The Economist - Prius Inverter Article

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by JackTheNarrator, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. JackTheNarrator

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  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    The quick fix adopted by Toyota has been to reset the inverter’s software in order to reduce the likelihood of the transistors being stressed unduly. That has meant lowering the current from the battery and forcing the petrol engine to work harder to compensate—hence the higher fuel consumption and increased exhaust emissions.

    ^ A quote from the article. Contrary to that statement, my understanding, from other reading, was that the "quick fix" was to prevent sudden/strong current demands, buffer the demands so they're still met, but in a more gradual manner.

    Personally, after getting the update, I noticed no difference in acceleration, though I'm very gentle on the gas. Also, I didn't notice a drop in mpg, and I noticed a slight but definite increase in the car's propensity to slip into electric-only mode. My wife mentioned this last factor too, and I hadn't said anything about it.

    More galling still, reports continue to come in of overheating problems that leave Prius owners in limp-home mode or stranded in traffic unable to move. Online forums (see priuschat.com) have been abuzz with tales of woe from afflicted drivers.

    ^ Another quote, a lot of hyperbole and chest beating?
     
    #2 Mendel Leisk, Apr 30, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
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  3. farmecologist

    farmecologist Senior Member

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    Good find! Thanks for the article.
     
  4. tpenny67

    tpenny67 Active Member

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    Definitely hyperbole. I'm only dimly aware of the inverter issue, but very much aware of oil consumption, EGR clogging, and the occasional head gasket.
     
  5. JackTheNarrator

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    I did a little research about occurrences and came across these. There are a lot more on there but here's a snapshot of them. They sound scary.


    April 25, 2018 NHTSA ID NUMBER: 11090055
    Components: POWER TRAIN

    NHTSA ID Number: 11090055

    Incident Date March 2, 2018

    Consumer Location KINGSTON SPRINGS, TN

    Vehicle Identification Number JTDKN3DU9A0****

    Summary of Complaint


    HAD RECENTLY PURCHASED THIS VEHICLE USED.. VEHICLE SUDDENLY WAS POWERLESS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HIGHWAY. STRUGGLED TO COAST TO SIDE OF THE ROAD. BARELY BEING REAR ENDED BY TRAFFIC APPROACHING FROM BEHIND. OVER HEATED INVERTER REPLACED AT NO CHARGE BY TOYOTA DEALERSHIP. THEN DEALERSHIP TRIED TO TELL ME THE CAR NEEDED $5200 IN ADDITIONAL WORK. I AM IN DISBELIEVE I WAS ABLE TO PURCHASE A CAR WITH OUT THIS WORK BEING DONE TO IT.

    April 6, 2018 NHTSA ID NUMBER: 11083530
    Components: ELECTRICAL SYSTEM, FUEL/PROPULSION SYSTEM

    NHTSA ID Number: 11083530

    Incident Date November 17, 2017

    Consumer Location RAYMORE, MO

    Vehicle Identification Number JTDKN3DU5A0****

    Summary of Complaint


    I HAD A SUDDEN LOSS OF POWER WITH A POPPING SOUND. THE FAILURE NEARLY CAUSED AN ACCIDENT BECAUSE I WAS TURNING INTO A TRAFFIC LANE. THIS LEFT ME STALLED IN THAT LANE OF TRAFFIC. THE FAILURE TURNED OUT TO BE THE INVERTER OVER HEATING WAS CAUSED BY THE COOLING PUMP IN THE INVERTER FAILING, WHICH CAUSED THE INVERTER TO OVERHEAT. THIS WAS NOT COVERED BY WARRANTY AND WAS A VERY EXPENSIVE REPAIR. I CHOSE NOT TO HAVE THE DEALER REPAIR IT AT THEIR EXTREME PRICES. I PAID THE DEALER TO DIAGNOSE THE PROBLEM. THEN I HAD GREENTEC IN OLATHE KS. REPAIR THE SYSTEM AT 1/2 THE COST THAT THE DEALER WANTED


    April 13, 2018 NHTSA ID NUMBER: 11084932
    Components: SERVICE BRAKES, ELECTRICAL SYSTEM, ENGINE

