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Need advice for notorious Brake Booster issue Toyota refuses to cover

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by ProblemPrius, Nov 19, 2023.

  1. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    I traded my gen 3 for just those reasons.
    They weren’t selling well because of low gas prices, so they tried gen 4, and that didn’t work.
    Now they’re in to gen 5, but they might be grasping at straws
     
  2. rjparker

    rjparker Tu Humilde Sirviente

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    Lots of non-hybrid mechanics think this brake by wire system is just another abs system. Nope, you can suddenly get very hard braking and much longer stopping distances. Better to deal with it when the first code hits.

    I think the new Corolla Cross hybrid is much better and a similar size. Has the gen5 Prius 2.0L engine at a reasonable cost even in this market.
     
    #42 rjparker, Dec 23, 2023
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2023
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  3. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    Really???? WHY would anyone believe this?
    And then you are going to trust this person replace the parts????
    The "warning" lights are there for a reason. To warn you of a problem and
    to repair it.
    ----Problem Prius has gone from bad to worse. So when this ABS problem first developed a Toyota certified mechanic told me there was no serious danger if I continued to drive the vehicle as long as I didn't mind not having ABS, regen braking, traction control, and stability control.---

    Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away. And it won't fix itself.
    Why should any manufacturer be forced to repair anyting on a vehicle with over 100,000 miles on it?
    They give a warranty, after that, the owner is responsible for the repairs.
    It's certainly cheaper than a new $30,000 vehicle, then will eventually hae parts wear out.

    Just turned 322,000 miles on my 2010 Prius tonight! 21,400 miles on the new head gasket....
     
  4. ProblemPrius

    ProblemPrius New Member

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    According to a Consumer Reports article (see link below) recalls by law must cover 15 years from date of manufacture, however some times carmakers have gone back far further than that. Unfortunately, if you pay to have a part repaired/replaced that is later recalled, their is no guarantee the manufacturer will reimburse you. So I am tempted to just turn the tags in from my Prius, cancel the insurance, and store in the driveway and hope Toyota is forced to issue a recall before the 15 year expiration. Consumer Reports article here: Car Recall Guide: Your Questions Answered - Consumer Reports
     
  5. ProblemPrius

    ProblemPrius New Member

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    Excellent idea! And I think you are right... the more people that petition the NHTSA for an investigation the more likely they will prioritize the investigation.
     
  6. ProblemPrius

    ProblemPrius New Member

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    Such "forced repairs" happen a lot.

    First, I think it is a reasonable expectation most people have that certain parts on properly maintained cars are going to last for the life of the vehicle before developing a serious, dangerous safety issue. Remember we are not talking about an expected routine maintenance part like brake pads or tires, or a part designed for longevity which has very little to do with safety like pistons, valves, rings, etc., or even an environmental hazard like a catalytic converter wearing out or an oil pan gasket leak, but rather a catastrophic, unexpected failure of a key component of the vehicle's brake (i.e. safety) system. Can you imagine how many people would die or be injured for life if tens of thousands of vehicles not even 10 years old began developing this sort of catastrophic brake failure across the country? Or what if what something more visual egregious like a fuel leak causing tens of thousands of vehicles to spontaneously combust on highways at just over 100k? The manufacture of such defective vehicles should not be held liable?

    Second, when a serious safety issue arises and the NHTSA issues a recall, that recall by law covers any car 15 years old and newer according to Consumer Reports: Car Recall Guide: Your Questions Answered - Consumer Reports

    Third, certain safety issues are so common and so dangerous that manufacturers have been known to issue recalls well beyond the 15 year requirement. I think Toyota did (and perhaps is still doing that) with the pickups that had frames completely rusting out due to a manufacturing defect. And as the CR article points out, "a large airbag recall in 2020 included millions of Honda, Isuzu, and Mitsubishi cars from as early as 1998."

    Fourth, many recalls are not just for the safety of the occupants of the defective part vehicle, but also for other drivers that may suffer an accident and serious injury/death due to the defective part vehicle as in the case of an airbag deploying by accident.

    [EDIT the first point for clarity.]
     
    #46 ProblemPrius, Dec 24, 2023
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2023
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  7. wr69

    wr69 Member

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    good research and arguments for fixing things beyond the 10-year period! 100k miles is somewhat arbitrary, just as was 60k miles or 30k miles many years ago. it's kind of just what consumers demand and company's think they can fulfill, or what hurts them enough. in the case of Prius, it's a pretty well-running car, so we are seeing flaws that would normally have been masked by the junkyard smelter. :)

    In my case, I'd feel comfortable pitching in some $ for the brake fix. I just would prefer Toyota to help a bit. It's also a bit frustrating to see or feel a problem develop slowly, knowing it's going to possibly happen, but then the vendor skirts away, just out of touch due to some arbitrary cutoff. And with the brake problem, it seems like the reported failures can be somewhat catastrophic, which is obviously unpredictable and bad. so being proactive should be in order.

    Another interesting dilemma, which I haven't verified: Car companies I believe are required by law to maintain parts for a model year only until the 10-year age threshold. after that, you may be on your own. a 10-year-old Prius is still very drivable and worthy but might be a bit rough. getting rid of it would be a shame/waste. Imagine if the 10-year rule was set to some crazy low limit like 3 or 6 months, to the point where you would essentially have to throw away a 1-year-old car and buy a new one. Bad for the environment, wallet, and probably several other reasons.
     
