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Got into an accident today due to brake problem =(

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Main Forum' started by Ecobroker, May 17, 2010.

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  1. Ecobroker

    Ecobroker New Member

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    Location:
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    I was coming off a freeway exit ramp at approximately 40 mph over a stretch of bumpy road. The city has been doing construction on that particular ramp for the past few weeks, trying to add an additional lane I believe; pavement was somewhat uneven on the rightmost lane--the one I was driving on. In any case, I applied pressure on the brakes but car responded by lurching forward. I've never ever experienced that feeling in over 14 years of driving. Felt almost surreal. I stomped on the brakes hard. Car managed to slow down a bit but not in time for five feet of front end to stick out into incoming straightaway traffic. *CRUNCH!* Big Chevy truck drove straight into left side of my front bumper--approx. $2k to 3k worth of instant damage. :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:

    I leased the car back in March 2010; loved every second it, especially the 50 mpg, but now I'm having second thoughts. What should I tell my insurance? And who do I report this brake failure to? The dealer? Toyota HQ? I used to scoff at reports of Prius brake failures but now it has happened to me.


    My second post is here:
    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-iii...nt-today-due-brake-problem-4.html#post1123973

    5/18/2010 Update:
    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-iii...nt-today-due-brake-problem-8.html#post1124758

    5/20/2010 Update:
    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-iii...t-today-due-brake-problem-13.html#post1125880
  2. Thai

    Thai Prius Neophyte

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    Were you going too fast for a construction zone and immediate upcoming intersection?

    You can report to NHTSA. Do you have a police report? That would help. You can also talk to Toyota too, but i doubt that anything will come of it. I don't think that your insurance company will believe brake failure. Your car should have had the brake recall already. In the end, you will likely have to suck up the increased rate (if any) from your insurance company.

    Good luck.
  3. chrisj428

    chrisj428 Active Member

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    Have you had the campaign performed yet?
  4. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Tell your insurer that you were driving too fast over broken road, and because of that you failed to stop, resulting in an accident.

    Tom
    10 people like this.
  5. Downrange

    Downrange New Member

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    I'm going to look for rough pavement and see if I can duplicate this problem. Can you (or others who've noticed an anomaly with braking) describe exactly what the pavement was like?
  6. zarakand

    zarakand New Member

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    I went over a rough pavement yesterday, and had a very similar problem. The car lurched forward, but luckily I was only going 15-20mph. It was very odd, and I've never had anything like that happen.

    Part me thought it was the car changing from engine braking to regular braking, but I'm not really sure.
  7. wick1ert

    wick1ert Senior Member

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    I've experienced it before, but that's why you leave a proper following distance, brake ahead of time not at the last possible second, and drive a safe speed for the road conditions. Issue has never resulted in a potential accident for me by following those 3 basic safe driving techniques. Also, if you know the problem is there, and you're scanning the road and aware of the surroundings, you will be able to compensate ahead of time and without any worry.
    2 people like this.
  8. wentfrom15to51MPG

    wentfrom15to51MPG New Member

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    I experienced something very similar on Sunday. I was driving on a downhill off-ramp and braking from about 65mph down to zero as I approached the stop sign. I hit a rough patch of road at about 40mph and felt the car surge forward as I momentarily lost braking. I pressed harder on the pedal and it felt noticeably firmer than usual with a seemingly shorter range from top to full braking.

    There were no other cars around and I did not go through the stop sign at the end of the off-ramp. However, it made me feel so uneasy that I am very seriously looking into my options of getting rid of this car. If it is not eligible for a buy-back using my state's Lemon Law, I will trade it in on a "non-hybrid" car and absorb the initial loss in equity.

    Too bad. Toyota dealer claims they have had no other complaints after the recall was performed and that they could not replicate the problem. Off-ramp is about 15 miles from dealership, so I doubt they would test-drive it that far.

    Troy
  9. rumpledoll

    rumpledoll Member

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    Exactly. Braking distances are increased in all cars on broken/rough pavement - driving 101.

    Rumple



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  10. ALS

    ALS Member

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    Why is it always the newbies to the board that are having all these terrible braking problems. :rolleyes:

    Wentfrom15to51mpg four posts
    Zaraland six posts
    Ecobroker four posts

    I normally don't suspect a conspiracy but funny how these newbie posters always show up in waves. One posts a braking problem and we get a whole flock of newbies that show up with in a day or two with the exact same problem.

    rumpledoll said it best

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  11. mwok86

    mwok86 New Member

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    Where in the world does a exit ramp have a 40mph minimum speed limit? The exit ramps here have speed limits of 15mph and they also have speed bumps to enforce it.

