• Feb 4th 2010 at 8:05AM
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2010 Toyota Prius – Click above for high-res image gallery

The latest version of the world's most popular hybrid has so far been excluded from the Toyota recall mess. While we've heard of brake problems with the third-gen Prius – and Seve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Inc., complained as well – it wasn't until yesterday that Toyota admitted that there is a software problem in the 2010 Prius. The Prius is still technically not part of the recall, but the company changed the software in January and will now need to deal with all of the 2010 Priuses built and sold before then.

As we speculated yesterday, the problem comes from the way the Prius' complicated anti-lock brake system can have a lag when driving on uneven or frozen surfaces. Over 100 complaints about the issue were filed with the NHTSA in the past year. As far as anyone knows, second-generation Prius models (2004-2009 model years) are not affected by the brake issue. Keep up with Autoblog's full coverage of the Toyota recall here. Toyota's UK office said there were no problems with the 2010 Prius there. Read the statement after the jump.

*UPDATE: NHTSA opens official investigation.

[Source: CNN, AP]



No problems reported in UK or Europe

Toyota GB PLC can confirm that there have been no reported problems in the UK or Europe with the braking performance of the current, third-generation Prius, since its launch in August 2009.

Toyota dealers in North America and Japan have notified Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) that they have received complaints related to brakes in the current-generation Prius. There have been no reports of any accidents or injuries related to this issue.

In their complaints, customers reported inconsistent brake feel when the brakes are slowly applied and the Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) is activated, when driving over potholes, bumps, or slippery road surfaces.

On the basis of the information provided, and Toyota's investigation into the reported problems, Toyota did not find that vehicle safety was compromised. However, Toyota will continue to investigate the issues one by one, including whether or not we regard this to be a safety issue.

Toyota made a change to the software in the ABS control on the current, third generation Prius in late January this year. This was done to alleviate a control-related phenomenon Toyota identified as the source of the problems reported by its customers.

This type of change during production is part of Toyota's strategy of making incremental improvements to its vehicles, to continue offering better quality vehicles to its customers.

Miguel Fonseca, Managing Director Toyota GB, said: "We can assure Prius owners that no safety issue has been identified with the braking system fitted to their cars, and that no problems have been reported by customers in the UK or Europe. With safety as our main concern, Toyota will continue to investigate thoroughly any problems that are reported

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Toyota has been involved in a cover-up of its accelerator pedal issues, possibly dating back to 2002.
      This current recall of more than 2 million vehicles has Toyota drivers either stranded or risking injury driving to work.
      If you feel you were the victim of unintended acceleration, please consult this Web site for important legal information: http://www.toyota-class-action-lawsuit.com/
      Toyota is also set to announce a recall on nearly a quarter-million Prius cars due to a malfunctioning brake system.

      Muscle Dude
      • 5 Years Ago
      Toyota is doing damage control, primarily because the audio on this car crash is so horrifying, so vivid, they figure they will lose that case no matter what.

      Listen: http://www.cardealerreviews.org/?p=247148
      • 5 Years Ago
      There were so many people talking about Toyota on Twitter that it was one of the top trending topics for a while - check out the video at http://www.joshrimer.com/super-bowl-itkillsme-toyota/ to see some of the more entertaining ones in a funny video. :-)
      • 5 Years Ago
      So, they knew about it. But, they decided to do nothing about Customer's Safety because it would hurt their sales and reputations? In other words, this company cares about nothing but their numbers.
      This company does not deserve sell cars in the US. The government should make Toyota to stop selling all their cars including the used ones.
      Don't they field test before releasing it to the general public? Toyota screwed this so bad that I don't think they will be able to recover for a long time.
        • 5 Years Ago
        you do not know what you are talking about! Toyota is one of the only companys that acutally takes care of there issues quickly! How about dodge having more than 15,000 complaints last year for the same accelerator issue as toyota? Learn your facts before talking about issues you do not have a clue about!
        • 5 Years Ago

        If you care so much about safety, why don't you go and complain about the millions of deathtraps your industry has been making as SUVS.

        As another blogger put it so well:

        """Ironically, however, every year around 10,000 people die in SUV rollovers, many of which are significantly due to design defects, such as overly high centers of gravity, inadequate roof structures, defective tires, defective door latches and overly narrow tire tracks - all of which are design defects that the auto industry has known about for decades.

        Consequently, for decades, the US auto industry has been largely driven by an entirely defective automotive design that directly kills thousands of SUV drivers every year - mostly in single vehicle accidents - while guzzling massive amounts of foreign oil and killing everything else that gets in its way.

        And yet 10,000 deaths per year continues to mean so little."""

        I couldn't have said it better myself.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Dodge having "15,000 complaints" does seem to be hyperbole:

        "Toyota has many more complaints racked up than other automakers, when looking at 2008 model-year vehicles, according to an analysis by Consumer Reports. As reported by the Consumer Reports car blog, Toyota had 41 percent of all unintended-acceleration complaints (52 in all) for 2008 model-year vehicles, while Ford has 28 percent of all complaints (36 in all). That's well above the 16-percent U.S. market share that each of the automakers held, averaging 2007 and 2008.

