3rd Gen Prius Inverter failure Toyota Reply

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Ethan Ulrich, Apr 28, 2019.

  1. Ethan Ulrich

    Ethan Ulrich New Member

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    This is my email to Toyota, maybe we can get their attention if we all contact them.


    Hello,
    I purchased a 2010 Toyota Prius. I have had MANY Toyota’s in my years and all were reliable, building an extremes loyalty within me to your vehicle manufacturing practices. I greatly appreciated your long term dependability and consideration. Yet, I was driving my Toyota Prius the other day in 5pm traffic, 6 lane highway, and my Inverter failed. Causing my vehicle to come to a stop in the middle of 60 mph evening rush hour traffic. I could have been killed. Now I’ve learned your company has failed to take responsibility and replace the inverters before they fail, you instead would rather use a MEDIOCRE software patch that only prolongs the inevitable Inverter failure therefore jeopardizing ALL OF YOUR LOYAL CUSTOMERS LIVES!!! How dare you take a gamble with our lives with something that you are obligated to fix. I will never buy another Toyota if you don’t take responsibility for your failures. Why not fix these issues, and preserve the respect you have earned from us? Would you rather use a cheap patch that damages fuel economy, and risks lives, just to save you money? You know very well that once this goes public and it hits the news networks you will lose more than just Inverter replacement costs, you’ll lose 10’s of Billions. Please, do what is honorable, and fix your problems the right way, don’t save money on somebody else’s potential death.”
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!
    well written, all the best!(y)

    btw, there has already been a ton of media attention. check out the cali toyota dealer suing toyota in the LA times
     
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  3. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Your letter gives the impression that you have some specific knowledge concerning (a) whether inverter hardware replacement would be a more effective solution than a software patch, and (b) whether the software patch being delivered actually corrects the failure mechanism identified for the recall, or only delays an inevitable failure from the same cause.

    Do you have such knowledge? Where did you obtain it?
     
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  4. amos

    amos Active Member

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    Cool
    Well written. So much truth in what you wrote. I like the way you descrige software patch. Thats exactly what they been doing to keep those inverters without recalling them. All those updated lowing mpg and probably another update next year. And lower mpg.
    Good luck
     
  5. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Maybe you have some of that information then?
     
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  6. subjective

    subjective Member

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    In the summer of 2011 my wife and I decided to buy a new Prius 3, but since It was a new model, decided to rent one to try out. We did this and the car died on a 4 lane highway in the middle of traffic. So thinking this was just an unusual event, we rented a second Prius which did the same thing the second day. We waited to purchase the new Prius until late 2011 which had a build date of Oct. 2011. On the second day of ownership in which I was driving my grand daughter back to school on a dark night, One headlight went out. The bulb was replaced by the Toyota dealer but about 2 months later when my wife was driving in the dark, both headlights went out! I found in Prius Chat that there was a service bulletin Toyota issued for the replacement of a defective headlight wiring harness which we had replaced. Family members could have been killed or injured because of their careless engineering. At about 75K miles we had an incident, with my wife driving of an unintentional acceleration which resulted in serious damage but fortunately no injuries. I posted information about this in Prius chat which had a large following. My wife and I do not plan to continue driving Toyota cars and trucks!
     
  7. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    I do not know.

    The 2010's are now almost 10 years old, and the average 2010 has been driven an average 15,000 miles a year, which means that they're effectively 2/3 of the way through their anticipated life cycle.....and ALL OF THE WAY through their extended warranties.

    Somewhere....lost in my company car glove-box is a warranty adjustment for the inverter in the 2010 that I drive every day and IIRC it expires at something like 10 years, which will elapse sometime in the next few months.....presuming that the mileage is unlimited.

    I'm not a shill for Toyota.
    Quite the opposite!
    I swore an curse-laden blood oath that the sun would be orbiting a COLD DEAD STAR before I bought another one over twenty years ago and so far I've kept that promise.
    It's more of a dealer thing for me.

