Should I buy this car? (ICS Malfunction)

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Main Forum' started by mudworm, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. mudworm

    mudworm New Member

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    Hi all!

    I'm about to purchase my first Prius (2018 Prius Two), and I'm very excited. Yesterday, at the dealership, we took "my" new car (2 miles total on the odometer) for a quick spin before I sign the paper, 2+ mile out, it started beeping and flashing something like "ICS malfunction. Check engine. Please stop within 0.3 miles." We turned around and managed to drive back. I felt the car sputter a little and we could smell something hot, but after we parked, nothing appeared burnt under the hood.

    The dealer representative tried to downplay the issue (although he had no clue what ICS was as he called it internal computer system) by saying that it's just that when they did the new car delivery, they (someone) forgot to hook it up to computer to reset everything. They were going to get it "fixed" and call me back to sign the deal paper.

    My question for the forum is: Is it really not a big deal? Did the sputtering do a little damage? Or, should I request another car from them? If another car, they have to drive one of the same configuration from a distance away, which would put some miles on it. Call me silly, but I really like the idea of having a new car of little miles driven by others, but I suppose I can overcome this compulsion.
     
  2. mudworm

    mudworm New Member

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    After I posted, I got ahold of a mechanic I felt I could trust. He told me that indeed when dealers did car delivery, they were supposed to hook up a computer and program the ICS. So, he thinks that it was just not done yet for a car that new, and didn't think of it a big deal.
     
  3. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Well if it's fixed, test the car again. You have no obligation to take that exact car if there's an issue (they can give you another one.. I don't believe your sale is tied to any particular VIN)
     
  4. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Interesting - when I test drove mine, it had just arrived at the dealership the day before - didn't have anything done to it apart from washing the windows, and I had no errors in the 10km or so I drove it. But - mine doesn't have the Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS) System.
     
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  5. RCO

    RCO Senior Member

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    FFS! These acronyms are gonna kill somebody one of these days. :mad:

    Hope everything turns out fine for you @mudworm
    Dealerships have a poor reputation for knowing much about the Gen 4 Prius - which is what you are getting. Stick to your instincts if they seem to be waffling about it being nothing and get a different car!

    Good luck. (y)
     
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  6. #1 Toyota salesman

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    As a former dealer employee...RUN
    That dealer is making up stuff as they go along
    There is NO COMPUTER RESET when they get the car.
    Theoretically, a car is 100% ready to go, when it rolls into the dealership off the truck. The PDI (predelivery inspection) is just double checking everything as it came from the manufacturer. It is just an additional system of checks and balances.
    I don't care that the car had a malfunction out of the gate. Many things are bad as they are assembled. That's what a warranty is for. It's probably nothing major, but the dealership is uninformed at best, and dishonest at worst.
    Most likely, somewhere in between
    BTW, your VIN IS DEFINITELY tied to everything in the sale. Once you sign all the paperwork, AND tke the keys... Congratulations, you're an owner. There's no turning back then.
    Don't listen to them, if they tell you anything differently. They will try and tell you, it's okay, if it doesn't work out, will just put you into another vehicle. No, they can't legally do that. Sorry for the tirade, but in your few comments about that dealership, I read into it, as several shady practices.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    without more knowledge, i would probably wait for another. if it was unimportant, why would it tell you to stop, and

    WHY WOULD YOU SMELL SOMETHING BURNING?:eek:
     
  8. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    I would be very concerned with an error that tells you to stop driving the car ASAP, as you likely won't be near a Toyota dealer if it occurs again after you purchase the vehicle. And you have to REALLY hope that whatever was hot/burning that you smelled was coincidental and coming from outside the car. So you need to find out what exactly the problem was that occurred on the test drive.

    Besides the message that you saw on the screen there would also be an error code stored in the computer, that is what the dealer's mechanics will be looking at. Ideally they will be able to confirm the problem and fix it. But that's what you need to find out with as much certainty as possible, with the challenge being that you have to rely on the dealer to provide you this information.

