How could an accident cause the Multi-Function Display to fail?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Audio and Electronics' started by BrianRodick, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. BrianRodick

    BrianRodick New Member

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    I have a 2011 Prius that worked perfectly before an accident last month. There was a chain reaction crash that my wife swerved to avoid, but wound up with damage to both bumpers and all 4 side panels. It took 3 weeks and 87 items to be fixed, but as soon as we got it back from the body shop, we noticed an issue with the Multi-Function Display. They were upfront with us about only doing exteriors, so we were referred to a local Toyota dealer, who confirmed the internal navigation unit had failed and would need to be replaced. However, despite everyone generally agreeing that it would be too coincidental to have not been caused by the accident, insurance says they won't cover the repair unless we can prove with certainty that the accident caused the navigation unit to fail.
    I reached out to someone at Toyota Customer Experience who confirmed there were no known issues or recalls at this time with the MFD on my car, even going so far as to look up the specific VIN for confirmation. The insurance guy referenced two Google searches that implied display failures were common and affected all models of Prius, BUT I checked his sources and they were almost exclusively Gen 2 or earlier models. One of the sites had ZERO complaints about this being an issue since 2011 and the other had only one single complaint out of 241 that applied to 2011 or newer models. Despite all of that, I am still told that the burden of proof is on me to show that the accident caused the failure. Since they felt comfortable denying our claim based on two random forums that held shaky knowledge at best, I'm coming here to get some educated opinions from actual owners or people who have experience with a Prius. Any thoughts or PROOF on how this could have happened?
     
  2. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    When you say fail, does that mean it is totally dead? All fuses checked? Have you tried a reboot by disconnecting the 12v battery ground cable and waiting 5 minutes, then reconnecting?
     
  3. BrianRodick

    BrianRodick New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. Information Technology 101!!! Disconnecting the battery was my first thought too, but sadly, it did not resolve the problem. As I've dug further into NHTSA reports and other forums, I've learned that there is a major difference between the screen going completely out and what is happening here. My screen appears to be on like normal, but the failure occurs when you try to access anything through the touch menus or functions on the screen.

    Since coming home from the dealer, I have played with it and learned there is a small section in the lower left quadrant of the screen that does register you are touching, however, it does not correspond to the location you are pointing at. I thought recalibration would solve this, but the only way I can think to do that is through the diagnostic menus (power on, hold the info button and flick headlights on-off 3 times), but the part of the screen you need to access those functions is not responsive to anywhere I can touch.
     
  4. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    The accident involved several impacts, probably with some force to them. Maybe one of the connectors behind the MFD is loose or disconnected?
     
  5. BrianRodick

    BrianRodick New Member

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    Toyota Dealer confirmed there was an internal failure of the nav unit, so we know it has to be replaced at this point. Everyone I've spoken to offers the opinion that it was likely caused by the accident, but I don't know enough to be able to offer proof of how the crash might cause the failure.
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i never knew there was any part of a car that couldn't be damaged in an accident. sounds to me like your insurance co is playing games because the part is expensive. do you have an insurance commissioner or consumer affairs office?
     
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  7. qdllc

    qdllc Senior Member

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    This. The MFD can be damaged like any other electronic component by an impact. Even if it's due to an inherent defect causing it to fail under stress (the accident) the PROXIMATE CAUSE of failure was an accident. Hence, insurance must pay for it.

    Time to threaten to bring in lawyers.
     
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  8. macman408

    macman408 Electron Guidance Counselor

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    Speaking as a computer engineer, I'm sure the nav system went through some shock and vib(ration) testing. I'd be willing to bet that the severity of shocks that they test are things that are expected in normal driving (bumps in the road), not accidents.

    I'm sure plenty of people try to pass this sort of thing off to try and get a free replacement of something that didn't really break in the accident, but maybe you can convince your insurer (or, if somebody else's insurance is paying out, theirs) otherwise. They probably have more resources than you do, so I'd suggest it should be *their* job to disassemble the Nav to prove that it wasn't the accident. Failure to do so might adversely affect your continued business with them...
     
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  9. BrianRodick

    BrianRodick New Member

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    UPDATE: I finally connected with our original adjuster's supervisor and he very reluctantly agreed to cover the additional work. He still will not admit the accident was the cause, but I had gone to the trouble of checking the adjuster's sources and called out his "research," so I think he realized I wasn't making this up and also wasn't going away. Thanks for the recommendations along the way.
     
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  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    well done!(y)
     
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