New Prius V - out of gas - need clarification please

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Priusmah, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. Priusmah

    Priusmah New Member

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    I know, I know, I know .. I am an idiot for running out of gas :redface: BUT I NEVER ran out of gas in my GM cars over the past 30 years. I am new to Toyota and considering going back to GM ... hence my post .. to make a decision.

    Situation: Prius V less than 5k miles. On interstate going 70mph on bluetooth cell phone on business calls (my life), car becomes sluggish ... hmmmm .. might have a problem .. no indication on dash that catches my attention ... car begins to accerlerate again ... get in right lane .. car becomes sluggish .. darn ... gas bar is flashing ... get on shoulder .. try to get to next exit .. less than a mile .. no luck... stuck on four lane interstate just to the right of while line on the right shoulder .. a few feet away from guard rail on passenger side. No where to go and guard rail 'til next exit.

    Net. I am in a dangerous location with cars and 18 wheelers whizzing by at 70mph and the Prius is swaying every time a vehicle goes by. Highway assists comes and puts gallon of gas. I start the vehicle, gas engine turns on and then it stops. Won't start. Call My dealer who is 70 miles away.

    Steps:
    Walk through emergency start with Mydealer on phone, pumping gas pedal, etc.

    The POWER comes on and it will go from park to Neutral. Will not go into drive or reverse. No message on why.

    Highway assists puts another gallon in. No start. I am stuck. My dealer calls tow and dealer close to my location (I am 70 miles from home).

    Tow took 1 1/2 hr. Meanwhile highway patrol stops, reads manual, try another method (holding POWER button 15 seconds) No start. He suggest I go with him to nearest gas station because if Prius gets hit, I am toast. I left hazard lights on.

    Tow service cannot start. Now I have message Parking system is not communicating. We tow to gas station, fill up, no start.Tow service says he has started many Prius after running out of gas. Tow to dealer within 10 miles "other dealer".

    After two hours they take me in an office. Ma'am, you ran out of gas. Since this is negligence we cannot cover any carges under platinum extended warranty. All they did was reset codes and put it on charge, I think. They also tell me running out of gas "REQUIRES" the dealer to reset codes. I had ten codes to be reset including codes for towing.

    I tell them negilence is Toyota not giving me "attention getting" warnings when I am low on fuel. Negligence is Toyota requiring a dealer visit by tow truck to reset codes after running out of gas. I am stuck in a dangerous situation asking the highway assist to put themselves in a dangerous situation and not being notified by my supposeably smart car that a tow is reguired? I have read other posts where you guys have run out of gas, put gas in and restarted the car. So now I don't know what to believe.

    BTW, they ended up covering the $170. They just asked for a superior rating on the survey.

    Now I have to decide if I want to keep this car. Not that I am planning to run out of gas again; but, what if this had happened at night? on a Saturday? Sunday? Give me a break.... I can't restart my car after I put gas in it without a tow to an open dealer?

    Sorry for the long post but I am pretty pissed right now. So here are my questions:

    Is anyone else pissed at the lack of alerts for low fuel? My GM cars turn on red light and sound a ding you cannot ignore. I can get a message to obey traffic laws on Prius start up and I can't get a message on my screen.. go get fuel you idiot?

    Is it true in my 2010 Prius V that I have to be towed after an out of gas situation?

    If not true, can anyone help me with what went wrong in my situation?

    What else might I learn the hard way unless you guys tell me 'cause obviously my dealer is not going to?

    Right now I hate my Prius:mad:
     
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  2. Russell Frost

    Russell Frost the whatdrives.us guy

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    You're "pissed" and you "hate your Prius" because you ran out of gas?

    Seriously?

    Sell it now and go buy a Malibu. That will definitely solve all your problems.
     
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  3. Much More Better

    Much More Better Active Member

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    You didn't know the last bar of the fuel indicator flashes when the gas gets low?
     
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  4. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    That must have been one hell of a long phone call for you not to notice that you were running low on fuel!!!

    Easy to blame someone else but come on get real. You'll probably look back and laugh at the situation once you've calmed down.
     