    NHTSA ID Number: 11084932

    Incident Date April 5, 2018

    Consumer Location EUREKA, SD

    Vehicle Identification Number JTDKN3DU7B1****

    Summary of Complaint


    I WAS GETTING ON THE INTERSTATE AND ALL OF A SUDDEN I LOST POWER AND MY DASH LITE UP CHECK HYBRID SYSTEM /ABS/ BREAKS. I CAN NOT DRIVE MY CAR BECAUSE IT HAS NO POWER PLEASE HELP THANK YOU



    April 6, 2018 NHTSA ID NUMBER: 11083558
    Components: UNKNOWN OR OTHER

    NHTSA ID Number: 11083558

    Incident Date April 5, 2018

    Consumer Location EUREKA, SD

    Vehicle Identification Number JTDKN3DU7B1****

    Summary of Complaint

    WHEN HITTING THE INTERSTATE MASSIVELY LOST POWER WHILE TRYING TO ACCELERATE.ALL CLUSTER OF LIGHTS CAME ON AND STAYED ON DASH INCLUDING CHECK HYBRID SYSTEM.PLZ CONTACT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE

    April 4, 2017 NHTSA ID NUMBER: 10970444
    Components: ENGINE

    NHTSA ID Number: 10970444

    Incident Date April 4, 2017

    Consumer Location LAKELAND, FL

    Vehicle Identification Number JTDKN3DU9D5****

    Summary of Complaint


    MY DAUGHTER WAS DRIVING THE CAR THIS MORNING AND THE ENGINE CUTOFF AND LOST ALL POWER ALONG WITH A MAINTENANCE REQUIRED LIGHT CAME ON. SHE TRIED TO ACCELERATE BUT IT WOULD NOT. SHE PULLED OFF THE ROAD. MY WIFE WAS IN ANOTHER VEHICLE IN FRONT OF HER.MY WIFE TURNED OFF THE CAR AND TURNED IT BACK ON IT DRIVE FINE FOR 25 MILES. THIS IS A BIG SAFETY ISSUE AND SOUNDS LIKE ANOTHER RECALL LIKE THIS. Drive a Toyota? Recalled for power loss issue, could bring car to sudden stop on road | KFOR.com


    April 2, 2018 NHTSA ID NUMBER: 11082601
    Components: HYBRID PROPULSION SYSTEM

    NHTSA ID Number: 11082601

    Incident Date March 28, 2018

    Consumer Location LA VERNE, CA

    Vehicle Identification Number JDTKN3DU0C5****

    Summary of Complaint

    MY HUSBAND WAS DRIVING THE CAR PREPARING TO TURN TO ENTER THE FREEWAY WHEN THE PRIUS LOST ALL DRIVING POWER SPONTANEOUSLY AT THE SAME TIME PROMPTED WITH A WARNING ON THE SCREEN ?CHECK HYBRID SYSTEM AND PARK IN A SAFE PLACE?. THE CAR LOST ALL DRIVING POWER INCLUDING POWER STEERING BUT MY HUSBAND WAS ABLE TO GLIDE THE VEHICLE ACROSS SEVERAL LANES TO A PARKED POSITION BEFORE THE FREEWAY ENTRANCE. THE CAR NEVER RESUMED ITS ABILITY TO DRIVE DESPITE TURNING IT OFF AND AN ATTEMPT TO RESTART. THE PRIUS WAS TOWED TO THE HOUSE AND TOWED AGAIN TO THE DEALERSHIP THE FOLLOWING DAY FOR AN ASSESSMENT AND REPAIR. AS A TOYOTA CUSTOMER, WE WERE INFORMED THE VEHICLE HAD EXPERIENCED INVERTER/COMPONENT FAILURE. MY VEHICLE HAD A RECALL YEARS EARLIER TO REFLASH SOFTWARE IN THE PRIUS INVERTER, BUT THIS DID NOT RESOLVE/PREVENT THE SPONTANEOUS INVERTER FAILURE WE EXPERIENCED ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28, 2018. IT HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION THAT TOYOTA CORPORATION IS AWARE OF SEVERAL CUSTOMERS REPORTING SIMILAR OR NEAR IDENTICAL CIRCUMSTANCES, BUT ARE NOT ISSUING A RECALL TO PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING TO A TOYOTA DRIVER ON THE ROAD. TOYOTA IS AGREEING TO REPLACE PARTS AT NO COST TO ME, WITH NO GUARANTEE THIS WILL CORRECT ANY INVERTER FAILURE. I HAVE REQUESTED THE SYSTEM BE REPLACED BASED ON TOYOTA?S CORRECTIVE ACTION ON THE NEWEST PRIUS MODELS, BUT THEY HAVE DENIED MY REQUEST. IF TOYOTA IS ACKNOWLEDGING COST FOR THIS VEHICLE FAILURE, WHY IS IT NOT A RECALL? IF TOYOTA HAS MADE ATTEMPTS TO CORRECT THIS VEHICLE FAILURE IN NEWER PRIUS MODELS BY INSTALLING IMPROVED INVERTER SYSTEMS, WHY AM I BEING DENIED THE SAFETY OF ALSO HAVING AN IMPROVED AND NEW INVERTER SYSTEM INSTALLED IN MY PRIUS AFTER WHAT WE HAVE EXPERIENCED AND REPORTED TO BOTH THE TOYOTA DEALERSHIP AND TOYOTA CORPORATION? PLEASE INVESTIGATE BEFORE INJURY OR FATALITY COMES FROM THIS CORPORATE NEGLECT OF AN IDENTIFIED PROBLEM.



