Brake problems for Toyota Prius

Posted on Friday, 5 February 2010 , 10:02:03 byEmil

Filed under priusbrakeproblemstoyotaToyotaHybrid

Brake problems for Toyota Prius

If as Toyota was not experiencing enough problems, being right in the middle of a huge sticky accelerator pedal issue that affected most of its models, now Toyota is on the brink of another huge scandal. More precisely, about 100 complaints, two of which involved crashes, have been filed with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration while in Japan the transport ministry has reported 14 complaints of acceleration related problems. This time, the problems are not with all the models of the Japanese automaker, but just the Toyota Prius .

The problems of the Toyota Prius were brought into public attention by the co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak who owns a lot of Toyota Prius models. Even though he tried to contact Toyota and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for three months, he was unable to get either organization to look for a software related defect until now. In an interview with CNET, Steve Wozniak stated ``This is software. It`s not a bad accelerator pedal. It`s very scary, but luckily for me I can hit the brakes``. In an earlier speech at the Discovery forum, the Apple co-founder said ``I have many models of Prius that got recalled, but I have a new model that didn`t get recalled. The new model has an accelerator that goes wild but only under certain conditions of cruise control. And I can repeat it over and over and over again safely``.

John Hanson, Toyota spokesman, has stated ``After many years of extensive testing, we`ve found no evidence of an electronic problem that could have contributed to unwanted acceleration. We`ve investigated many times and found no evidence to point to." His statement was echoed by Toyota`s vice president of quality, Shinichi Sasaki, who added "We have not come across any case in which we have found a malfunction. But if any additional reports arise, we will conduct testing using all technology at our disposal``.

Finally, search for a software glitch that could cause the Toyota Prius to accelerate unintentionally has been commenced by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Ray LaHood, Transportation Secretary, has stated ``We`re not finished with Toyota and are continuing to review possible defects and monitor the implementation of the recalls." While he didn`t elaborate, several government sources have stated the review will include a look into possible electronic problems``.

This is a serious blow for Toyota. The entire series of problems they are experiencing will surely diminish the trust of the potential new buyers and it will take a lot of time before they will return to large sales volumes.