    Your fault entirely. You can't go 40mph on a short stretch of road that has a lot of bumps (especially if the ramp was downhill) and except ANY vehicle to come to a complete stop.

    It was raining heavily today, and some van and 3 BMWs was tail gating me from a complete stop. So when the traffic light turned green, he floored the accelerator.
  12. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Can you feel the love in here?

    The Prius faithful rise up in mass to once again defend The Prius.

    I have no idea about the agenda or motivation of the original poster BUT taken at face value at the very least it is somebody that was involved in a wreck and feels the vehicle didn't respond to expectation.

    Coming off any freeway, in any vehicle the expectation that you will safely be able to slow to a stop is not unfounded. Usually any exit from a freeway involves going from freeway speeds to a stop, or non-freeway speeds.

    I wasn't at the location, nor was I in the vehicle. I can't guage conditions and or vehicle response. But I'm going to give the OP the James Sikes seal of initial benefit of the doubt.

    There isn't too much the OP can do. If he wishes he can report to everyone that he feels accident happened because the vehicle failed to perform to safe or usual standards.

    On a road with construction...it's going to be hard to convince anyone. But good luck.
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  13. Tom183

    Tom183 New Member

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    My first question is: has the ABS ECU fix been applied? If not, then this is a good example of why it is needed.

    Even if the fix was applied, this is the kind of situation that requires some adjustment for drivers who are used to older vehicles. It seems to me that the combination of ABS and VSC (stability control) does very poorly in this context because the ABS will decrease braking if a tire stops rotating (as it would in mid-air after a bump), and VSC will also decrease braking on other wheels to avoid rollover. Result: better control of direction, but longer stopping distance.

    So, despite the wonderful advantages they have separately for preventing skid and rollover, they don't do very well combined when braking in a straight line...
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  14. mwok86

    mwok86 New Member

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    The OP was traveling 40mph on a exit ramp. I have yet to see a freeway WITHOUT a "exit ramp lane" for the drivers to slow down before entering the ramp.

    Again, Toyota shouldn't fix an issue caused by careless user error especially a non-existent issue like this one.
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  15. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Without pictures, or familiarity with exactly what the conditions were or the reality of what the OP is calling a "ramp" or "lane" then the truth is "Who Knows?".

    You can either give the OP the benefit of the doubt, that they at least experienced something they perceived as abnormal behavior from the vehicle...or you can look for argueable minutia to define it as not a problem.

    At face value? I'd assume nobody wants to have the front end of their vehicle hit or be hit.

    Can you or I tell what the specific details of the accident were given an internet paragraph about the incident? Can I know if the driver was at fault or the automobile did fail? No.

    Can I know if this is just a troll trying to get Prius people upset? I can't tell that either.

    But I'm not going to automatically default to The Prius is Blameless...It must be the operator....
    4 people like this.
  16. xpcman

    xpcman Active Member

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    Every accident has multiple factors that combine to cause it. Here it was speed, inattention to road conditions and unexpected brake action caused by the car's computer. Once a problem is revealed it is only human nature to point to this as the source/cause of the accident.

    But, some of our members have been very very slow to admit that there is a problem and Toyota needs to fix it.
  17. mwok86

    mwok86 New Member

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    Re-read his post, the OP was clearly on a exit ramp and combined with the fact that they were traveling 40mph on a ramp (most ramps are curved), you cannot give them the benefit of the doubt.
  18. njmurvin

    njmurvin Member

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    So, that would apply to a myriad of cars/brands. Why does it seem so extreme with the Prius? As for the 40mph exit, coming down from freeway speeds, I can't see this as being excessive. I need to find a bumpy road and give this a test to see how it feels.
  19. dogllama

    dogllama New Member

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    Have any of you haters tried driving in Southern California? Los Angeles? Going 40 on an exit ramp is not that fast, even slow for a lot of the freeways I am forced to drive on. Try slowing down to 15 mph on the 405 and see what happens.

    Also something to consider - If the OP has been conditioned to expect to be able to stop in a certain distance from driving his prius for a length of time and then a Toyota braking glitch plays the deciding factor in him not being able to stop in that distance, then I say he has a right to be upset.
    2 people like this.
  20. Superdrol

    Superdrol Member

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    This is part of the braking issue with the Prius. I am very conscious about this issue and do not drive too close or fast over bumpy roads. The car does skip forward momentarly.
    1 person likes this.
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