Is there an accelerator problem in the Prius independent of floor mats?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by odysseus, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. odysseus

    odysseus Junior Member

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    My wife is worried about buying an '06 Prius if there's an accelerator pedal problem that is independent of floor mat positioning.

    Can anyone reassure me/us about this? I thought that the problem was solely related to the floor mat coming in contact with the accelerator, and that without a driver's side floor mat, there would be no problem.

    Has anyone here experienced a sudden acceleration problem in a Prius?
     
  2. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

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    My 2004 Prius has 165,000 miles - no accelerator problems. I had a dangerous acceleration problem in my 1980 Datsun (Nissan) 510 due to a carburetor manufacturing problem, so it can happen in any car.

    JeffD
     
  3. odysseus

    odysseus Junior Member

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    Thanks! What about this, though?

     
  4. Tripod137

    Tripod137 New Member

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    That's based on non-OEM floormats (and probably a few OEM floormats) not installed correctly by the user.

    I have a '06 and had the accelerator problem. Solved it by installing the mat correctly.
     
  5. odysseus

    odysseus Junior Member

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    I found this tabulation to be most helpful, which shows that the 2004-2009 Prius is ranked 13th in NHTSA accelerator complaints.

    It's a problem with many modern cars, probably not solely related to floormats. Some user error with the accelator/brake pedal, and perhaps some involve the cruise control.
     
  6. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I don't think anyone can answer your question with any certainty. If there is an underlying problem, it is masked by the much more frequent floor mat errors and driver pedal-misapplication errors. I've done the later is a previous car, not a Toyota.

    Note that if there is a problem, it is not a Prius-specific problem, but rather a problem throughout the modern Toyota-Lexus product line.

    The upcoming recall should eventually allow us to determine whether or not another real problem exists, but it may take several years. Remember that this same issue hit the Audi 5000 a quarter century ago, and nothing beyond 'driver error' was ever demonstrated.

    Meanwhile, I'm not worried. If a problem exists, it is so rare that the risk is very small compared to my overall driving risk, and I'm still much safer in my Prius than in the older car it replaced.

    If a problem occurs, the best response is to shift to Neutral. If your wife is coming from a manual transmission, as I did, this should be a very natural action. The very few claims I've heard about Toyotas refusing to shift to Neutral were in non-hybrids, and even those claims have not been backed up.

    If your wife is one of the many people who has driven only automatic transmissions and has never shifted to Neutral, then it is time to learn. Even if she does not drive a Toyota.
     
  7. oms2burn

    oms2burn New Member

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    I had an incident where my pedal stuck on my 2006 Prius...I was being a moron and floored it trying to show off my new car and how "fast" (not) it went (although I am still impressed by the low end torque). I had the original mats in (and were installed correctly). I just did the same thing I have done with other cars in the past: Put my foot under the gas pedal and pulled back. Problem fixed (except for embarrassment). If they do anything with this recall, I might mention it to the dealer, but beyond mentioning it to the family drivers, I doubt I will do anything.
     
  8. odysseus

    odysseus Junior Member

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    So the Prius will shift to neutral when one is actually in motion? Because I read an account according to which it wasn't possible on a Prius.
     
  9. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    That is garbage. I've done it many times, as have many others on this forum.

    When I push the stick to N at highway speed, there is a delay of about one second before it actually goes Neutral, much less than the 3 second Power Off delay. (I haven't personally tried powering off while in motion.)

    When I push the stick to R at highway speed, it does the Right Thing -- it immediately goes Neutral with a double beep warning. No exploding transmission.

    The Prius manual says to not shift to Neutral while moving forward, in order to prevent possible damage. It seems that this risk is a corner case, triggered only when shifting while below 41/46 mph (depending on model year) with the gasoline engine not spinning, then rolling down a steep hill to a higher speed that spins MG1 beyond its safe mechanical limits.

    This damage mechanism is not possible on level ground, or when the gas engine is spinning, such as during an engine surge. And even if it was possible, so what? It would still be a much better outcome than flying off a road or into an obstacle at highway speed.
     
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  10. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    You can read all sorts of rubbish about Prius and how they will cause the end of civilization as we know it. Seriously, you can't believe random allegations or you will end up wearing a tinfoil hat.

    Tom
     
  11. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    Wait, what? If it wasn't the mat, then what was the pedal stuck on? Or are you saying that the pedal was stuck on the mat *with the mat in its intended location*? That would be serious.
     
  12. DeadPhish

    DeadPhish Senior Member

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    My wife and I have driven 500,000 miles since 2000 in 6 different Toyota's. Not a one has ever shown any inkling of unforeseen acceleration. To us it's a non-issue ( as are the mats ) so we intend to continue to put 50,000 mi/yr on our current and next Toyotas.

    My 2005 Prius now has 135,000 miles on it. Other than being a deer target nothing unforeseen of any nature has occured..:(.
     
  13. oms2burn

    oms2burn New Member

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    I'm saying the mechanism jammed (no mat was involved in the harming of this human). Maybe my foot was more on the side of the pedal...maybe they forgot to put enough grease on the throttle mechanism. My point is to train people to pull back on the pedal as a first thing to try. Yes, a neutral shift is important too. Whichever you think of first and/or gets you out of trouble.
     
  14. philobeddoe

    philobeddoe ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    I can't believe this conversation is really happening
     
  15. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Agreed.

    Yes you can and I've done it many times (but at low speeds only, so far). The latter statement is rubbish. You might find Luscious Garage | Blog | Floor mat anxiety? LG TV investigates… informative.
     
  16. Genoz World

    Genoz World ZEN-style living

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    08 with 40K miles.

    zero problems, zero drama
     
  17. philobeddoe

    philobeddoe ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    i've done it ...

    i've hit Neutral, Reverse and Park, starting at 2 mph, and working up to 80 mph at 5 mph intervals
     
  18. bac

    bac Active Member

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    +1,000,000 :)

    -Brad
     
  19. Salsawonder

    Salsawonder New Member

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    People will always blame someone else. The poster that mentioned the "maybe her knee touched the cruise control" was at least being honest with himself and everyone else. Too often we do things that we just don't realize and it cause these events to happen. The NTSA has been unable to recreate the acceleration event so there must be some room for operator area here.
    I had 50k on my 05 and just over 5k on my 10. I have never had an unintentional acceleration issue with any car, although snow and ice in Vermont can clog up your pedal area in the winter.
     
  20. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    And when you took it to a dealer what did they find? If the mechanism jammed, it's broken and needs to be fixed.

    I'm willing to believe that yours is damaged or was assembled incorrectly. In the absence of more info I don't believe that it has a design flaw, because lots of people have been looking at this for a while now and reported no such thing.
     
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