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In the wake of yesterday's "runaway Prius" in San Diego, Toyota says it's still working on a fix for the thousands of hybrids included in the 4.36 million vehicles recalled last November. The source of the unintended acceleration on these affected Prius models is the same as the other vehicles involved in the recall: A floor mat that gets jammed up against the throttle. Unfortunately for Toyota, the owner of yesterday's "runaway Prius" claims the floormat wasn't his car's problem.

Regardless, Toyota says that new, smaller pedals and redesigned floor mats are in the works for these vehicles, but modifications haven't begun because the automaker is still working on a more specific solution. Yeah, we're a bit confused as well.

Contrary to a report by the Wall Street Journal, a new recall isn't in the cards for the last-gen Prius and Toyota spokesperson Brian Lyons told The Detroit News that while he can't disclose exactly when this floormat fix will happen for affected Prius models or how the correction will be implemented, the changes will take place "sometime this year." Here's hoping it's sooner rather than later.


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[Sources: Detroit News, Wall Street Journal - Sub. Req.]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      What ACTUAL evidence do you have that Toyota has dragged it's feet? According to NHTSA, Toyota doesn't even have the highest SUA rates. So does that mean all the other auto makers are dragging their feet too?

      What ACTUAL evidence do you have that the floormat isn't the issue? The police report on the CHP officer and his family who died, pretty clearly concluded it WAS the floormat. Previous user had the SUA problem and told them it was the floormat. The police report also said the incorrect rubber floormat installed on TOP of the regular floor mats was fused to the accelerator pedal when they investigated the accident. Sure sounds convincing to me that in this case, it WAS the floor mat.

      So many people are just uninformed and many are Toyota bashers.

      Maybe this runaway Prius turns out to be a "balloon boy" hoax? Why did the brakes suddenly start working when the CHP officer talked the driver through the process? Why did the brakes start working at that instant, but not the other 20 minutes when the officer wasn't there? If not a hoax, it probably was the floor mat. His model Prius is part of the Toyota recall and had not been fixed yet. Bet ya the floor mat got stuck and then he moved it after the car stopped.

      Occam's Razor - the simplest theory is usually the correct one
      • 4 Years Ago
      How can they be working on another fix, but it not be a recall? Especially if they are admitting the first "fix" isn't good enough? Wow.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree that throttle-override software that cuts the throttle when brakes are applied is a worthy safety feature, and ought to be standard on Toyotas--though that makes me fear for the future of burnouts, and, even more painfully, heel-and-toe downshifting (though IIRC, some cars' override software only cuts in after a few seconds of sustained throttle).

        But barring a severe brake failure, it just isn't accurate to say "the brakes don't override the accelerator" in cars without such software. A car at WOT may take 50% longer to stop from freeway speeds than one that is idling, but it *will* stop--and within the normal range of stopping distances of most older cars on the road, or new ones whose maintenance has been neglected.

        Car & Driver did a good write-up on this subject, including instrumented testing. It's well worth a read: http://www.caranddriver.com/features/09q4/how_to_deal_with_unintended_acceleration-tech_dept
        • 4 Years Ago
        ... because its a software/electrical problem.

        The fact that an unintended acceleration can take place by shorting inputs AS TOYOTA DEMONSTRATED irregardless of user inputs (or floormat inputs for that matter) should be reason enough to make a design change to the software hence a recall.

        The fact that brakes don't override the accelerator is pure stupidity on Toyota's part.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think I'm beginning to formulate a new plan for my future financial well-being:

      1. Buy a Toyota
      2. Intentionally drive it into a bridge on the freeway. Claim unintended accelleration
      3. Sue Toyota
      4. Profit!
      • 4 Years Ago
      More i look at this car...and more I 'm sure that it's the ugliest thing on the road nowadays....a condom on wheels.......
        • 4 Years Ago
        It is extremely ugly. I want to save that kind of gas so badly, but I can't do it in that ugly thing, no way. If I ever get a prius it would have to be the last gen prius, I got used to it's ugly features after renting one. But, they could give me the new prius and I wouldn't want it! LOL
        Just kidding!
        Well I guess I'm not lieing, cause they'd be no way in hell I would drive that thing after all that's going on. I feel sorry for people that own these vehicles and don't have an option to stop driving them. No one should be put in this predicament. This should have never happened in such a dangerous machine like a car, it's already a risky thing to drive, and now car companies are making it even riskier.
        I think one of the biggest reasons why all these companies have having so many manufacturing problems is because of the bad economy. Everytime we go through a great Recession, things are usually missing from manufacturing like good quality.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Toyota's secretly made a pact with GreenPeace, and is following the uber-green mantra of "Save the world, kill the humans". ;P
      • 4 Years Ago
      Watch it, California(my state) is going to ban Toyotas.
      • 4 Years Ago
      You may not of known of this recall because your car may have been produced before or after a change to correct a problem that had occurred and therefore not involving your car in the recall. A lot of recalls involve a certain number of cars that are produced in a certain time frame where a defective part was installed. Then the manufacturers recall by serial number sequence that coincide with that batch of the defective part.

      As to Toyota and their seemingly endless blame of the floormats in so many models, the argument is growing increasingly slim and lame. Don't they have an engineer that can figure this out and make the modification? Or maybe simply tell the customers to remove the damn thing. By not telling the customer to remove the mat is maybe an attempt by Toyota to shift the blame on somthing other than their own incompetence in finding out and solving the real problems.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Real question: If there was an ETC issue, would the pedal get stuck like corvette club fanboy described, to the point where if you tug on it, the stuck pedal won't budge?
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Prius halo is getting damaged.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I sure hope somebody is capturing all of the details of what the software was like in all models of Toyotas before they start doing 'maintenance updates' during regular service calls or recalls. At this point, I would not put it past Toyota to upgrade their ETCS software to fix design problems without providing any public notice.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Here's Toyota's strategy: get the owners to turn in their cars for another recall (for what they insist is the problem) and sneak in a reprogram or even replacement of an electronic component while the car is being serviced. That way they don't have to admit what the whole world already knows.
      billmalibu
      • 4 Years Ago
      Toyota is moving way too slow on this. They have known about complaints for years. Like some prior posters, I doubt this is only a "floor mat jammed under the accelerator" problem. Probably there is some media overhype, probably there is some driver error blamed on the cars. BUT the cars have problems!

      I have never owned a Toyota or Lexus, and now I am sure I never will. Happy to stick with Honda/Acura and Nissan/Infiniti as Japanese car makers to consider for future purchases.




        • 4 Years Ago
        @billmalibu
        Yeah, they may eventually fix the problem after dragging their feet for another year, but if this attitude is any indication of how they will handle future problems, i'm not interested in buying one ever, even the upcoming Toyobaru.

        Haven't seen corporate behavior like this for a long time. Even having the media chase them with pitchforks isn't working. Maybe they don't have the money to cover the recalls.
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