    March 3, 2018 NHTSA ID NUMBER: 11076081
    Components: ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

    NHTSA ID Number: 11076081

    Incident Date December 27, 2017

    Consumer Location SILVER SPRING, MD

    Vehicle Identification Number JTDKN3DU1C5****

    Summary of Complaint

    CRASHNo

    FIREYes

    INJURIES1

    DEATHS0

    ON MY WAY HOME I SUDDENLY SAW A SIGN ON THE SCREEN "CHECK THE HYBRID SYSTEM. STOP IN A SAFE PLACE". I PULLED OVER, SMELLED SMOKE AND SAW SMOKE IN THE REAR. I OPENED THE TRUNK ANS FRIGHTENED BY FLAME. I PULLED THINGS OUT AND COVERED THE FLAME WITH TWO BIG TOWELS AND SUCCEEDED IN PUTTING IT OUT, ALTHOUGH I GOT BURNED ON MY FINGERS. I CALLED GEICO. THEY SENT A TOWING CAR AND IT TOOK MY CAR TO MY APARTMENT. WHEN GEICO TOOK MY CAR TO A COLLISION CENTER, THEY SAID IT IS TOTAL LOSS AFTER INSPECTING IT.

    I CLAIMED IT TO TOYOTA. THEY INSPECTED IT, BUT SAID THAT THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE THAT THE CAR HAD ELECTRICAL OR MECHANICAL DEFECT.

    I DID NOTHING BUT DRIVING THE CAR, BUT IT CAUGHT FIRE. WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY IS THAT?

    I BELIEVE THE PRODUCER SHOULD TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY BUT THEY DO NOT.

    WHERE CAN I BE COMPENSATED FOR THE LOSS?



    April 3, 2018 NHTSA ID NUMBER: 11083178
    Components: POWER TRAIN

    NHTSA ID Number: 11083178

    Incident Date April 1, 2018

    Consumer Location ORLANDO, FL

    Vehicle Identification Number JTDKN3DU0E1****

    Summary of Complaint

    VEHICLE STALL . SHOW ?CHECK HYBRID SYSTEM ?

    STOP THE VEHICLE IN A SAFE PLACE?

    DEALER SAID PROBABLY INVERTER IPM FAILED.


