"Check hybrid system" error + cruise control problem in a brand new 2013 toyota prius three

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by John Rogers, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. John Rogers

    John Rogers New Member

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    About 10 days ago I bought a brand new toyota prius three. I drove it around locally for about 200 miles with no problems. Then on labor day weekend, I took in on a long drive. About 100 miles later (300 miles total), after stopping at a rest area, I joined the highway again getting up to about 70mph. I believe the air conditioner was on at that time, but the cruise control was off.

    Immediately a message popped up "Check hybrid system. Stop the car at a safe location." Or something like that. I was spooked this was happening in a brand new car. Stopped at the next exit and called toyota's roadside assistance (their customer service was closed). They offered to tow the car to nearest dealership, but I declined as it was in the middle of nowhere, the car was still drivable, and I had my family with me.

    I finished the trip for another 150 miles with the message on all the way. I observed that the cruise control had stopped working. But the AC was still working.

    On my return trip the next day, I tried cruise control again. It worked for about 30 seconds before turning off again for rest of the trip.

    AFter returning home, I took it to the dealer next day. On the way to the dealer, the cruise control worked as long as I was below 50mph. The moment I hit 50mph, it turned off again for rest of the trip. The "check hybrid system" message was still on.

    Another point to mention: the display that shows energy being exchanged back and forth between the engine, battery and gas tank -- nothing was getting exchanged between the three all this time. But the hybrid system still seemed to be working as I was getting a mileage of around 48 to 53mpg all along.

    The dealer took the vehicle in for service. She called me the next day saying there was a problem with the AC compressor and they were very surprised to see it in a brand new car. I reminded her that AC was working all along my trip and that it was cruise control that was not working. She just brushed off my feedback, saying all of it was somehow related by the high voltage electric system.

    Now they have ordered some part (for my brand new Prius!) which is backordered and they offered rental (Corolla) for the time they are waiting.

    Now a few questions:
    (1) Has anyone else had this problem? How was it solved? Or not? Did it recur?

    (2) What are my options? Can I ask the dealer to replace this Prius three with another car? It now has 700 miles on it. It has not been in an accident or been otherwise damaged. And I am sure I was not negligent. Actually I was very careful driving as my family was in the car.

    It feels rotten that a brand new Toyota has this problem. Te dealership doesn't seem embarrassed at all that a new car they sold has a problem so soon. Their laid-back attitude is frustrating ... "we've backordered the part, when it comes we'll see. Till then here's the corolla." The original sales guys who sold me thecar have all washed their hands off this affair and don't return my calls anymore. Frustrated.
     
  2. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Get it in to the dealer. Sounds like an issue though could be a sensor, loose wire or dodgy ecu. I had similar message on mine when it was about a year old and it turned out to be a failed hv battery ecu. All replaced under warranty.

    No car or manufacturer is perfect and the Toyota system is good at finding the faults in the car.

    Think others more experienced might be able to advise.
     
  3. ksstathead

    ksstathead Active Member

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    Sorry to hear of your travails. Not much for the salesman to do now. Your recourse is the warranty, and I would expect them to get it fixed promptly. They are on that path. The dealership cannot swap cars because they'd be holding the bag on selling your used one. Whereas, Toyota bears cost of the warranty work.

    No doubt is stinks to be stuck with the loaner, and the anxiety whether your car will be reliable. But it all seems appropriate from my point of view, SUBJECT TO it truly getting fixed.

    My 2010 III has been problem free, and I expect you to have no further difficulties. Obviously, one possible outcome is that the new AC unit does not fix the problem, so you are in for round 2. If it gets to round 3, then I think you look to lemon laws to make them buy back the car, restoring you to no harm.

    In any event, I expect you will eventually be very satisfied with the car, and wish you the best.

    My 2010 is subject to the brake recall I refuse to have done, and a new recall related to the brake booster pump that I will probably get done. These sorts of issues are unavoidable regardless of car make/model.

    Isolated failures like I presume yours to be are similarly unavoidable.
     
  4. vito.a

    vito.a Junior Member

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    I think your only choice is to let them fix it. Check to see if your state has a lemon law. However, most states with a lemon law require three attempts for repairing the car first or a minimum number of days out of service.

    It does sound strange that the "Check Hybrid System" light would come on for the AC compressor. The only connection I am aware of is in ECO it reduces AC output for conservation.

    I would drive by the dealership and ask to talk directly with the technician. The service writers are trained to isolate the techs. I would walk right past the service writers and grab the first tech you find and ask who worked on your Prius.

    Best of luck!
     
  5. RRxing

    RRxing Senior Member

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    My dealerships paperwork has the name of the tech on the printout.
     
  6. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Senior Member

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    It's a new car still under warranty so let the dealer's mechanics do it their way. When they finish with the compressor if the CC still doesn't work get them to fix that. You may have more than one problem.
     