    However (comma!)
    Having said ALL od that, I think that the Prius is a competently engineered car that is just about dead-bang GUARANTEED to give you 200,000-250,000 relatively safe, and relatively repair-free miles if one bothers to lift the hood occasionally and maybe read and follow the Warranty and Maintenance Guide.
    They've fixed the inverter problem IMHO, and this repair has been proven in the only way that one CAN prove such things......which is to build hundreds of thousands of cars, which people drive for hundreds of thousands of miles....and MEASURE the real-world results.

    The truth is out there.
    My Spidey sense tells me that more people have probably been killed by blue ice than failing Prius inverters which, curiously, have not been discussed very widely in this forum.......but........as always......

    YMMV!
     
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  8. ZA_Andy

    ZA_Andy Member

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    My sense is that this is very likely true - or at least that it does indeed reflect the basic principle that the Prius is a competently engineered product which is unlikely to fail in any major way. And that if it does fail, it is the exception not the rule.

    However, that does not mean that a potential fault, which has the potential to cause injury or death, is not a significant issue the general public should have expectation the manufacturer would take seriously and attempt best-practise resolution.

    Whether its a few owners complaining, or just one measly law suit, it appears that someone doesn't think Toyota are taking it seriously enough. And given that the result of this fault, where it does occur, is capable of an unexpected and uncommanded stop, with no regard to traffic conditions, it is not just Prius owners and users at risk, but every member of the public in the immediate vicinity.

    In that context, I think it matters enough to be taken seriously. (Not to suggest you, specifically, don't!)
     
  9. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    Actually?
    I didn't...;)

    Not to embroider but two things CAN be true at once.
    Inverter problems can be both statistically insignificant AND the company's response to those incidents CAN be unwise.

    Remember back during the UA controversies?

    Toyota had to stick a crowbar in their wallets and pay out a gigabuck in fines....NOT because octogenarians were not really confusing the 'go' pedal with the 'stop' pedal, but because they tried to stonewall the investigation that ultimately PROVED more or less that it was cockpit error that was causing (mostly the elderly or less talented) drivers to confuse the 'go' and 'stop' pedals.

    S2D2.
     
  10. Vman455

    Vman455 Active Member

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    I dutifully pasted that sticker in my owner's manual so I can check it when I get home--but it sticks in my mind that the inverter warranty for cars with E0E update applied is now 15 years/unlimited mileage.
     
  11. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    I stuck mine in the OM of Goofy, but when I horse-swapped it for Goofy-II last December I noticed that my former boss (whose car I now drive) didn't do so.

    Inverters fail so rarely in G3s that I don't really think about it that much....and I'd say that a percentage of those that DO fail...really didn't. ;)
     
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  12. Starship_Enterprius

    Starship_Enterprius Active Member

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    To the op: Make sure you sent this mail to the top honcho's in Japan, both electronic and printed. The Japanese is more apt to act if their honor is at stake. If sent here in N.A only, it will just be ignored.
     
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  13. Ethan Ulrich

    Ethan Ulrich New Member

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    Fact is my Prius had already been given the crappy software update. Twice. The inverter fried 5 months later. If the problem is the ampacity of the factory inverter is too low, then simply increase product quality to handle the surges. It’s not brain surgery. This is a multi billion dollar company that can’t get their crap together.
     
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  14. Ethan Ulrich

    Ethan Ulrich New Member

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    I purchased a used inverter from same model Prius rather than wait on warranty due to need of car. It fixed the problem with no other parts needing repair. It’s a simple job to do. The issue is that they don’t just design a better/ safer inverter. Yes, they do normally last 300k miles or more, BUT, they’re still letting it slide until it goes bad. I Love Toyota, but if it were my Company, I’d lead it with dignity and consideration for all of my customers. I get it, business’s need money, but this wouldn’t break them. So, in my case, it WAS the inverter sir.
     
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  15. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Key "if" there. Do you know that's the reason your inverter failed? If so, how do you know that?
     
  16. Greenteapri

    Greenteapri Active Member

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    I had a dream last night that my inverter died while driving on the interstate. Perhaps a nightmare. Maybe to much Priuschat. Lol

    Good luck with the new inverter.
     
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  17. E46Prius

    E46Prius Active Member

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    That's objectively one of the more poorly written letters I've seen.
     
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