    #47 wr69, Dec 24, 2023
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2023
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  8. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    ya, good luck with that..... o_O
    There's a difference between defect and parts wearing out.
     
  9. ProblemPrius

    ProblemPrius New Member

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    Agreed, and this is a defective part which Toyota acknowledges, which is why Toyota changed their standard 3yr/36k part warranty to 10yr/150k warranty. And it not just any defective part but rather it is one of, if not the most important safety features of every car: the brakes.

    I have been driving cars since the late 80's and have owned many vehicles over the years from big cargo vans to a small air-cooled bug to just about everything in between from various manufacturers including Dodge, Chrysler, Chevy, Ford, Mitsubishi, Honda, Volvo, VW, and Toyota, and regardless of year, make, model, mileage, or condition of vehicle (including my '77 Corona "Bondo mobile"!), I have never had a catastrophic brake failure or even recall anyone I know who did. Sure I may have a had a little leaky master cylinder here or there that needed to be topped off from time to time, but never anything that resulted in losing the power-assisted braking while driving down the road! This is an extreme safety threat to every Prius driver on the road who has this known defective part in their vehicle. Toyota needs to make it right. It shouldn't take someone getting killed to have this part immediately recalled by the NHTSA and force Toyota to take the appropriate, honorable action for their defective part.

    [EDIT: Grammar]
     
  10. rjparker

    rjparker Tu Humilde Sirviente

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    Toyota is hoping these cars age out which they are, albeit slowly. I saw one on the road yesterday after driving around town for more than two hours.

    The “problem” is the car ages very well in terms of body, interior, ride, mpg and electronics. There are flippers hiding head gasket problems and it takes several minutes of pump runtime to trip the brake booster alarm. Which usually happens weeks or months before the reduced.braking failsafe mode.

    Some who really get upset think they can’t afford the brake repairs at the only place in town they know can fix it, eg the dealer. Most of that is the dealer and not Toyota. Double and triple parts cost at most and thousands in labor for a brake booster. Gouging. Plus Techstream special calibration and bleeding.

    95% of neighborhood shops say no and all franchise shops agree. No aftermarket rebuilt parts are available at a discount from Napa or Autozone unlike almost all conventional cars. Ecus builtin to the booster make used parts even more of a crap shoot due to different firmware based on tire size, year and Prius model.

    However Toyota Corporate has reduced the brake booster parts prices dramatically. Just a few years ago, no dealer had a brake booster part for less than $2k. Now some sell it online for $700. You have to shop and perhaps get lucky with online sale pricing. And wait. Same thing has happened with OEM hybrid batteries. Sometimes $1600 parts or $2300 installed.

    Hybridpit in SoCal now has a rebuild your booster deal for $550 plus shipping for diy’ers who can wait and have the necessary skills and tools. I have not seen reviews yet on this option.

    The sad part is when a smart shopper asks Priuschat if they should buy a gen3, too many say yes, “I have no problems or repairs are expected”. Obviously most used buyers only seek Priuschat after a problem has occurred.

    Meanwhile the delivery driver or single mom finances a 175k mile Prius for years at high interest rates. No wonder he or she can’t afford a dealer repair.
     
    #50 rjparker, Dec 24, 2023
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2023
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  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i can remember when car warranties were 1 year 12,000 miles.

    and you got a hard no if something broke at 1 year and one day.
     
  12. ASRDogman

    ASRDogman Senior Member

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    whaatteevvveerrrrrr.... :cry::cry::cry::cry::cry:o_Oo_Oo_O
     
  13. ProblemPrius

    ProblemPrius New Member

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    Thanks for this info! I just checked hybridpit dot com and I don't see any rebuilt boosters for my car, but I'll keep looking around. Honestly though I don't know if I would trust a rebuild for a such critical safety component, but I'll keep it mind.

    And I can remember when lead used to be in gas (and paint!), car seats weren't required for babies, and the only thing to protect a person in an accident was a lap belt, if you chose to wear one. Times change / requirements change / expectations change.
     
  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    agreed. i'm quite happy with the current 1/12, 3/36, 5/60 and 10/150 warranties.

    and that's coming from someone who left toyota in the dust after the engine on his 2012 prius fell apart at 30,000 miles.
     
  15. MikeDee

    MikeDee Senior Member

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    I'm curious, what car did you buy to replace the Prius?


    iPhone ? Pro
     
  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    Chevy Bolt. Pip was a great experiment on the road to pure ev.
    21k after tax credits, nicely equipped.
     
  17. rjparker

    rjparker Tu Humilde Sirviente

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    Toyota has not recalled the brake booster. They issued a “Customer Support Program” instead. A recall is done on every car impacted. This program only applies when a brake booster fails. Words and their legal meaning matter.

    An example from my v


    As stated above, Hybrid Pit rebuilds your brake booster after you ship it to them.



    . The hg blew at 30k miles? I thought it was 87k.
     
  18. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    car had 87k, only about 30k on the engine. the rest was ev plug in.

    idk if the hg was blown, i just had the misfiring sensation at light throttle, engine shaking like crazy.

    nothing at warm up/idle, or hard throttle.
     
  19. CR94

    CR94 Senior Member

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    Were the intake manifold EGR passages ever cleaned? How 'bout the EGR cooler?
     
  20. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    No, and I couldn’t find anyone willing to dive in, so I gave up
     
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