• Mar 22nd 2010 at 11:31AM
  • 19
2010 Toyota Prius – Click above for high-res image gallery

Last month, Toyota recalled 133,000 2010 Prius models due to a braking issue that could cause a momentary loss of stopping power. However, in many of the claims filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the vehicle's cruise control was brought into question, with drivers stating that they had difficulty getting the system to turn off when the brake pedal was depressed. According to Ward's Auto, 11 percent of all 2010 Prius complaints filed with NHTSA cite this issue.

Toyota is now starting to look deeper into these complaints, and believes that the majority of them are the result of driver confusion over the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), which is an option on the top-rung Prius V trim. In talking with Ward's, Toyota spokesperson Dave Lee says that drivers are confusing the Prius' adaptive cruise control for unintended acceleration. Lee states that when drivers use the cruise stalk to adjust vehicle speed, the rate of acceleration is much higher than when the gas pedal is pressed – it takes about one second to increase the car's speed by five miles per hour by just holding the stalk up.

What's more, reports show that drivers tend to overestimate the adaptive cruise control's effectiveness for preventing collisions, such as instances where a vehicle is stopped in the lane ahead, and that the car's owners manual typically states that both laser- and radar-based adaptive cruise systems have trouble detecting vehicles ahead of the car on curves. Two NHTSA complaints reported colliding with stationary objects when the adaptive cruise system was enabled.

Ward's says that it is unclear how many of 2010 Priuses are equipped with DRCC. Even so, the top-end V trim only makes up about eight percent of total Prius sales, so Toyota will continue to investigate these complaints before making a plan of action.

[Source: Ward's Auto]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      ALL of this garbage is just that, GARBAGE.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yet again, this is a case of bad drivers being bad drivers…easily piloting one of the more conservative car makes in the US, and people still manage to prove they are incapable of basic driving logic.

      As I currently own a vehicle with Toyotas dynamic radar cruise, it works only marginally different than any other type of cruise control in existence. Similar to conventional cruise control, an attentive driver is still paramount to arriving safely, while braking cuts the cruise feature. Period. The system also goes out of its way to alert the driver if the distance between two cars is closing too quickly, sounding audio-visual cues to get your attention, beforehand. In fact, you arguably have more time to brake, given the car has already initiated the process by slowing, in some cases, boosting the brakes, making it both more responsive, and earlier detecting. You’d have to purposely be absent-minded to collide with anything in front of you, that you wouldn’t normally…
      • 5 Years Ago
      All this new, snazzy tech and radar gizmos in cars is cool, but in the long run it just makes for stupid drivers and enables those already stupid.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Call me a Luddite, but I think that adaptive cruise seems like a risky feature to use.

        (Disclaimer: I have never used adaptive cc.)
      • 5 Years Ago

      idiots think that cruise control means they can stop paying attention.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is like putting Joe Schmoe in front of a powerful NASA computer and asking home to open Solitaire.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Strange, when Toyota tested these new systems using chimps there were no problems. But in the end the chimps spelled out a message using bananas: " Hyundai please, me no want to die."
        • 5 Years Ago
        Thanks for the chuckle !
      • 5 Years Ago
      See, this is what Toyota gets for catering to non-enthusiasts ONLY. They need to get back into sporting cars stat, and take a break from all this populist crap.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Let me get this straight, your car can accelerate suddenly because you enter a curve and the car ahead of you in that lane is no longer square in front of you for a few seconds. And that feature is working as intended?

      Some feature...
      • 5 Years Ago
      So, by toyota's own admission it's official- people who buy toyotas are stupid.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Two NHTSA complaints reported colliding with stationary objects when the adaptive cruise system was enabled."


      Do people really have no shame making such embarrassing reports?

      "Yes, NHTSA, I ran into a parked car. This is the car's fault, though!"
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, when it's a feature of the cruse control that it should stop... well... yes.

        Not defending anyone, mind you, really just pointing out that when you make a car able to be driven by someone who's brain dead, you get someone who's brain dead driving it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The brakes automatically overrides the cruise control...good grief people.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I recently made a 1000km trip in a car without a cruise ... I thought it would be hell. I've gotten used to using the cruise control on long trips.

      Turns out, it was that bad!

      The trip seemed faster
      I didn't speed as much as I was affraid of --I think that overall, I actually drove slower!
      I got way better fuel economy because I drove slower and because I adjsted my speed to the engine's ability.
      and you know what, the pain in leg was easily offset by a 2 min change in speed.

      Again on the plus side ... I realise that have a cruise control
      leads me to road rage because I get angry when I have to turn it off
      leads to tailgating because I hope that the car in front will move in time

      As for the cruise accelerating outside your expectation ... I've driven lots of rental cars on business trips and you konw what, almost all of them do it in some way shape or other!
      • 5 Years Ago
      This make sense to me.

      My "ordinary" cruise -- and it is worse in car I`m not familiar with -- will catch me off guard if I engage it too far away from the "cruise speed". I`ve learned to manually get the car withing say 3km of where I want to re-engage the cruise as "all hell brakes loose" if I let the car cut in too early (gears down at least on notch).

      Cruise controls save your leg from getting tired or cramped. I think the perception is that the cruise is doing part of the driving so people stop paying attention to the speed aspect of driving.
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