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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have information that would help determine the percentage of Prius that have experienced the software or computer problems described on these chat groups? I am considering purchase of an 05 package 4 Prius and I tend to keep cars 8 to 12 years (15 now on my current Accord and just beginning to encounter unscheduled maintainence). I have read numerous posts of failures requiring a tow truck and software reload. More than 1 of those events in 10 years would be unacceptable. Any information out there to indicate if this is happening to 1% of the vehicles, far fewer, or more?
 

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I've heard very very few reports of anyone 'requiring' towing. some have chosen to have the vehicle towed when it went into a 'limp home mode'--running on electric only. But the vast majority of those would have, and did, run fine if they'd only have restarted the car.

There is no car that can guarantee <1% chance of breakdown requiring towing in 10 years. Not a Honda Accord, Lexus, nobody. But the Prius IS very reliable, I'd say at least as reliable as any Accord I've owned (3). But it does have quirks and if you're not willing to accept that risk this won't be the vehicle for you.
 

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Not to mention that the problems are getting fewer and fewer, as Toyota finishes tweaking the settings. The car has only been out a year and a half. The last 'reprogramming' TSB is really a recalibration. The tolerances the Prius allows is so tight because of emissions, that there is little room for error.

If you want, you can find out if you have the latest calibration, and if not, decide if you want to get it. It would be a tossup though if the dealer will cover it under warranty, as it is not required unless you have a problem. i hear though that it does compromise on gas mileage a bit.

And then again, you may already have it.
 

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Can you elaborate a little on what the "recalibration" consists of? Perhaps my '05 already had it done from the get-go, which might explain why I feel I'm consistently a few mpg lower than expected.
 

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are the TSB's posted anywhere?
 

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DanMan32 said:
If you want, you can find out if you have the latest calibration, and if not, decide if you want to get it. It would be a tossup though if the dealer will cover it under warranty, as it is not required unless you have a problem. i hear though that it does compromise on gas mileage a bit.

And then again, you may already have it.
How do you find this out?
 

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I looked at the TSB in the links, but my question is not how, but what? What comprises a "recalibration"? Does it affect engine operation (mixture, advance, dwell, valve timing), or is it simply an instruction to wait longer for engine start? Why does this affect mileage? I am curious what kind of data is changed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I appreciate the replies to my query. I suspect only Toyota can really provide the percentage of vehicles with any given problem - but the Consumer Reports satisfaction rates (94% would definitely buy again) suggests the problem I was concerned about is likely far less than 6%. Just ordered a Package 4 Prius today with expected wait of 30 to 60 days. This was after a final test drive of the Prius, Accord LX, and Accord Hybrid. The dealership was a zoo today - a steady stream of folks test driving their two demo cars.
 

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My new prius (4,000 miles) died on the NJ turnpike last month. No warning, the red triangle flashed on & the engine cut out. I was hoping to at least be able to make it to the next exit and get off the turnpike. The battery died after about 1 mile, so I sat by the side of the road.

I called the nearest Toyota dealer, they were unhelpful as to how to re-start it. Just said to bring it in. Unfortunately NJ Turnpike allows only their tow trucks, so I had to put it on a flatbed at great expense. The front wheels were locked up, as the car was in park. The tow guy was dragging it onto the bed until I stopped him. Several minutes of pushing the start button finally got it going long enough to put in neutral. By the time we got to the dealer the car was able to start, albeit with red flashing triangle.

The dealer said they pulled an error code off the computer, but he had no idea what it meant or what caused it. Said they "re-programmed" it . Ever since then the engine has had a more pronounced shudder when starting or stopping. Now also "maint reqd" light flashes for a few minutes after car is first started.

Anyone know a good Prius dealer in NYC area?



PriusGuy said:
Does anyone have information that would help determine the percentage of Prius that have experienced the software or computer problems described on these chat groups? I am considering purchase of an 05 package 4 Prius and I tend to keep cars 8 to 12 years (15 now on my current Accord and just beginning to encounter unscheduled maintainence). I have read numerous posts of failures requiring a tow truck and software reload. More than 1 of those events in 10 years would be unacceptable. Any information out there to indicate if this is happening to 1% of the vehicles, far fewer, or more?
 

