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2010 Prius IV Inverter Failure

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubles' started by JTex05, Feb 22, 2011.

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  1. JTex05

    JTex05 New Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
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    Everyone - This is just an FYI to make sure people know it has happened. While driving on the interstate on our way back to Dallas from San Antonio, all of a sudden 4 different warning lights illuminated on the dash along with the large rectangular warning message saying "Check Hybrid System". The vehicle lost power to the wheels, the accelerator did not work even though the gasoline engine was still running. We were stranded.

    Our vehicle has 3,400 miles on it, like I said it is a month and a half old. Toyota roadside sent a tow-truck to tow our vehicle to the closest dealership. The dealer informed me yesterday that the inverter failed and will have to be replaced (under warranty). I requested he print out every DTC that was in the computer for my records. When I receive those codes I will also post them in this thread.

    From other threads in this forum it appears the only problem that one person has had was a water pump failure. This will now be the second problem reported.

    Thanks, i'll update this with more info when available.
  2. PaJa

    PaJa Senior member

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    The Freeze Frame data (if availlable) will be usefull as well. if you a chance ask dealer for this also.
    1 person likes this.
  3. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    Sorry this had to happen to you. But I am sure they will fix it good as new.
  4. twittel

    twittel Senior Member

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    It's very generous of you to update the forum with your misfortune, but as an OP said, "Toyota will fix it up good as new." Regrets for being stranded on the interstate. I've been on the San Antonio/Dallas interstate and it ain't fun!
  5. Tickwood

    Tickwood Member

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    Is this the first Generation 3 inverter failure anyone knows of?
  6. telmo744

    telmo744 HSD fanatic

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    For me, locally, yes, the only problem with a 3Gen we heard of in Portugal was a malfunction in one of the OnBoardComputers (there are many!) which links to the MFD.
  7. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North Staff Member

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    Thanks for letting us know! Codes will definitely be useful for us. It'll also be useful to know which part of the inverter failed (was it due to overheating? faulty wiring? )
  8. JTex05

    JTex05 New Member

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    Here is an update on the inverter failure diagnosis.

    The dealership told me that their diagnosis was based on a single DTC: DTC P0A3F "Drive Motor A Position Sensor Circuit". I have found a couple of postings on this code in earlier generation Prii, but none with the same problem my vehicle experienced.

    I spoke to the dealership today and they told me they replaced the entire inverter assembly. I asked why they did not just replace the part that had failed, and they failed to give me any response except "we only do what Toyota asks us to do". So, that was not of any help to me. After replacing the entire inverter assembly, the vehicle was still immobile. The gasoline engine runs, but no power to the wheels. So it appears the inverter was not the problem.

    The dealership spoke with engineers at Toyota, and the engineers told them they need to replace the transaxle on my Prius IV with 3400 miles. The transaxle should be to the dealership by tomorrow, and I'm hoping they will have everything together again by saturday.

    I'll keep this post updated with how this gets resolved.
    1 person likes this.
  9. cossie1600

    cossie1600 Active Member

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    Hope car will be as good as new for ya
  10. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    That code, it is either the inverter, transaxle (MG2), or wiring harnesses. The problem is that you can't simply replace MG2, it has to be the whole transaxle assembly. Thanks for sharing your story.
  11. PaJa

    PaJa Senior member

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    Yes, the "REPLACE HYBRID VEHICLE TRANSAXLE ASSEMBLY" is the last step of Prius's Repair procedure. The inverter replacement is somewhere in the middle surounded by variety of check harness steps.
    Actually the DTC P0A3F means the interphase shortage or phase detector failure (all related to MG2).
    If there is an additional INF sub-code 243, there may be an interphase short in the motor resolver due to an intrusion of water into the resolver. I'm pretty sure the transaxle assembly replacement will solve the problem. ​
  12. twittel

    twittel Senior Member

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    Your calm response to this issue is very refreshing! For future reference, did your local dealer (or Toyota) offer you a loaner during repairs?
  13. bretaz

    bretaz Member

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    Same scenario happened on my 03. Replacing inverter did not solve the problem. They were a little perplexed. Replaced the transaxle, and it solved the problem.

    On my 03, they told me they removed the engine to replace the transaxle. They said you don't have to, but it makes the job much easier. Is this still the case with the 2010s?
  14. vinnie97

    vinnie97 Whatever Works

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    This is the kind of story that moves me towards purchasing an extended warranty (just canceled my MPP plan). ;-)
  15. PaJa

    PaJa Senior member

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    It is a just 1st case in PC community and it happen before 1st service check. It looks to be a MG2 production error.
  16. twittel

    twittel Senior Member

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    JTEX05 could file a complaint with the NHTSA in the unlikely event that other Prius fail in a similar fashion. The complaint link is Safety Recalls -- NHTSA Like you said, it's probably just an MG2 production error, BUT if 50,000 of those errors get into world production, it becomes a huge problem. Only JTEX05 can file because of required documentation.
  17. bretaz

    bretaz Member

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    Reporting it is a good idea. While we have not heard of any other failures doesn't mean they are not happening or will not happen in the future. Look at the 06 HiHy. Five years later, Toyota is finally starting to come around to the idea they sold a faulty product. The only reason they are coming around now is because of the number of complaints that have been filed.

    http://www.autoblog.com/2011/02/22/nhtsa-probing-44-000-toyota-highlander-hybrid-crossovers-over-st/

    We all know why these cars are stalling. Perhaps it is their inverter failing..
  18. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    I wonder if part of Toyota not replacing the individual item in the inverter has to do with a possibility they want to look it over to see if they can identify any cause for it to fail so soon. I also imagine, it could be to make the owner feel better that they got an entire new assembly, rather than just a piece of it. Who really knows, but I'd guess more along the R&D side right now. There's a lot to be learned by early failures on parts that can be put into use later on down the line.
  19. PaJa

    PaJa Senior member

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    Just think about this:
    US TMS sold approx. 140,000 Prii in 2010 and roughly the same number in 2009. So currently there are about 280,000 P's on streets.
    EU TME sold approx 44,000 Prii in 2010 + 15,000 Auris Hybrids (it shares the same powertrain). What we hear about essential problems (with the exception for brake "issue")?
    Almost zero.
    BTW. The previous generation won the Germany TUV report 2010 in the 2-3 year old cars category. The current version has not enough data to report - only cars with 10,000 technical check visits are counted.
  20. Flaninacupboard

    Flaninacupboard Senior Member

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    PaJa, where did you find data on Auris hybrid sales? i didn't know they had sold that many!
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