Prius v Pre-purchase questions to Toyota

Discussion in 'Prius v Main Forum' started by Michael Macpherson, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. Michael Macpherson

    Michael Macpherson Junior Member

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    Does anyone know anything about Toyota's plans to address following Prius v ( lowercase v) issues:
    1. Poor IIHS small front overlap collision test results
    2. IIHS Front Crash Prevention rating of "Doesn’t Meet Minimum Criteria"
    3. When/if model will have blind spot monitor feature
    Thinking about purchasing a Prius v in future but was caught off-guard recently by IIHS small overlap front collision test results.

    Then, noticed there are issues with Front Crash prevention system.

    Finally, discovered Prius v does not seem to have a blind spot monitor feature.

    Emailed questions to Toyota regarding each concern (5/26/14).

    Here's response (5/29/14):

    You can be assured that all Toyota vehicles meet or exceed the applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards in place at the time of their manufacturer. For more information and to preview the Prius v's safety ratings, please visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
    Additionally, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a non-governmental agency, periodically develops new, more severe or specialized tests which go beyond federal requirements. You may find additional safety rating information at IIHS.
    At this time, Toyota has not announced a specific date or time frame regarding the availability of the blind spot monitor feature for the Prius v or updates on the collision avoidance system and IIHS small overlap front test.
    You can check back with us periodically for updates, or visit,
    http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/toyota/prius-v.

    Was pleased they responded but was hoping for information.

    Thanks for any feedback!
     
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  2. rdgrimes

    rdgrimes Senior Member

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    Its unfortunate that some people seem to get caught up in the overlap crash test. Putting aside the many questions about the legitimacy of this test as it relates to real world crashes, it was mainly dreamed up to FAIL as many cars as possible. Insurance companies are simply pushing to lower their costs by forcing car makers to beef up the cars. Its the insurers that are pushing the test.

    Most cars fail the test. As re-design cycles come and go, more cars will be able to do better in the test. The Prius-v won't see a re-design cycle for a couple more years. Whether they choose to address that test in the re-design is an open question. It may already be too late to address it in the next cycle. 2016 is the soonest we should expect to see a new v, but that may be optimistic. The hatchback update is expected in 2015 I think.

    As for blind-spot monitors, that's another example of "check-off" features that people look for that has questionable value. Although it is a relatively inexpensive feature that can be added to existing technology, so it should start to appear in future models. Suffice it to say that there are no blind spots to worry about on the Prius-v that cannot be seen with a properly set up mirror system. The standard back-up camera is quite effective as well.

    There are no "issues" with the pre-collision avoidance system. It works exactly as designed.

    Neither of these things should effect your decision to buy or not buy the Prius-v.
     
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  3. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    You will just have to choose a 40 MPG+ station wagon that does meet your requirements.
     
  4. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    I could create a list of another 20 "deficiencies" (In fact I have posted an extensive best and worst features list here before...of course IMHO) but then I could do the same for any car I've ever owned. Every car is a compromise.Every safety feature may create some other problem...hopefully less serious and to fewer people.

    I don't drive a tank. I'm vulnerable. I am responsible. I carry my grandkids. I try to keep all those things in mind.

    Having owned my v3 for more than a year, my conclusion is it does what I bought it for with minimum fuss, reasonable costs and zero unscheduled visits to the repair shop.

    I wouldn't expect Toyota (or any manufacturer) to tell you years in advance when specific features might be available, that would be sales suicide. Look at today's stories on the iPhone price drops as everyone anticipates the next model. And wouldn't Ford (as an example) just love to have those details so they could adjust their marketing plan for the same time period.
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    what kine of feedback were you hoping for? there are other threads here about the failed test. you have options when it comes to auto purchases, we can't change it, it is what it is.
     
  6. ibmoses

    ibmoses Junior Member

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    Trolling ur?
     
  7. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    I think he expected that this site had some connection to the Toyota Motor Corporation, many new posters do. (You can tell it doesn't, it is not in Japanese)
     
  8. Offline

    Offline Active Member

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    The OP's concern seem completely valid to me but I wouldn't expect any car manufacturer to provide information of the type he requested from Toyota. It is more than likely that the next redesign of the Prius v will address the small front overlap collision test deficiency.

    I am disappointed at how PCS on our Prius v is calibrated. The PCS on our Toyota Sienna seems substantially more effective and even aggressive so I know that Toyota could have done better on the Prius v. I suspect that Toyota's "Advanced Pre-Collision System" will trickle down to less expensive models over time like technology usually does - it can bring a vehicle to a full stop before contacting an object or another vehicle.

    Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) is an absolutely wonderful aid. I am certainly not going to fully rely on it but it may have prevented other drivers from having to alert me by honking when I've changed lanes while driving the Sienna. Odd how I seem to be making more driving errors as I move deeper into the "geezer zone".

    RCTA (Rear Cross Traffic Alert) may be even more important than BSM. No amount of mirror adjusting is going to help when backing out of a parking space into fast moving traffic. In the Sienna, I greatly value that I no longer have to depend on other drivers to honk when backing out of a completely blind, straight head-in parking space at the grocery store. I can't make the store redesign their parking area.

    It is interesting how these features have grown in importance to me and now seem "mandatory". When we bought our Prius v in 2012, I had been driving a car with VSC, Traction Control, ABS and Brake Assist for about 10 years. There was no way would have bought a Prius v if it did not have these features and more. Now that we have experienced BSM, RCTA, Radar Adaptive Cruise Control and PCS - even as poor as PCS is in the Prius v - I would not consider a vehicle without these features.