    April 25, 2018 NHTSA ID NUMBER: 11090167
    Components: ENGINE

    NHTSA ID Number: 11090167

    Incident Date April 14, 2018

    Consumer Location DIAMOND BAR, CA

    Vehicle Identification Number JTDKN3DUXE1****

    Summary of Complaint

    I ACTUALLY WOULD LIKE TO FILE A CONCERN REGARDING THE 2010 - 2014 INVERTER/COMPONENT FAILURES. THIS PROBLEM WAS BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION BY MY DEALER INDICATING THAT THE MOTOR/GENERATOR ECU COULD RESET, CAUSING THE HYBRID SYSTEM TO SHUT DOWN, RESULTING IN MY VEHICLE STOPPING WHILE BEING DRIVEN AND SUBJECTING ME OR WHOM EVER IS DRIVING AT RISK OF A CRASH. I CALLED TOYOTA CUSTOMER SERVICE AND SHOW LITTLE CONCERN FOR THIS POTENTIAL PROBLEM BUT JUST TOLD ME THAT I SHOULD VERIFY WITH MY DEALER THAT THE EOE-PRIUS RECALL TO REFRESH SOFTWARE IN THE INVERTER WAS PERFORMED. IT WAS CONFIRMED THAT IT WAS PERFORMED ON MY CAR ON 2/14/14 AT SAN FRANCISCO TOYOTA AND THAT THEY TENDED THE WARRANTY FOR 15 YEARS, UNLIMITED MILEAGE. MY DEALER TOLD ME THAT SOME VEHICLES THAT HAVE HAD THE EOE-PRIUS RECALL HAVE STILL SUFFERED INVERTER FAILURE. IS TOYOTA GOING TO WAIT FOR SOMEONE TO DIE, BEFORE THEY WILL CORRECT THIS PROBLEM.

    A VERY CONCERNED PIRUS OWNER! IM JUST WONDERING IF I SHOULD SELL MY PIRUS BEFORE IT (TOYOTA) KILLS ME OR SOMEONE I LOVE.


    April 10, 2018 NHTSA ID NUMBER: 11084469
    Components: UNKNOWN OR OTHER

    NHTSA ID Number: 11084469

    Incident Date March 15, 2017

    Consumer Location OAKLAND, CA

    Vehicle Identification Number JTDKN3DU8E0****

    Summary of Complaint


    I WAS DRIVING ON A FREEWAY OFF RAMP WHEN THE POWER JUST STOPPED. IT DID NOT SLOW BUT STOPPED AND I MANAGED TO PULL OVER. THE WARNING SIGNALS ALL CAME ON AND SO I COULD NOT LOOK UP THE PROBLEM. SINCE THEN THEY SAY THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH THE INVERTER BUT THE DEALER WILL NOT FIX IT EVEN THOUGH WE ARE UNDER THE ORIGINAL WARRANTY AS WELL AS BUYING AN EXTRA CERTIFIED PLATINUM WARRANTY FOR $2000!



    November 4, 2017 NHTSA ID NUMBER: 11043167
    Components: SERVICE BRAKES, ELECTRONIC STABILITY CONTROL, POWER TRAIN

    NHTSA ID Number: 11043167

    Incident Date June 10, 2017

    Consumer Location BELLEVUE, WA

    Vehicle Identification Number JTDKN3DUXC5****

    Summary of Complaint


    VEHICLE STABILITY CONTROL, ANTI-LOCK BRAKE, AND TRACTION CONTROL LIGHTS INTERMITTENTLY TURN OFF.

    A FEW TIMES IT SHUT DOWN THE HYBRID SYSTEM AND TELL ME TO STOP .

    NOW ALL THOSE LIGHTS ARE ALL ON AND I AM DRIVING WITHOUT VSS, ABS AND TRACTION CONTROL.

    BRAKING IS GETTING HARDER.

    I TOOK IT TO THE DEALER AND THEY TOLD ME THE COST IS $3500.

    I DID SOME RESEARCH AND FOUND OUT THAT THIS IS A KNOWN PRIUS PROBLEM PROBLEM

    1 Affected Product
    Request Research (Services fees apply)
     
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  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    what is the point of this thread jack?(n)
     
  7. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Our conversations here on the inverter failures and Toyota's neglecting to provide a permanent fix were one of economist sources cited in the article.
     
  8. JackTheNarrator

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    Inverter Assembly Part number G9200-49075

    Never been subject to a recall.

    Why Not?

    Introduced in production mid 2014

    What were the Prius model years were included in the E0E safety recall?
     
  9. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    Jack, What is your agenda here?
     
  10. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    This same "news" has been floating around for a long time now. The various newspapers, blogs, and magazines seem to just republish stuff others have done and cite themselves in a big circle. It is a potential problem, a few people have been effected. Toyota issued a recall, it made it less likely to happen (hasn't since?). The stories of woe of people being stranded, I remember a single story of that woe. And they had multiple warnings along the way but "had to go somewhere" so ignored them and then the car died and stranded them. Woe is them.

    Hating on the Prius is fun for these people, just like Microsoft bashing by people who don't even know how to operate a terminal/command-prompt is fun. Jump on the bandwagon and join the team.
     
  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    y?(n)
     
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