  7. tankyuong

    tankyuong Senior Member

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    Take it on another 300 mile trip after repairs and see if it happens again
     
  8. phoenixgreg

    phoenixgreg Senior member

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    All good advice given above...I'm surprised you weren't at least offered a Camry hybrid as the loaner. BTW, I once touched a wire to a wire I thought would be positive during reverse only in the shifter connector and got the infamous check hybrid system message. It would seem that message may come up for any electrical anomaly.
     
  9. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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    Did they tell you what the part was they ordered?
     
  10. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    Yes, exactly. I got the check hybrid system message after probing some contacts with a multimeter to check voltages and grounds. The display cleared after going through a couple of cycles of power down, power on.

    My guess is that there is a short circuit somewhere in the cruise control system that is causing both the observed problems with the cruise control operation and the error displayed.
     
  11. mastergunnera8

    mastergunnera8 Junior Member

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    I would demand a hybrid loaner at the very least. A few words with the GM or Owner for sure.
    hope it all works out for you!!
     
  12. Bingee

    Bingee Member

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    The sales staff , your new best friends , should be able to get you a hybrid for a loaner,
    Or may be after the sale not as friendly any more, asking wont cost you any thing..
    As for the Trouble .. Let them fix what ever they want to , but before taking it home,
    Take a TEST drive with a service person and check out the CC ..
    Sorry to hear of your trouble. Good luck
     
  13. John Rogers

    John Rogers New Member

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    Guys, thanks for all the advice. Still sucks to drive a corolla, but hey, at least someone's listening on this forum, if not the dealer!

    I think she said they ordered a new AC compressor. I have my doubts this will work, because the AC was actually working all through the trip, but who knows. Tomorrow is the ETA for the back-ordered part. I'll keep you guys posted what happens.

    They didn't give me the paperwork so I don't know the service tech's name. Just took in my prius and handed me the corolla loaner.
     
  14. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    On the GenII Prius, if you failed to reconnect the bus system after installing an aftermarket stereo system the MF display would black out and you would get an orange triangle stating the climate control system was not connected or something to that effect. The point is, sometimes a seemingly unrelated device can cause issues you wouldn't expect. Regardless, I'm sorry to hear of this problem on your brand new car. All three of my Prii had been trouble free.
     
  15. John Rogers

    John Rogers New Member

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    Yeah, sounds like these high tech cars are more prone to software/electrical failures than mechanical failures. I really wish there was a crash test rating for the electronic systems in these cars that we could consult before buying them. Mechanical crash test ratings seem almost pointless, when its the electronics that's more likely to kill you. (Of course its 2am when I post this!)
     
  16. phoenixgreg

    phoenixgreg Senior member

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    Can you remember if when the cruise control failed if the dash light went out for it too (little green light and the "set" light upper right of cluster)? I still have doubts it was a faulty compressor as the 2 components should not be tied to each other. Add to that, a compressor change-out is major surgery for this car.
     
  17. John Rogers

    John Rogers New Member

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    Yes, the green light for cruise control wouldn't come on after the error message started. But I don't think the cruise control was on at the instant the error message started., if that makes sense.

    The woman who took in my Prius at the dealership didn't care about these details. She just wrote cruise control doesn't work on the paper...none of the details i gave her like it doesn't work after driving over 50mph the first time in the day etc.

    Maybe I should call and ask to speak with the service tech guy tomorrow... Just to be sure they know.
     
  18. phoenixgreg

    phoenixgreg Senior member

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    I'm really surprised the dealership seems to think it was the compressor. A good tech should have been able to hook up a techstream (a diagnostic "PC") and determine where the electrical fault was in the cruise control ecu. Even if it's very technical, they should share their thinking with you as to why a working compressor needs to be changed.
     
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  19. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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    Change the A/C compressor because the cruse control stopped working. o_O
     
  20. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Senior Member

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    The "technicians" do not troubleshoot the electronics in the conventional sense, they plug a computer into the car and look for codes. They may run some kind of diagnostic program which will tell them what part to replace. No matter how logical it is to think the A/C compressor is OK because it was still working and the CC didn't work they don't want to hear it. They just want to do what the computer tells them and if that doesn't work they will call Toyota and maybe talk to someone who can tell them what is really wrong, or they will keep replacing parts until they luck out and replace the right one. It's all they know how to do and that's OK as long as they (Toyota) are paying for it. Fortunately you are still under warranty.

    It is also possible that there is some kind of inverter problem that causes a failure code pointing to the A/C and the computer in the car shuts the CC down when it sees any kind of inverter failure, who knows?

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out and find out what is really wrong, good luck. Maybe this is why a lot of people buy extended warranties. :)
     
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