    And now I have added "Lane Keeping Assist" (LKA) to our list of must have features when we make our next vehicle purchase. LKA is already available on the "regular" Prius Five with the Advanced Technology Package. Front Cross Traffic Alert would be nice to have too - currently available from some car makers.

    Everyone has to decide for themselves what features are important.
     
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  9. rdgrimes

    rdgrimes Senior Member

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    I want my car to envelope me in a complete cocoon of safety, drive itself and eliminate any requirement for me to pay attention or accept any responsibility for my own actions. :rolleyes:
     
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  10. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith Active Member

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    be careful what you wish you for....common sense is not so common any more which makes me think that the feds are going to try to think for ourselves...via over regulation...


    BTW I know you were being sarcastic.... :)
     
  11. Okinawa

    Okinawa Senior Member

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    I like your comments, especially concerning the "geezer zone". I am a "geezer" of 76 years old. I recently bought a new 2014 Avalon Hybrid XLE Touring just because I wanted a luxury car but I went up to the Touring model just to get the blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic monitor just because of my age and I feel better with those safety devices. Keeping my driver's license and my independence is very important to me. Those two features work very well and I am very satisfied with my decision. I feel the cross traffic monitor has already saved me from have one accident.
     
  12. nsfbr

    nsfbr Member

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    One issue with the above. The small overlap test, implemented by IIHS, is not intended to reduce insurance costs. At all. It is intended to save lives. Pass the test, fail the test, it doesn't matter. The car is totalled. Okay? If one wants to assert that reducing life threatening injuries by making cars safer is some kind of insurance company money saving scam (yes, I know, no one did that, but it makes for more exciting reading to add a bit of hyperbole ;)), fine. I just don't think it is about saving costs when the car is totaled either way.

    The test was not dreamed up to fail as many cars as possible. The test was dreamed up in response to the disconnect between the current crash test results and real world crash events. It turns out that people don't tend to do full on head to head crashes with like vehicles that much. They tend to have small or moderate overlap crashes. The worst ones are when the main structural rails (or their counterpart in unibody vehicles) do not engage due to the small overlap. So, in fact, the test was a step to counter the auto manufacturers previous "designing for the test" of the standard testing. Soon, mostly with the next iteration, minor or major, test results will, or have improved. Those that have already faired well were in the right place in the development sequence when they were informed of the test to adapt their designs for it.

    I don't feel unsafe in my Prius v. The fact remains that the most important safety feature is the driver, with airbag and properly work seatbelt a close second.
     
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  13. Michael Macpherson

    Michael Macpherson Junior Member

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    Interesting response to my inquiry " anyone know anything about Toyota's plans to address following Prius v ( lowercase v) issues...?

    In what way would I be trolling? One "trolling" definition I found: "One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument" I suppose that is the sense you meant and I'm disappointed to have found the definition and afraid it is the one you intended.

    I honestly thought there might be some current Prius owners (members of this forum) who might be considering their next Prius and might know
    something about the 3 issues I listed. I was hoping there might be ongoing discussions about any of the 3 issues.

    Given number of dismissive responses (with a several kind exceptions), I believe I may have posted in error or at least was way too naïve to think it would be useful - to me or anyone else.

    I apologize to others who may believe I was "trolling" with my original post...

     
  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    as offline stated above, this kind of info would not likely be put forward from a manufacturer, because it would scare prospective buyers into thinking that the current model is not safe. you can be sure that all manufacturers are constantly working to improve safety. we just won't know what tests they will pass or fail until each new model is put through them.
     
  15. Michael Macpherson

    Michael Macpherson Junior Member

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    Thanks for your patience with my naïve posting and for your useful comments!
    2015 Prius V IIHS test results (12/24/14) earned it a "Top Safety Plus" rating - which is important to me but means very little to many...
    Plan to purchase Prius V this coming week when dealer gets it.
    Will manually adjust side view mirrors per other postings related to "blind spot monitor" :)
    Now wish I'd paid attention to comment about RCTA which is available on other Toyota vehicles but does not appear to be a Prius option :(
     
  16. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    Michael, you can add an almost infinite number of items to a wish list, all you have to do is read enough manufacturer's brochures and you can see something each one's marketing department choose to develop as a differentiator. Things I've learned in 52 years of buying cars going back to pre seat-belt, pre safety-glass days: you can't have it all now and the next version will be better. Only you can decide what is really important to you, how much you want to pay, how long you are willing to wait and thus when and what you will buy.

    Good luck in your decision.

    mike
     
  17. jhinsc

    jhinsc Senior Member

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    I think the OP's questions are fair to ask. I had a Prius v5, 2013 model, I was extremely happy with it, but never dreamed I would be in an accident (rear ended) that would total my car but it happened. I did my research, and the 2014's were not rated top safety picks, plus I didn't like the way the back end crumpled so much, when the other driver was able to drive away with barely a bent bumper on one corner. I decided I needed a car that not only rated a top-safety pick by IIHS at the time (July 2014), but also provided me an extra measure of safety from behind. I can't believe anyone would ride in a minivan/SUV 3rd seat - it's right next to the rear of the vehicle and if someone smashes into you, well.... good luck. I chose to go in a different direction only for my personal safety issues that were important to me and I don't regret it.
     
  18. Okinawa

    Okinawa Senior Member

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    I bought a 2014 Avalon Hybrid XLE Touring. I bought the Touring especially for the BSM and RCTA. Just priceless for those two options.
     
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