Any service bulletins or class action lawsuits for dangerous undercarriage aerodynamic pieces?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Preeeus, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. Preeeus

    Preeeus Member

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    Extending from the underside of the front bumper into the front wheel wells are three large plastic pieces. I believe the function of these pieces is to improve the aerodynamics of the Prius (by lowering the coefficient of drag). There is a left one, a center one, and a right one.

    Because the Prius rides so low to the ground, it is common for those plastic pieces to rub on the ground. This happens simply when exiting driveways.

    Over time, the plastic pieces rub thin, and the attachments can become unsafe. Recently, like the straw that broke the camel's back, the wind on the freeway was apparently enough to dislodge the driver's side piece, and cause it to fail directly into the driver's side tire. Fortunately, we were not physically hurt.

    Upon examining the underside of the vehicle, I can see that all three plastic pieces, and their attachments, are failing.

    Have there been any service bulletins or class action lawsuits regarding this or similar issues?

    Has anyone had any success in getting Toyota to replace them and affix them more securely so they will not get tangled with the wheels when they fail?
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    there is a class action lawsuit, but i can't seem to find it right now. i'll keep googling, this is a massive problem involving millions of vehicles.

    in the meantime, take pics and send to nhtsa. they will force toyota to fix your car for free.
     
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  3. Lucifer

    Lucifer Senior Member

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    Thinking toyota will politely ask you to refrain from off road use with a very road worth car, or in this case, an overburden very road worth car;)

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    There was a TSB for the panel with the door for the oil filter but I believe it has expired. Replacing the fasteners should solve the problem.
     
  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Dealer maintenance is a big part of the problem. First, with their time-is-money mindset, they will guaranteed not remove the engine bay panel completely for an oil change, will instead flex back the "oil change flap". It's really not able to take the flexing, too thin and hard of a plastic. Still with time-is-money, they will not be patient with the fasteners, will bang them out as quickly as possible. And they will not wash the grit out of them, so they inexorably get more jammed, more prone to break during removal, and/or fail to hold. Also, the fasteners are expensive, and if they break one or two, they're likely to just leave them missing, rely on the remainder.

    Bottom line: you have to stay on top of it, dealerships just don't have the time or inclination. Also, make a point of stopping a bit short of wheel stops in parking stalls.
     
  6. Preeeus

    Preeeus Member

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    LOL... that's not my actual car... I just love the picture and the idea. Plus, that would block my sunroof and solar panels!

    BTW, a car with that particular accessory would probably alleviate some of the problems because it would make the vehicle back-heavy, thus minimizing front-end dragging.

    Thanks. I have taken photographs and will take a look at how to send them to the NHTSA.

    Thanks. I'm not quite sure what this has to do with this issue. I think it would be great if you can create a thread for that, and include some photos. I would like to check out that issue on my vehicle, and photograph it now in case the dealership damages it when they change the oil tomorrow.
     
    #6 Preeeus, Jan 31, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2016
  7. CR94

    CR94 Senior Member

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    Yes, even at a relatively reliable dealership. Soon after acquiring my "certified" Prius, I noticed the oil-change flap was drooping too low, because one of its fasteners was missing. All oil changes had been done by the same dealer where I bought it. I found a similar fastener near the grill, took it out, and used it to hold the flap closed. At the first "free" oil change, 9 months later, I complained about the missing fastener. They gave me another one at no charge. At the one subsequent oil change so far, they didn't lose any.
     
  8. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    Fasteners are cheap & generic. The Vo-Tech shop replaced one, no charge.
     
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