What's your experience been with unexpected shutdown?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by tlmcca, May 30, 2005.

  1. tlmcca

    tlmcca New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm a prospective buyer and this is my first post on the site. Many thanks for the wealth of information to be found here.

    My overall opinion on the Prius, gleaned from reading this site and various reviews, is very positive. However, I do have a concern regarding some posts I've read here and elsewhere about sudden loss of power. My understanding is that this has been known to happen after stopping and while the vehicle is moving.

    My wife and I have driven Toyota products for 18 years (500K miles) without a single breakdown, and I would like to believe that that record would continue with the Prius.

    I'd like to ask the members of this group with the 2005 model to relate the number of times they've had to take their vehicle to the dealer after one of these voodoo failures along with how long they've had the car and their mileage. I think this sort of anecdotal data will help me and others on the fence to determine which way to jump.

    Thanks,
    Terry
     
  2. xevious

    xevious New Member

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    You won't receive many replies, as there have been only 11 reported cases of "unexpected shutdown," the majority of them involving early 2004 models.

    Any way you slice it, this is an "edge" case - extremely rare - and was addressed with a software fix.

    I've owned two Prius; a 2002 and now a 2004. Like most of the folks on this board, I've put plenty of miles on both and experienced neither problem nor regret.
     
  3. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Of those 11 reports, none appear to have had the required TSBs applied yet. In other words, the problem could have been prevented entirely.

    As for me, I have driven over 94,000 trouble-free miles with my two Prius.
     
  4. tlmcca

    tlmcca New Member

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    xevious,

    Thanks for the response. I agree that the infamous 13 reported to the NHTSA were 2004 or early-2005 models and probably are not germane to whether to buy one of the later-2005 models. My hope is to gather the data, both positive and negative, in one posting.

    Do you think a poll would be more appropriate?

    Terry
     
  5. SDiego

    SDiego New Member

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    Well I just picked up a prius yesterday, and so far so good. The production date is 4-2005. I hope the dealer loaded the latest updates to the computer or computers. Got 80 miles on it now. hehe
     
  6. jsorger

    jsorger New Member

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    My wife had one shutdown at around 30k miles.

    Toyota had been great about sending me service campaign notices, but I had not received one for the problem that caused the shutdown. After the software update, no problems in the last 10k miles.
     
  7. Blue

    Blue New Member

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    I don't believe the shutdown problem is as serious as some make it out to be. Although, I also believe that Toyota should have notified Prius owners of this problem so that it could be fixed before it presented itself.

    I have a late 2004 model, and the ICE shutdown on the DC beltway during rush hour, with about 12,000 miles on the vehicle. Even without the ICE, there was still adequate battery power to move over a few lanes and pull off onto the shoulder. After waiting 10-15 minutes, and a couple start-up attempts, I was able to finish the remainder of my commute without problems. The Prius was taken into the dealer for the software upgrade later that week.

    My biggest complaint is that I was never notified by Toyota about this problem.
     
  8. cybele

    cybele New Member

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    I don't know if I had "THE" shutdown problem or not.

    I have a 2004 with a manufacture date of Nov 2003. It has had all of its updates and maintenance done faithfully.

    While on the freeway, doing about 50 MPH, all the lights came on (including the hybrid system alert). A quick check showed that I had a full battery. I got over to the exit lane and got off the freeway. The car never stopped functioning, it was just the dashboard being lit up that alarmed me.

    I pulled into a parking lot and called Toyota roadside and they picked up my car within 45 minutes.

    The next day I talked to Carson Toyota (where I bought it and where it was being serviced) and they said they cleared the code - which was a "no start" code, which made no sense since it DID start - and they placed a call to Toyota National.

    Toyota said that they noted the problem and were aware of it happening in several other instances. According to the service rep, he and Toyota talked several times about my incident.

    There was no fix, there has been no fix since then.

    The good thing is that I haven't had the problem since and the car was driveable even when it did occur and I was able to safely exit and find a good spot to wait for the tow truck (the LAPD parking lot).

    I had a problem with my Subaru in the first 18 mos of ownership as well, only that one was a failure of the alternator, which can be pretty dangerous on the freeway. That took months to resolve and several threats regarding the lemon law ... I've had no such issues with responsiveness with Toyota.

    The incident on the freeway has not affected my confidence in the car in the slightest.
     
  9. naterprius

    naterprius Senior Member

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    This happened to me. I was driving along, and suddenly the engine died, and the check engine light came on. I was able to restart the vehicle, and promptly drove to the Isuzu dealership. They called me the next day and told me they needed to reflash the Engine Computer with new software. They said this was quite a common problem with 2000 Isuzu Troopers.

    ;-)

    Nate
     
  10. Devil's Advocate

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    I had what I thought was a shut-down, I have a February 05, but it acted more like an "out of gas" error. When I took it in to the dealer that is what they said the error code they received was "out of gas". Which was odd as I still had two bars remaining on the gauge. (two bar issue dealt with in another thread). This just goes to my one complaint with the Prius, the inacurate or you could say inconsistent gas gauge. Either way, run fine now. Also I didn't need the EL - TSB that related to the shutdown error.
     
  11. Devil's Advocate

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    I had what I thought was a shut-down, I have a February 05, but it acted more like an "out of gas" error. When I took it in to the dealer that is what they said the error code they received was "out of gas". Which was odd as I still had two bars remaining on the gauge. (two bar issue dealt with in another thread). This just goes to my one complaint with the Prius, the inacurate or you could say inconsistent gas gauge. Either way, run fine now. Also I didn't need the EL - TSB that related to the shutdown error.
     
