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So they complain: 13 incidents so far for the Prius high speed software glitch that can bring the Prius to halt !
13 incidents among 100.000 Prius on the road.

Is the "Big Three" behind the instigating media-ill-fated journalism ?
What do you _Intellectuals_ at the PriusOnline forum has to say ?



http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosinside ... 185628.htm

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Computer, not car, is crash-prone

Prius problem shines headlight on cars' software glitches

By John O'Dell / Los Angeles Times
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The software glitch that caused some Toyota Prius hybrids to suddenly stall casts a spotlight on a broader problem: Cars have computers, lots of them, and computers can crash.

Automakers spend $2 billion to $3 billion a year fixing software problems, said Stavros Stefanis, an automotive software specialist at IBM Corp.

The typical passenger car has 70 or more tiny but powerful computers onboard that control audio systems, air conditioning, brakes, air bags and scores of other tasks.

And the systems are complex: Software for the average car can have more than 35 million lines of code, 100 times or more the code needed for a full-color, action- and sound-packed interactive computer game.

The fuel-stingy hybrids, which need to control separate gas and electric power sources, are even more complex. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this week said it had received 13 complaints of Priuses stalling or stopping for no apparent reason, sometimes at high speed. Toyota Motor Corp. said the problem stemmed from a software bug in the complex computer system.

There also have been consumer complaints about Mazda Motor Corp.'s new RX-8 sports car. The software controlling fuel injection was flooding the engine -- but on cars only in cold weather states.

"Every car company is doing regular updates of its operating software" to get rid of glitches, said Mazda spokesman Jeremy Barnes. Mazda developed a software fix for the RX-8 that has been installed in about 3,000 vehicles.

"I wouldn't be surprised if every single carmaker hasn't had an electronics issue with every single model at some point," Barnes said.

Repair data seem to bear that out -- 32 percent of auto warranty claims in the United States are for software or electronics-related issues, Stefanis said.

BMW's iDrive, a sophisticated computerized joystick that controls lights, navigation, audio and scores of functions, was plagued by software glitches when it premiered in 2002. BMW had to install numerous upgrades to get the system working smoothly.

DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes-Benz line has also experienced electronics bugs. As a result, the German carmaker's reliability has fallen dramatically in recent years, with Mercedes getting bad reviews for its electrical problems in Consumer Reports' surveys.

Some owners of late model Mercedes-Benz E-Class cars have complained online recently about software glitches affecting their electronically controlled automatic transmissions.

Mercedes has acknowledged the problems, but like other carmakers it points out that automotive computers must work in conditions that would send the typical laptop or desktop computer into meltdown. The systems are jolted in rear-end freeway crashes, bounced over potholes at 60 mph, subject to extreme heat on summer drives through the Mojave and to extreme cold on ski trips.

"We probably should be shocked that there are so few problems" with electronics, said Kevin Smith, editorial director of Edmunds.com. A chat room on the automotive information site was home to a string of complaints that first drew attention to the Prius' stalling problem in some 2004 and 2005 models.

Toyota said it would collect data on the problems to see whether there was something that could lead to a fix.

There's no doubt about the popularity of hybrids, though. Toyota said Tuesday that it would add a Camry hybrid sedan to its lineup next year -- the first of the company's fuel-efficient hybrids to be built in the United States.
 

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I still think the first thing Toyota should do is call up those 13 and ask them if they ever stored rags (or anything else) in their air inlet. :p
 

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An04Prius said:
I still think the first thing Toyota should do is call up those 13 and ask them if they ever stored rags (or anything else) in their air inlet. :p
I think toyota is lucky that everyone who had the problem hasn't complained. Search these forums and edmunds and PC and you'll find at least 50 or 60 complaints (and I'm estimating on the low side there).
 

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Jonnycat26 said:
An04Prius said:
I still think the first thing Toyota should do is call up those 13 and ask them if they ever stored rags (or anything else) in their air inlet. :p
I think toyota is lucky that everyone who had the problem hasn't complained. Search these forums and edmunds and PC and you'll find at least 50 or 60 complaints (and I'm estimating on the low side there).
I think you are probably right. Toyota would most likely want everyone who has the problem report it promptly and in detail to their dealer and Toyota directly.

That is the best way for them to get the necessary info to analyze what is going on.

(so maybe 50-60 people put rags in their air inlet ??? :shock: :D )
 

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An04Prius said:
I think you are probably right. Toyota would most likely want everyone who has the problem report it promptly and in detail to their dealer and Toyota directly.
I'm sure Toyota knows, since they serviced the car s. And I'm sure they'd rather people not report it to the NHTSA.

And, ffor me personally and for most of the other cases I've been reading, no rag in the inlet was involved. Just a horrifying loss of power on Route 1. Not a good place to be.
 
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