        Chrysler was third, with 11 complaints determined by CR to be related to unintended acceleration; but that's relative to a 12-percent average market share.

        Consumer Reports looked at 5,916 complaint reports and identified 166 cases of unintended acceleration in which the driver had trouble controlling the vehicle.

        General Motors vehicles ranked especially low, according to CR, with a relative risk of just one in 500,000, while Honda and Nissan ranked even lower, with four and two percent of overall complaints, respectively. Based on the organization's analysis, the risk in Toyotas is about one in 50,000 of encountering the issue."


        This article is more than two months old - anyone got anything newer?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Last time something like this happed was to Ford with Firestone. The government put in all kinds of reporting requirements under the TREAD act.

        So you cannot completely put the blame on Toyota here. I don't think it's a case of Toyota hiding data, more like them not understanding the real root cause and hesitating to act on insufficient understanding.

        So where were the government "experts" in monitoring the defect data? Because if Toyota didn't catch it than the government should have. TREAD failed and that can't be ignored in this case.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I disagree with you. If it is our safety at risk, then it is the government job to step in to do whatever it is necessary to act. This is not about market shares. It is not about who is selling more cars. It is about people driving Toyota cars and they could run into any other cars. It means everyone is at risk. The market will take care itself? Sure... You want to tell that to those victims who got into the accident and died? How would you feel if it was your parents or loved ones? I would do anything to stop these accidents from happening even if it means the government should step into ban Toyota.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "How about dodge having more than 15,000 complaints last year for the same accelerator issue as toyota?"
        Do you have a link to support this claim?
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Nozferat. For 2008, IIHS reports 9023 vehicle occupant fatalities in rollovers, of which only 2494 were SUV occupants. The safety of SUVs has improved so much that fatality rates for SUV occupants are now substantially less than passenger cars and pickups (52 vs 92 and 114 per million registered passenger vehicles 1-3 years old, 2008). See http://www.iihs.org/research/fatality_facts_2008/occupants.html
        • 5 Years Ago
        That is not the role of government. The government is doing what they are supposed to do and regulate without overstepping (getting close). The market will help sort this out, just as it did with GM and Ford when they were making similar gaffs.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Obama and his henchmen will try to destroy Toyota since they employ non union employees and compete with Obama Motors er GM. This is fairly transparent and again shows that Obama does not care about the economy but his political power. I wonder which side you greenies will come down on. Toyota's who is actually manufacturing and selling a green car that has led to decreased emissions; or Obama's whose administration will further fuel the 'environmental' movement by increasing crippling regulation on industry and forbidding oil exploration and nuclear power and perhaps even the complete destruction of the economy and thus the evil capitalistic ways of the US. Should be and interesting sight to see.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ah Jim...

        So I guess you heard the words "hide", "hiding", etc enough times on Fox news for it to stick in your mind....mission accomplished.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Beester, it is obvious you did not hear the State of the Union address recently.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Toyota is doing a pretty good job of self destructing without any help.

        In general, the public understands that design/manufacturing defects happen. But hiding the problem, particularly a safety related one, destroys the trust that the market has assigned the brand.

        Your post exhibits the petulance of a child who has had a toy taken from him.
      • 5 Years Ago
      IT is absolutely disgusting to see you saying, "the market will take care of itself." That comment is absolutely disgusting and it shows how ignorant you are. sure, your family is still walking in two feet and other people are dying. So, you don't care and you don't think there are any issues going on right now. Do you know what Safety means? Do you have a neighbor that owns any Toyota vehicles? Do you see any toyota vehicles in the highway today?
      Unless your answer are no on these questions. It is absolutely sickening to see your ignorant responses. Tell your market idea to the people who lost their families and friends. Tell them that Market will take care of itself and they should be worry free. Yea... thank you for your economy 101 lesson.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah. Let's just get the government to put Toyota out of business. That will show them. How dare they design a groundbreaking hybrid and employ non union workers at that. Bastards.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If it that's what it takes to make people safer on the road, sure...
      I don't care about Toyota. Kick them out. I don't want any Toyota cars run into my back or side. I will be hurt as much as other cars.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Dude...seriously....stop your whining and fear-mongering drivel. Why don't you got and complain to Ford for killing over 10 times as many people with their Explorer POS than what Toyota has done with their entire fleet and recent issues.

        What...the Big 3 paying your bills?

        Give it a break already....this ridiculous fear and herd-like panic is getting old. Is it any wonder dumb-asses in this country support the disaster of a war in Iraq?
        • 5 Years Ago
        The best way to keep everyone safe on the roads is to just make everyone walk. Of course then we couldn't tax it or regulate it and lawyers couldn't sue over it. But then again, I am sure they would find a way.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh dear, not the golden child too.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Toyota's insistence on holding to a take-it-slow, let's-get-to-the-bottom-of-this-and-have-all-the-pieces-in-place-before-we-go-public approach is imperiling the trust the automaker has spent decades building.

      Toyota's #1 asset during this time of crisis is its base of loyal customers. But how can your most passionate owners stand up for you if they don't know what's going on? Read more about this at http://www.quisenblog.com/.
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