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Perhaps a call to the Toyota Roadside Assistance may get them to reimburse you for the tow expense?

Did your dealer tell you any of the stored codes?

I'm guessing that the reprogram was from TSB EG047-04:
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toy ... 047-04.zip
or
http://www.alldata.com/tsb/Toyota/10980 ... index.html
US TSB EG047-04. Feb. 22, 2005 revision of Oct. 18, 2004, M.I.L. "ON" DTC P3191, P3190, AND/OR P0A0F, 2004-2005 Prius. Replaces TSB EG027.04. (engine does not restart - reprogram the Engine and HV Hybrid ECU after performing the SSC 40D reprogramming.)

And the flashing "Maint Reqd" light has nothing to do with what your dealer did, but rather what they didn't do (if you had an oil change done at the same time). Unless you've changed the defaults, the Maint Reqd light will flash at a 4500 mile interval, getting more insistent until it's on solid after a 5000 mile interval. It's just a reminder light that you are due for an oil change based on mileage since last reset. You can reset the Maint Reqd light (if your dealer, serviceperson, or yourself forgot to change it with the last oil change by reading any of the following:
Page 122-123 of the US 2004 Prius Owner's Manual (Section 2-5 "Operation
of Instruments and Controls: Gauges, Meters and Service Reminder
Indicators", item (j) in the "Service reminder indicators and warning
buzzers" section.

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/Pri ... aintenance

http://www.vfaq.net/FAQ-screen.html#maintenance

page 14 of the User-Guide: http://john1701a.com/prius/prius-userguide.htm
 

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Even with the car not going into ready, you CAN put it into neutral in Ig-On mode. Press power button twice without hitting the brake button. When in Amber mode (Ig-On), you can then put it in neutral while pressing the brake.

Maint Req timing cannot be changed, it can only be reset to 0.
 

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Major system crash

Our 2004 prius has died several times now, all in situations where we're accelerating quickly - to get up to speed in traffic or in avoidance maneuvers, i.e. quick braking followed by quick acceleration.
Big red warning light comes on and the car "limps along" until you can get safely pulled over and turn it off. Have had to wait several minutes each time - seems like the computer has to "reset itself" after what is obviously a major system crash...
Also have correlated that it's happened most when the headlights and AC are both on.
Toyota dealers, have now been to 2 of them, don't seem to know jack about this car & are sortof like: Well, that'll happen...this is not an acceptable answer! This car needs to be able to meet the demands of driving in a city like Phoenix, where you almost always have the AC on and drive with headlights on to be seen by all the monster trucks ; )

As far as we know - we've had all of the computer updates completed and just had it in for the 15k service. Dealer says there's nothing wrong, but there is obviously a major issue here...

Anyone know of a dealer in the Phoenix Metro area that knows what they're doing?
Thanks!
 

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Possible SSCs:
40A (reprogramming for early 2004s)
40D (reprogramming for most 2004s)
40E (weatherstripping for 2004s - water can get into engine compartment causing gasoline engine to stall)

make sure that you get the stored codes from your dealer on the engine problems. Chances are, you're due for:
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toy ... 047-04.zip
US TSB EG047-04. Feb. 22, 2005 revision of Oct. 18, 2004, M.I.L. "ON" DTC P3191, P3190, AND/OR P0A0F, 2004-2005 Prius. Replaces TSB EG027.04. (engine does not restart - reprogram the Engine and HV Hybrid ECU after performing the SSC 40D reprogramming.)
 

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Prius Crashing cont...

We've had that update done by the dealer - or at least we thought we did. Is there a way to verify it on our own?

And it will restart itself, you just have to wait a few minutes. Then everything appears to be "fine" - warning lights go away, etc...

Not sure why this is still a problem, but it's really pretty scary when it happens.
Chances are, you're due for:
US TSB EG047-04. Feb. 22, 2005 revision of Oct. 18, 2004, M.I.L. "ON" DTC P3191, P3190, AND/OR P0A0F, 2004-2005 Prius. Replaces TSB EG027.04. (engine does not restart - reprogram the Engine and HV Hybrid ECU after performing the SSC 40D reprogramming.)
 

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Should be a sticker under the hood indicating the new calibration. See the link posted as to what the new calibration # is, and see if you have that update.
 
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