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I complained today to Toyota Customer Relations (800.331.4331) about the faulty and potentially dangerous gas gauge, since my selling dealer told me that was my only recourse. A polite employe told me that since the instrument was designed to be inaccurate, disatisfied owners are only allowed returns and refunds under arbitration (probably under the "lemon laws"). But she suggested that if a critical mass of owners consider the problem serious enough to register complaints, that Toyota is a reponsible company and might consider a re-engineer and callback
 

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The gas guage doesn't bother me. Why do people care so much about it. Just fill up when it starts blinking. It isn't that big of deal. Not like you need to use all 11.9 gallons.
 

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All the old analog gauges were marked off in quarters or eigths and most had space "below the E" to keep you from getting in trouble. Consider the top eight of the marks on the Prius gauge as the eigths and the bottom two as BELOW E!!!! You'll still get a decent range of over 300 miles (typical for gazillions of cars out there) and you won't run out of gas if you look for a decently priced gas station once there are only two marks lit.

That's my strategy and I've NEVER run out of gas in over 83K miles and 3.5 years!
 

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I find I can normally get 400 miles on either of our cars before fill-up without "pushing" it, so I tend to go by whichever of the three trip odometers hasn't yet been reset since the last refuel. ;-)
 

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RSnyder said:
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All the old analog gauges were marked off in quarters or eigths and most had space "below the E" to keep you from getting in trouble. Consider the top eight of the marks on the Prius gauge as the eigths and the bottom two as BELOW E!!!! You'll still get a decent range of over 300 miles (typical for gazillions of cars out there) and you won't run out of gas if you look for a decently priced gas station once there are only two marks lit.

That's my strategy and I've NEVER run out of gas in over 83K miles and 3.5 years!
The Prius fuel gauge operates just like the numerous other electronic bar graph gauges I have experienced, dating back to the 1985 Corvette. The vehicle has a 11.9 gallon fuel tank. It was never intended to be run empty. I see this no different than any other vehicle I have owned, all have a reserve of several gallons, meaning my 17 gallon tank in my previous vehicle said empty and I could only get 14.5 gallons max into it upon filling. I find the Prius reasonable. When the last bar starts flashing, it's past the time one should be getting gas. I know not everyone will agree with this, but no manufacturer has ever intended that you could run the tank to within 0.5 gallon of empty.
 

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mdacmeis said:
RSnyder said:
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The Prius fuel gauge operates just like the numerous other electronic bar graph gauges I have experienced, dating back to the 1985 Corvette. The vehicle has a 11.9 gallon fuel tank. It was never intended to be run empty. I see this no different than any other vehicle I have owned, all have a reserve of several gallons, meaning my 17 gallon tank in my previous vehicle said empty and I could only get 14.5 gallons max into it upon filling. I find the Prius reasonable. When the last bar starts flashing, it's past the time one should be getting gas. I know not everyone will agree with this, but no manufacturer has ever intended that you could run the tank to within 0.5 gallon of empty.
But my last bar flashes when I have 4-5 gallons left and Toyota tells me that's how it's supposed to be!
 

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lastmarx said:
But my last bar flashes when I have 4-5 gallons left and Toyota tells me that's how it's supposed to be!
Hmmm... 4-5 gal sounds like a valid "issue" to me; perhaps check with another dealer or "escalate" higher - be sure to give them those details (you probably have already). I haven't quite run the 2004 down to "blinky" yet (only put in 8.64 gal on last refuel), but have regularly put 10+ gal into the 2003 before getting to that point. I haven't logged which times it's blinked, but if I had to guess I'd say above 10.4 filled (i.e. 1.5 gal or less left).
 

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Yea, I agree - sounds like you just need to have it re-calibrated - that should fix the issue. Your Toyota dealer can do this for you.

TechnoMage said:
lastmarx said:
But my last bar flashes when I have 4-5 gallons left and Toyota tells me that's how it's supposed to be!
Hmmm... 4-5 gal sounds like a valid "issue" to me; perhaps check with another dealer or "escalate" higher - be sure to give them those details (you probably have already). I haven't quite run the 2004 down to "blinky" yet (only put in 8.64 gal on last refuel), but have regularly put 10+ gal into the 2003 before getting to that point. I haven't logged which times it's blinked, but if I had to guess I'd say above 10.4 filled (i.e. 1.5 gal or less left).
 
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