Steering Safety Concern on the Prius 2009

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Concerned_Owner, Mar 15, 2018.

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  1. No, we are still waiting for some answers

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  2. Yes and Toyota assisted us with the fix

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  3. Yes I'll call Toyota and report this and also update this discussion

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  1. Concerned_Owner

    Concerned_Owner New Member

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    BAD RECALL REPAIR JOB:

    Just 2 days ago the steering wheel stopped turning the axle, I could have got into an accident if my son would be on the highway. He was on a spring break when this happened.

    The mechanic said there was a recall for the "sub-standard" parts used that has worn out again..

    This is the original Diagnoses:

    Diagnose steering issue. 65.40

    The steering shaft from column to rack is stripped and will require
    replacement.
    There likely could be additional problems after repair
    especially with the steering clock spring and angle sensors

    INTERMEDIATE SHAFT - Remove & Replace - Lower - 373.87
    [Includes: R&I Steering Column Assembly.]
    STEERING COLUMN FLEX COUPLING - Remove & 171.13
    Replace - Slip Yoke -

    The AIR bag light is on, likely the clock spring was damaged when the
    steering was separated from the shaft, This will require additional
    repairs The codes are B1801 and B1811

    The part that got replaced on my Prius barely lasted 2 years. I called the Toyota Manufacturer and they opened a case# but nothing else.

    My main concern is about safety, we avoided a fatal accident , but this could have been a terrible situation.
    I called in to Ricky Liang at the Joe Myers Toyota in NW Houston, Texas so waiting to see what his response will be.

    I'm posting the pictures of the defective part before the repairs and also have the shaft to show to him.

    The Hillsboro Village Auto Service, Nashville, TN technician, Brent, has offered his services in case we need to call him during the meeting.

    I own other Toyota's and have not had any issues with the other models. I will have to reconsider my options now.


     

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  2. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    Every vehicle is made up of thousands and thousands of parts. Sometimes, something slips by on accident, sometimes fraudulently, sometimes because of a bean counter doing cost/benefit analysis on death claims versus the expense of the part.

    Toyota like most Japanese companies have a cultural importance to do the best they can. The steering problem was a design flaw. They corrected it with a recall. What you had installed may not have been the corrected part (dealers fault), may not have been installed correctly (dealers fault), just bad luck that the redesigned part you got was a lemon (Toyota's fault, but it happens), or malicious fraud on one or more accounts. I would have to guess one of the first 3.

    These types of mechanical failure can occur to any car at any time. Ford is now this week in hot water because the entire steering wheel can pop off. But notice last week Hyundai had a recall for the same thing. And this week Ford has a recall for the same thing.

    Knowing the automotive industry, my guess would be a third or fourth or fifth party supplier way downstream of the steering assembly sold a bolt with tolerances the engineers wanted but they couldn't meet either accidentally or by fraud. This is only being discovered after the bolt has time to fail and that's why there is a recall with increased scrutiny on the same part by other vendors. This part is a guess though.

    Toyota is still one of the best brands for quality and reliability. Such failures can occur on any vehicle, even one built to the highest standards. Having worked with many automotive companies directly I will relay a story. One of the semiconductors we produced for the automotive industry had a bug in it, it happens to everyone. It was discovered by a Japanese automotive company one of the big 3 Japanese auto companies. We then told all the companies using the part, which included 2 of the big 3 US auto companies. This fault could under very limited circumstances render the vehicle inoperable, shut down all power to the vehicle at any time. In reality it was only happening during factory test and assembly when lots of things were "wrong" because the car didn't exist as a whole unit causing all sorts of errors and things to be flagged. The Japanese companies using the parts sent a team of 100 engineers to our design centre and fab plants. They spent months analyzing the problem (not their problem remember) going through the design for anything similar, and eliminating every possible cause of this problem except a few logic gates that were wired wrong which required a fab spin to fix. But they went through everything to make sure this actually was the problem and would fix the problem and not cause any other problems. The American companies? They didn't send a single person. The only question they asked was if they could get a discount on the next batch with the problem now that it has a known fault. The findings the Japanese companies found were shared with eachother as they descended upon us at the same time. The US company never bothered to even ask anything about it. Didn't care. In the rare chance it happens, much cheaper to fix that one vehicle than recall every vehicle.

    This is why Toyota has a reputation for quality. It is well deserved. If you want the safest vehicles made, that's what you buy.
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    how many miles on your vehicle? the new prius has many new and improved safety features.
     
  4. Concerned_Owner

    Concerned_Owner New Member

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    I have about 90 K. The car is nit driven a whole lot since my commute is primarily by metro.
    I now have the part in hand today and will be visiting the dealership repair shop next week. The thread on the shaft assembly is worn out and the recall was completed in Sept 2015 so in just 2 years the problem started. One looses confidence with a brand name when things like this happens.
     
  5. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    Sounds like the recall was done improperly. Using a single data point to make a sweeping decision is illogical, but it's your money. Unfortunately you have zero option to purchase a car if you rule out a brand from single point failures. Time to start assembling a kit car!
     
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  6. Concerned_Owner

    Concerned_Owner New Member

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  7. Concerned_Owner

    Concerned_Owner New Member

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    The issue I have is that there could be a fatal accident and it just gives me chills to think that it could have happened while driving since the destination was supposed to be a 3.5 hours drive.
    Its easy to say that its only one data point but the consequences could have been disastorous.
     
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  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    agreed, it is frightening. my daughter had the steering recall on her '08. so far, so good, and i haven't read of any others with a problem, but the problem is with the dealer, not toyota, if i understand correctly.
    otoh, ford just recalled 140,000 cars whose steering wheels might come off while driving.
     
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  9. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    Yes the consequences could have been disastrous. However that has little to do with Toyota, and the fact remains that you are statistically less likely to experience such events in a Toyota.

    Your tire could have exploded. Or your wheel completely fallen off. Your 12v battery could have short circuited and melted. There are millions of ways to make a fatal accident on a car. It's a combination of quality, maintenance, and luck. Even on hypercars, sometimes stuff happens.

    If you are going to remove a brand from consideration due to a single failure on a single vehicle that may have resulted in fatality, you are left with no vehicles to choose from as there doesn't exist a vehicle that meets your criteria.
     
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  10. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    You're missing a zero and I mentioned it above. It's 1.4 million vehicles for steering wheels that can pop off. Hyundai also just recalled about 44K vehicles for the same thing.
     
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  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    what's a zero between friends?:)
     
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  12. RCO

    RCO Senior Member

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    Why, nothing at all, of course! ;)
     
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  13. Concerned_Owner

    Concerned_Owner New Member

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    Well guys, I appreciate your loyalty to the brand and I have it too. I've not driven another brand since 1997 as I am completely in awe of their products.
    I also was at the Toyota service center locally and they treated the issue with utmost attention and were extremely courteous towards me. I think they provided a good solution for me at least so I can say they do not take issues lightly. They also repaired the electronics that broke because of this problem which included the airbag deploy mechanism.
    The issue will be investigated further (i presume) and the manufacturer should be contacted to do a material analysis of the part.
     
  14. a_gray_prius

    a_gray_prius Rare Non-Old-Blowhard Priuschat Member

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    I haven't had any issues to this point with our Gen2. As with all potentially serious issues, I'd hope they do a through investigation. Were there any symptoms before the steering stopped working?
     
  15. Concerned_Owner

    Concerned_Owner New Member

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    there might have been an indicator but it did not seem unusual. when turning the wheel there seemed to be some sounds that came like a click or so.
     
  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    agreed. we've had those sounds on many toyota products.
     
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