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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2001 Prius. My Power steering was starting to act up (shuddering when I first started the car). At times the PS triangle would light, I would get a message problem solved, and the triangle would go away. On a few occasions the power steering would fail and I would have to drive with regular non-power steering. I took my Prius to the dealer because I had a letter SSC 30D concerning a power steering problem, and a letter SSC 40G for a battery modification. After checking the codes, I was told that the battery connection and power steering would be repaired free of charge, however to repair the power steering the ECU needed to be replaced. I was not having any other problems with the car, but the steering. I asked to just have the steering repaired, clear the codes in the ECU, then I would come back after a while and have the codes checked again. I was told that the steering would not be repaired unless the ECU was also replaced. Since my wife and daughter drive the car at times, I didn’t want them to have the no power steering situation. I told them to go ahead but document all the codes from the ECU. The codes that were given to me are 1513 and 1551. The charge for the free battery check and free power steering repair was over $600.00. I feel as if I’ve been scammed. I was told about it up front, but to have a problem, recognize the problem, send a letter that it would be repaired free of charge, and then tell you they will not repair it unless the ECU is replaced seems fishy. Do I have a legitimate complaint?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My invoice has the following information on it. I specifically asked to have the codes on my invoice. for the power steering it has code 1513, for the ECU it has 1551.

C** SCAN SYS -- S/O -- ECU -- REPLACE ECU ASSY
00 REPLACE PRIUS ECU
3536 CP 2.5
1 89650-47072 COMPUTER ASSY, POWER
 

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Maybe I'm missing something here.. (I tend to do that..) Why object to replacing the ECU..? Are you concerned that the new one will somehow affect performance..mileage..? For $600 I'd tell em to go right ahead.. ~JD~
 

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Discussion Starter #6
JDavies said:
Maybe I'm missing something here.. (I tend to do that..) Why object to replacing the ECU..? Are you concerned that the new one will somehow affect performance..mileage..? For $600 I'd tell em to go right ahead.. ~JD~
The only issue I was having was the power steering. Everything else was working fine, performance fine. It was just dificult to understand why I needed a $600 ECU, when I went in for a power steering problem that should have been covered under the warranty letter I received.

If the power steering problem caused a problem with the ECU, why wasn't the ECU covered under the warranty?

If the ECU problem was not related to the power steering problem, why wouldn't they repair the power steering, clear the codes, and let me see if the errors returned?
 

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JDavies said:
Maybe I'm missing something here.. (I tend to do that..) Why object to replacing the ECU..? Are you concerned that the new one will somehow affect performance..mileage..? For $600 I'd tell em to go right ahead.. ~JD~
Can I have $600 from you? No? That's why he objects. Money unnecessarily out of his pocket.
 

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Codes are meaningless without their description. Did they tell you what those codes mean, and not just speculation as to what to do about them?

I'd look them up, but I don't have the repair manual for the classic.
 

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LSC 30D - EMPS ECU replacement
Electric Motor Power Steering Electronic Control Unit replacement
letter for some affected 2001 Prius (PS warning when steering wheel in
neutral position)
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toy ... sage/59107

I do have a generic copy of the letter (attached), and your ECU replacement for the PS light should have been free. (Free replacement goes until June 30, 2006.)

Also, the SSC 40G hybrid battery sealant should also be a free service.

As for the power steering shudders, that also is free, unless you have a REALLY EARLY 2001 Prius that is now 5 years old. 2001-2002 Prius power steering rack warranty extension: 5 year / unlimited mile extended warranty on 2001-2002 Prius's power steering racks exhibiting a shudder/vibration.
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toy ... sage/74446

What are you being charged $600 for? Are you having a major service, like the 60,000 mile service, done at the same time?
 

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$600 for ???

Well, we cannot dispute (from a distance) that they pulled the 1551 code, but I cannot help thinking that the better approach would have been to clear it and send you on your way (w/new EMPS and shiny battery connections). Later, if you had loss of power or something (with a 1551), maybe change the ECU then.

But since it is a fait accompli, it may be an uphill battle to get Toyota to eat the charge. Your best bet may be to claim "I did not authorize anything except the 2 free warranty items".

Good luck to you. I am sure you will continue to post the news.

DAS
 

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Power ECU? That's the first I have heard that fail. Aux battery or HV battery might cause a power ECU glitch.

$86 an hour! Wow!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Talked to the folks at Toyota corporate office. Received a case #. should receive a call within 24 hours.

After looking at my records, I found that July 30,2003 I had service campaign 30D performed. It shows that the ECU was replaced. 89650-47072 computer assy, power at no charge. This is the same part I was just charged for. I can't remember if I was having a power steering problem, or just took it in because I received the letter. The repair in 2003 was at a different dealer.

Does anyone know if this is a repeat of the same problem (the service code is the same). or is this the same service code for a different problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I received a call from Toyota. I purchased my Prius from a dealer, it had 800 miles on it. Technically it was a used car. I purchased it in the spring of 2001. The sticker in the door indicated the car was manufactured in June 00. I am now told that since the warranty work on my steering was only good for 5 years, the service rep made an exception and allowed the work to be done even though it was the beginning of August (> 5 years). The power steering work would have cost me > $2000. Since it is not documented anywhere on my invoice that I requested to only have the power steering repaired and not the ECU (I requested that, but was told they would not replace the power steering without the ECU). The conclusion is I authorized the replacement of the ECU and therfor must pay. I was given the names of the general manager and I'm to talk to him.

My power steering ECU was replaced in 2003 about 2 years ago. Is this something that will fail this often?

As bad as I felt before, I now feel worse.

Am I over reacting to this? I still feel that I was taken advantage of.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just got a letter in the mail from Toyota asking for my evaluation of the service I received. Maybe this is my last chance to get some assistance since the RM and the service manager are unwilling to help.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I was told that the power steering warranty repair would not be completed unless I had the ECU replaced. Since the power steering would at times go completely out, after trying to just get the power steer work done, I did tell them to replace the ECU. I figured it made sense that Toyota would also pay for the ECU. This was the 1st time I had work done at this dealer, and in talking to the service manager, I was told that it's possible if I would have had other service done at the dealer, they would have covered the ECU. But since I was not a GOOD customer it would not be covered.
 

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"But since I was not a GOOD customer it would not be covered."

Hmmm, I bet Toyota corporate would be interested to find the dealer has added qualifications for warrantee coverage related to how much business you give him...
 
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