK OFF. CONSUMER'S VEHI
      • 8 Years Ago
      Old Dude: "I don't know about you, but in my car, the brake is on the right."
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think these people are not familiar with driving a car... maybe they had water bottles in the back and they rolled forward under the brake pedal, similar to the pinto in the car crash scene in final destination 2. They were too embarrassed and since they hurt people, they just wanted to push the blame on something/someone else. Or they're the type to have their foot pressing both the accelerator and brake simultaneously.