    You should ask them what specifically was wrong, and what did they do to fix it. Since the car still belongs to them they are not obligated to tell you anything as long as their cost to repair the problem is less than a certain percentage of MSRP (apparently 3% in California). But then again you aren't obligated to purchase the car either. Ideally they should let you talk to the mechanic yourself because otherwise you have no idea if the salesperson is accurately passing on what the mechanic told them. If they won't let you talk to the mechanic then ask them what the error code was. It won't mean anything to you but you can Google it on your phone while you are standing there and possibly get an idea what it is, or else post it here and there are members who can look it up for you.

    Take notes as you talk to them, and don't be concerned if they see you taking notes, in fact you should repeat back what you wrote down and ask them if you got it correct.

    If you get vague answers, or if any of their sentences start with "We think...." then you face the possibility of having the problem occur again after you purchase it.
     
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  9. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    ikr? wth? srsly tho. :p

    (I know, right? What the heck? Seriously though...)
     
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  10. The Professor

    The Professor Member

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    New cars often have a mild burning smell the first time you run them. It's the first time the engine, electricals, and brakes, have heated up to a high temperature. Also new combustion engines produce more heat in general for the first few hundred miles until they've worn in a bit. It's just like when you turn on a new toaster or dryer for the first time... You get a smell but it's normal. Every new car I never ever owned has had this burning smell after the first few short drives.

    That being said, it could be more serious. I'm just saying I'd have expected a burning smell.

    The Intelligent Clearance Sonar is basically the ultrasonic sensors around the car. If you're traveling at low speed, forwards or backwards, and it thinks you're going to collide with something, it'll reduce power a lot and display "BRAKE!". If you continue to press the accelerator it'll automatically slam on the brakes really hard.

    It could be something as simple as a something covering any one of the sensors (did you have dealer plates fitted attached by ropes or chains?), a dead fly, frozen sensors, water ingress from washing them with a pressure washer, a bad sensor, a loose connection to a sensor, or perhaps something less obvious. It's not a critical system to driving.

    You have to weigh up the additional delays, potential cost, and so on, of a different car (which is also untested and may have different issues) versus getting that one fixed. It's not an easy choice, but I'm sure either would work.

    The salesman got the acronym wrong, and panicked, telling you what he hoped was true to keep you calm and not lose the sale. However he's a salesman, trained in sales, not a mechanic trained in the specific systems and problems associated with that model of car. I'm a super geek when it comes to my Prius, owned it for months, read every post on Prius Chat, and the entire manual twice, and I still had to look up what ICS was for the twentieth time. I wouldn't hold it against him.

    If it were me, I'd give the dealership a chance to fix it. As mentioned above, make sure you get a clear description of the problem from the guy working on it, and what they are going to do to fix it. It'll probably be sorted in half a day and never go wrong again.
     
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  11. mudworm

    mudworm New Member

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    Hi all, thanks for your input. Well, they have still not called me back (two days after that pre-purchase test drive). It all worked out because yesterday I had another dealer who was willing to beat their price. I drove "my" new car hard (with 3 miles on odometer) up and down hills and highway before I signed paper with them. I'm now officially a new Prius owner! I will be asking a lot of questions. :p
     
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  12. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    That's interesting I guess I have just never noticed it. New cars are briefly test driven at the factory, then driven on and off trucks, trains, ships etc. before arriving at a dealer. But if the burning smell lasts more than the first few miles and engine starts then I guess I can see where someone might be able to notice it.

    I would expect a message warning that ICS is not working properly so that you will know not to rely on it until you get the car in for service (of course we shouldn't rely on these things anyway).

    But if it's just ICS I wonder why the message advised not driving the car more than 0.3 miles. Taken literally that means pull off and stop on the freeway shoulder as quickly as you safely can. That would mean either there is a chance of damaging the system by continuing to drive it more than a very short distance, or else there is a safety issue.