  12. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    Even the stories here are all from 2004s. By now it's safe to assume the defect is taken care of. My 05 has a manufacture date of Feb 2005. No problems yet (purchased mid March, 1900 miles)

    If you ask me it's media hype. Everyone's trying to find something WRONG with the Prius rather than commend the car for it's innovation. Scare tactics do a lot. You have to admit you hesitated when you heard that story didn't you? Media influence is huge. I bet it scared away hundreds of on-the-fencers like yourself.

    In short, don't worry. My husband works for a dealer and hasn't heard of any highway shutdowns in the area.
     
  13. greensea

    greensea New Member

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    I think the 11 reported cases is understated. My own local dealer (not the one I bought it from), to whom I took my car when it happened to me, reported in the paper that it hadn't happened to any of their customers. In any case, my ICE shut down while I was coasting to a stop at a light. The battery was still functioning. It would have most likely gotten me home, but like an idiot, I thought I'd restart the engine. When I tried to turn it on again, it wouldn't start at all, and all the warning lights were on. I was able to coast to the side of the road and was panicked. I was on the phone with my husband, and just tried to start it again, and it started - both engines, but still all of the warning lights on. I got home, and read in the manual that if it stalls, and won't start up again, try a second time - just what I did. We took it to the dealer and they provided the software fix. It's been fine since. This happened a little over a month ago, and I have less than 10,000 miles.
     
  14. geckoboi78

    geckoboi78 New Member

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    I called my dealer about the TSB and the tech that answered the phone asked if I had any warning lights yet? I of course said no because I was hoping to have the correction done BEFORE my car conks out on me and he advised me not to worry about it unless i get a warning light??? what's up with that?
     
  15. rick57

    rick57 Member

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    I have not had any of the shutdowns here. Most that have been reflashed have come in because their Check Engine light, among others, has come on. This talk in the paper has brought about a lot of questions from owners and from prospects talking to sales. Had quite a few sales people ask me " What about this Prius recall for shutting down?". I precede to tell them to keep up on the news and that it is just being investigating now. As for dealers telling you to wait for the lights on , geckoboi78, that is normal. The reflashes we do are TSB's not recalls. The reflash doesn't pertain to all Prius' and it's best not to start a mad rush to get something fixed that is not broke :wink: .
     
  16. DanMan32

    DanMan32 Senior Member

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    Well, I do understand both points of view: Toyota's and the owners'.

    I believe Toyota is trying to get the right balance of performance, economy, emissions and reliability. They can't have us all coming in every quarter to have a reflash when only 1% of us would ever see any issues of reliability or economy.

    However, us owners would like to have the best economy, and more importantly, we want the best reliability. We don't want to have to roll the dice and find our time wasted at best and loss of a car for a day at worst.
    As for me, I know and understand the problem, and how to deal with it. The majority of the Prius onwers don't though.
    At the very least, Toyota should provide you with the choice to have it done on your next oil change.

    After all, don't many of you get a flue shot every season when it is available, or have gotten the mumps vaccine? It is pretty rare we'll get the diseases, but we take our medicine anyway, even if the illness is not life threatening.
     
  17. markl_me

    markl_me New Member

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    Yes, my wife had this problem (dashboard lights up with red triangle of death, Check Engine, and Regen Braking) and loss of ICE. She pulled over and power-cycled. The red triangle of death and regen braking lights remained, but the car behaved normally for the 20 minute, 65 mph trip home.

    I've said this over in the Prius-2G interest group, but I'll repeat it here: don't panic if this happens to you. You are not limited to battery-only travel of < 1 mile or calling roadside assistance. Simply power-cycle the car (possibly more than once, wait a few seconds between power-down and power-up) and eventually the ICE and normal operations will return.

    The TSB for this problem is TSB EG047-04.

    My Prius is an '04, package 9, ordered early 3/04, received late 9/04, 9200 miles when incident occurred. No further incidents in ~1000 miles since TSB applied.

    Mark
    Portland, Maine
     
  18. mdb654

    mdb654 New Member

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    Mark from Portland,

    Thanks for the information. Same thing happened to me a few hours ago. I have an '04 that was delivered Aug. 2004 and has about 12k miles. I was tooling along at 45 mph and the ICE died. The battery was still sending juice so I was able to safely pull off the road. After about 10 minutes, I restarted the car and it started fine, except that the Red Triangle of Doom was lit up (along with the check engine light). Made it to the dealer. Will know on Monday what's up.

    Sounds like it will just be a software issue that can be fixed in a "flash." <fingers crossed> Glad to know it wasn't my new bluetooth phone!

    Marc
     
  19. mdb654

    mdb654 New Member

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    Seems that that was indeed the problem. They did the softward upgrade and I'm back in business.
     
  20. iconoscope

    iconoscope Junior Member

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    I, too, experienced the shutdown of the ICE and the dashboard full of lights, including the dreaded red triangle of death. Was able to pull off to the side using battery power and tried to shut down and restart. Again, lots of lights and the ICE quit after a few seconds. No, I was not running on fumes. Tank was almost full.

    I was chicken, so I decided to have it towed to the dealer, where they did the old reflash.

    This is an '05 Prius that I got in November of last year. It has 11,000 miles on the odometer. No previous mechanical glitches, other than a flat tire.

    I'm just wondering why Toyota never bothered to send me any service notifications about this problem. My significant other just got a notice on her Honda Civic hybrid that they're doing a recall to reprogram the electronics. Should Toyota do something similar?
     
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