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CNN.COM:Toyota: Software to blame for Prius brake problems


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Tokyo, Japan (CNN) -- Without issuing a recall of its iconic Prius hybrid vehicles, Toyota said Thursday a software glitch is to blame for braking problems in the 2010 model.

"We would want to be given a little time," Hiro Yuki Yokoyama, Toyota's managing officer, said when reporters asked whether a recall was in the works.

The company changed its braking system software in January as part of what it called "constant quality improvements," but did not say what it would do about vehicles manufactured before then.

Toyota officials described the problem as a "disconnect" in the vehicle's complex anti-lock brake system (ABS) that causes less than a one-second lag. With the delay, a vehicle going 60 mph will have traveled nearly another 90 feet before the brakes begin to take hold.

Brakes in hybrids such as the Prius operate differently from brakes in most cars. In addition to standard brakes, which use friction from pads pressed against drums or rotors, the electric motors in hybrids help slow them. The process also generates electricity to recharge the batteries.

The Japanese government has warned Toyota to take seriously mounting complaints with the Prius. Toyota Vice President Shinichi Sasaki met with Japan's transport minister on Wednesday.

Source: CNN

Full Article click here :


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Steve Wozniak may have found another issue with the Prius software cruise control.



Toyota has this accelerator problem we've all heard about. Well, I have many models of Prius* that got recalled, but I have a new model that didn't get recalled. This 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. This is software. It's not a bad accelerator pedal. It's very scary, but luckily for me I can hit the brakes.

(* he literally has a small fleet that he provides for family and staff)

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Yeah Steve Wozniak was on World News with Diane Sawyer's Brian Ross and he was talking about his experience with his Prius. He suggested that the problem might have to do with the software and that he contacted individuals in Toyota to tell them this , to no avail


The day after Toyota insisted problems with random acceleration in its cars had been fixed by a recall that will replace gas-pedal assemblies, Apple computers co-founder Steve Wozniak told ABC's Brian Ross that he believes the problem with his Toyota was not gas pedals, but software. Wozniak also said he been trying to get the attention of Toyota and the government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for several months without success.

Apple's Steve Wozniak says there's more than a stuck pedal wrong with his Prius.

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Wozniak said when he uses cruise control in his 2010 Prius, which is not on Toyota's recall list of models that may have "sticky" gas pedals, the car sometimes goes into an "unlimited speed up."

"I tap the cruise control lever to increase the speed and it basically goes into an unlimited speed up," said Wozniak. "If I hit the brake it disables my cruise control and it goes back to normal."

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Maybe tech-wizard Woz can provide, you know, some video to the news agencies, so it gets documented in front of the public.

There's no better way to compel an automaker to issue a good, fast fix.

When I worked at NHTSA, folks would sometimes send in media like VHS tapes and cassettes to document their troubles. People at the agency paid attention. I watched/listened to some of them myself.

A single phone call or online submission? Not nearly as effective.

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I think I felt this once. I bought at Prius at the end of October and it only happened once, but there was this surge as I was braking and the car kind of leapt forward. Luckily, I was able to recover and didn't ram the car in front of me.

It hasn't happened since and so some of it may be aclimating to the new car, but it's definitely something that makes me worry a little. I don't think it will be an ongoing problem though, but I will get it checked out when the fix comes.

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Toyota looking at Lexus hybrid brakes

February 4, 2010 10:15 p.m. EST

Tokyo, Japan (CNN) -- Toyota has added the brake systems of the latest Lexus hybrid vehicles to a growing list of problems with various models, the company said Friday.

The company said it was checking the brakes on the Lexus vehicles -- as well as a Japanese model called the Sai -- because they use the same system as that used on the 2010 Toyota Prius.

Toyota has announced no recall of these vehicles, however, and said it has not received any complaints about the brakes from consumers.

But the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Thursday it is opening a formal investigation into problems with the Prius, Toyota's fourth-best selling model in the United States and the best-selling model in Japan.

The company has acknowledged a software glitch that is causing problems with its braking. It said it is looking further at the best way to repair the problem.

On Thursday, Ford announced that it was changing the software in the braking system for its Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids to correct an occasion glitch in the old software. Ford said no injuries had been reported involving the problem.

Source: CNN


I thought that was an interesting tidbit in the article about FORD sneaking in a software fix, but it dosent bode well for Toyota when they are looking at their elite brand in Lexus.

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