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  5. PriusRos

    PriusRos A Fairly Senior Member - 2016 Prius Owner

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    I don't think I've gotten low on fuel in the 2010 yet, but in the 2006 I definitely got a warning. After the gas gauge has been down to one pip for a while, you will hear a pretty loud beep, there will be a message on the display, and the one pip will start flashing. I'm pretty sure it will still keep going for another 10 miles after that.

    Something is wrong with your car if you didn't get these warnings long before you ran out of gas.
     
  6. PriusRos

    PriusRos A Fairly Senior Member - 2016 Prius Owner

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    It really could be that the car didn't give the warnings that is supposed to. That beep is pretty loud and hard to miss. And can either of you explain why the car wouldn't start after adding two gallons of gas?
     
  7. mindmachine

    mindmachine Member

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    Suggest you read the manual on any new car you buy, as there are always slight differences. Plus the newer cars have different electronics and warnings for various things that older cars did not have.

    But blaming Toyota for your operator error, all cars have a gas gauge, when the gauge starts blinking and there is a beep too, i would have thought you might wonder what the heck was up and noticed it was on empty or at least wondered about the beep.

    On the phone when you should have been paying better attention to your driving maybe. Probably why you may not have heard the beep warning of low fuel.

    My advice if you don't like the Prius take the financial hit and buy something else, but watch the gas gauge on whatever you buy because it will run out too if you are not paying attention. Running out of gas is never a good idea and yes the car can suffer damage and on occasion require dealer intervention from it, and not just the Prius.

    Your trying to restart and drive the car on empty is probably why you had to have it towed. Others on this forum have run their Prius out of gas and were able to add fuel and restart the car. Do a search if you are interisted.
     
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  8. wvgasguy

    wvgasguy New Member

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    You never ran out of gas in a Chevy and yet you managed to run out of gas in a Prius that will go 100 miles after it hits empty???
     
  9. jdcollins5

    jdcollins5 Senior Member

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    I would have to add you to the list of people these days buying new cars, not taking the time to understand how to operate their cars and then blaming the car manufacturers for their problems. Toyota certainly does not need your help right now. Take the advice above, sell the car and buy a GM.
     
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  10. LoveMyPriusIII

    LoveMyPriusIII New Member

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    Take it easy guys. Instead of bashing her you could show a little empathy for what she went through. Yes she made the mistake of running out of gas but the bottom line is that it did not start after gas was added. She was out of commission for hours and had to have it towed to the dealer just to get it running again. If you lost track of time and ran out of fuel on the highway and had to go through all this to get up and running again you would be upset too.

    This happened to me with a GM car I had in my teens where I ran out of gas and burned out the fuel pump. I had to have it towed and the fuel pump replaced. Until now I did not know that running out of gas on the Prius would require a tow. I am curious if this is normal or an isolated case.
     
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  11. lunabelgium

    lunabelgium Member

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    1) Prius is a car which requires an new approach but which as all the other ones always needs a minimum of gasoline in its tank
    2) read the owner manual ( the first thing to do !) to know how the car says she wants some drink.

    You remember me my father in law : he'd never red a owner manual, he'd never known what all the buttons in the car was for. When the windshield was filled with mist he shouted with his wife “do something, I'm driving !”

    What surprises me more it is that you seem to return Toyota responsible of this fact.

    Now, keep your Prius, take time to love her !
     
  12. hsiaolc

    hsiaolc New Member

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    I think you've had enough bashing from other Prius owners already. I feel for you. Yes it is supposedly not hard to miss the entire fuel guage, but I do want to add that the warning sign on the Prius are less than adequate. When it is low on fule it first beeps but as we know a lot of things beeps.

    I read the manual plenty of times, but when I enountered the low on fuel (I wanted to see it and hear it by experiment) and I truely didn't know what the heck the car was doing when it was making the sound. At first I thought I didn't close the door properly when I started the car only later when I looked harder I realiased my fuel meter was blinking. By the way the fuel warning sound only beeped once and that can be missed or misinterpret for something else. As for the blinking Fuel guage itself, I don't look at it all the time because I use the heads up display on the windscreen most of the time I am driving. So for the little blinking light doesn't really catch anyones attention it can be missed of forgotten.