    Actually I may be able to answer my own question. I previously thought ICS was used just for parking, which is why I thought the "Danger, Will Robinson!" message telling you to stop driving immediately would be so odd. However I just looked it up and I didn't realize that ICS is also used for what Toyota calls "pedal misapplication" incidents, meaning accidentally hitting the accelerator instead of the brake. In that situation if the ICS sonar detects an object immediately ahead then it will automatically apply the brakes. This is separate from the PCS (Pre-Collision System) which uses radar and camera during driving.

    So in that case, in theory a defective ICS could case the brakes to slam on for no reason, which of course would be a safety issue. But how likely is that? I don't think stopping a car on a freeway shoulder at night, or pulling into a random dark parking lot and stopping is always that safe either.
     
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  13. #1 Toyota salesman

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    All new cars, especially ones that come from overseas, have a petroleum-based coating on the engines, to keep them from oxidizing in the sea containers etc. that coating burns off for hundreds of miles.
    Everyone seems to be so concerned about the car, and overlooking the fact that this dealership is shady as all get out. There are many many Toyota dealers within a hundred mile radius wherever you are. Go somewhere else.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  14. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Enjoy!!! It's worth reading the Owners Manuals - they're full of information. Then ask us to interpret:eek::(:)!!!

    To get a good idea how it's going l/100km wise - it's a good idea to FILL the tank at your first opportunity. I suspect dealerships know how much they can get away with so it looks full-ish on the gauge. Oh, and the Manual says to fill only to the first click off.
     
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  15. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Welcoming me to the Prius club(y).

    What did you end up with? Any pictures?

    If you are ever curious to meet some of the Bay Area members, we occasionally do meet ups:

    Possible Monthly install meets. Bay Area-Fremont

    Enjoy your new ride(y).
     
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  16. kithmo

    kithmo Couch Potato

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    Was it the Internal Cat System a moggy asleep on the exhaust.
     
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  17. douglasjre

    douglasjre Active Member

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    would a prissy self-serving b**** accept delivery of that car or would she say f***** that it's their problem give me one that has nothing wrong? Why do you have to take one for the team?
     
  18. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    I haven't seen any comments even hinting that anyone here is worried about the dealer. This situation, as with another recent thread about a car that arrived with a defect, had some complications (in the other thread they had waited months for the car to arrive and would likely have to wait again if they rejected it, so they wanted to think through the decision instead of knee-jerk).

    If the OP here had said "I went on the test drive and an error message popped up, and the salesperson seems to be downplaying it and saying they will fix it, meanwhile down the street another dealer is offering the exact same car for the exact same price, what should I do? " If that was the case the thread wouldn't have gone past two posts.

    However the OP indicated, or at least implied, that this particular car is exactly what they wanted, and they were concerned that if they got another car it might have some miles on it, whereas this one had virtually none, which to them added at least some additional emotional value to the purchase. Even though they realized that probably they should not let that affect their decision, before just automatically rejecting the car they wanted to know if perhaps the problem was minor and easily fixable by the dealer, or if it might indicate a problem serious enough that there would be risk accepting the car.

    I think it was an interesting discussion. As someone pointed out it could have been something as simple as shipping protection not completely removed from the bumper. But until they knew for sure the overall advice seemed to be either wait until they get more details from the dealer, others said move on to another car or another dealer. As it turns out the OP found a car to their liking at another dealer at an even better price! So it all worked out.
     
    #18 Since2002, Jul 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
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  19. CooCooCaChoo

    CooCooCaChoo Active Member

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    That's what warranties are for. If you do take it, and the problem reappears, take the car back for them to fix. If they can't fix it after a certain number of tries, then it would fall under the lemon law and they have to buy it back.
     
  20. goldfinger

    goldfinger Active Member

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    This is not true.

    Sounds like you ran out of gas. Toyota puts in just enough to drive it on and off the boat. The Prius will go a short distance without gas, but its not a good practice.
     
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