    So far I can understand why she is upset, yes , it is her fault, but it can be easily forgotten once you put your mind into doing something else.

    But to say get upset or so pissed off because of this it is really a bit over the top because eventhough the warning are not as intrusive as your ex GM cars but it is there nonetheless. To be on the phone (not advised) and the consequence is to miss the warning light no matter how small is not anyones fault but yours. If thats the case you can't really be that upset for anyone or thing but yourself.
     
  13. MisterRed

    MisterRed New Member

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    Just like so many in our country, it's is always someone else's fault. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
     
  14. Russell Frost

    Russell Frost the whatdrives.us guy

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    " I just bought a thirty thousand dollar car and ran it out of gas and now I'm mad at the manufacturer and the dealer and I don't like my car anymore"

    You don't need a dealer, you need a valet.

    "Oh, the ashtray is full, time to buy a new car."

    Yeah, that too.

    Seriously, given the way the "problem" was stated, what other response is indicated? Grow up and take some responsibility.
     
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  15. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    I think the poster realises it was their mistake to run out, but they weren't expecting to have to get towed away despite adding fuel. I think they thought they could add some fuel, switch on and set off again. Unfortunately that wasn't the case.

    Perhaps this could be a warning to us all!
     
  16. hsiaolc

    hsiaolc New Member

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    Yes I agree, I don't think she was upset with the fact the car was out of petrol(gas) and she didn't blame anyone for that (well she was upse with the lack of indication), but I think she was more upset with the fact the car needs to be towed just because it ran out of gas. I don't think I would like that to happen to me, and I would like to know why should we get towed just because we ran out of gas?
     
  17. CPSDarren

    CPSDarren CPS Technician

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    Wow- what a complete lack of empathy from many Prius Chat owners. Way to welcome a new member..

    My wife and I had never run out of gas in any car, either. A while back she ran out of fuel due to the dismal cold weather fuel economy and the resulting inaccurate miles remaining indicator. I posted about it here-

    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-iii...s-zapped-my-mileage-44mpg-68.html#post1046448

    So, yeah, the new Prius may have an issue with starting after it runs out of fuel. You know, people make mistakes. You can run out of gas. Sure, it's your own fault. That doesn't excuse Toyota for making it a pain in the nice person to get your car going again.



     
  18. Felt

    Felt Senior Member

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    Great! .... the media will have another feeding frenzy ... the State AG will open an investigation .... the lawyers will be elated that they have a new class-action suit. Toyota mis-led the public, is the Prius safe?

    New Priuschat threads: Would you buy another Prius? Do you have any regrets?

    I can feel sympathy ... I routinely run out of gas in my lawn mower ... leaving me stranded many steps away from the Garage and the gas can. But then, it does not have a gauge.

    Or, maybe it's the fault of telephone company .... or the state legislature for not passing laws about telephoning while driving. Could be a whole myriad of faults .... .

    Seriously ... I am grateful you were not injured by teh experience. I bet you will never run out of gas again.
     
  19. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    Going to go off at a tangent here but the new diesels that are coming to your shores can have issues restarting after you've run out of fuel in them! I remember having to have my system bled after I'd run out in my Peugeot HDi.

    A good old petrol/gas car is so easy to restart after running to empty, but it would appear that's not the case with a hybrid or a diesel.
     
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  20. Tom Banjo

    Tom Banjo New Member

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    I think in the interest of addressing the intial concern, which was, "Is it normal behavior do have the car towed if it runs out of gas?", one should look at the multiple codes that were generated. You might not have run out of gas, but something else happened.

    Also, some real facts, like how much gas did it take to fill the tank ? How many miles were on the tank when you ran out ? What was you mpg when you ran out ?

    I think the OP knows running out of gas is not a recommended practice, but is concerned that in the improbable but possible second time this happens, what will happen.

    I personally have tried not to go below two pips, and generally (still new at this) fill ups are 6-7 gallons, which are 300-400 miles per tank. I have found that getting a fill up before it is desperately needed is much easier than dealing with the anguish of trying to limp to some unknown location hoping for gas. I have had cars were neither gas gauge nor odometer worked, so knowing when to stop for gas becomes more of an art than science.
     
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