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Toyota Prius (First Generation)

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Comments

  • knieserknieser Posts: 5
    How does a Japanese crash test rating of 'B'
    translate into US number-of-stars?

    Does the Prius have EPA MPG ratings yet?

    Being from Ohio, how can I find out if I'm one
    of the 900 lucky ones in the first order?

    So in Japan they do not have CD players within
    their Prius's? (OR) Is the US Prius so different
    that the Japanese Prius CD players will not work
    in this car?

    Drove a White Prius yesterday. Very nice.
    Placed two car seats with kids in the back
    and either me or my wife could squeeze in the middle. The engine power seems similar to the
    Prizm we had 2 years ago. The display is cool!
  • davidfsdavidfs Posts: 12
    Is it possible that Sheine and gibran might work as salesmen at a Honda Dealership? Just a thought...
  • shaddadshaddad Posts: 4
    People interested in adding Cruise Control may want to check out the explanation from Toyota's "Priusman" on the Yahoo prius discussion:
    http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/toyotaprius

    In summary, it would be prohibitively expensive/difficult.

    The 900 cars referred to is actually one month of non-fleet production for the nation.
    As I mentioned in #148, If your dealer got your order in on June 29-30 (the first two days of orders), then you will get one of the July production/August delivery units. The next couple weeks of orders were filled with Aug. production/Sept. delivery.
  • gckorngckorn Posts: 45
    The following is a compilation of posts by the Prius program director, who is posting on the Yahoo/Prius message board. He calls himself "Priusman," and has answered quite a few questions:

    In very general terms, orders accepted from 6/30-7/1 are likely to be July production/late july-August deliveries. Orders received Sunday on are likely to be August production. Our production capacity is approx. 1,000/month. Regarding options, your delivering dealer can install the mats and cd. PM

    The car is in fact a 2001 model. At the time of launch and for the first few months of production only the white, silver, aqua and green colors are available. Cruise control, as you are aware, is also not currently available. If customer demand is strong we will evaluate adding the feature, but due to production and order scheduling its unlikely before Oct/Nov.

    Toyota provides five complimentary maintenance services for our Prius to be performed at the first five 7,500 mile/6 month intervals. If you drive your Prius under special operating conditions, you are responsible for the cost of additional required maintenance. The maintenance includes oil and filter changes, tire rotations, air conditioning filter change, air filter change, coolant replacement, etc at the appropriate intervals. Hope that this helps..PM

    The Japanese spec numbers are not that relevant. The 2nd generation car is significantly improved. It is faster, quicker, cleaner, and a little heavier with lighter and more powerful batteries. Additionally from a straight test to test comparison, the U.S. EPA city cycle or LA4 as it is known operates at higher speeds compared to the Japan city cycle. The japan city cycle is at much slower speeds (I think 17 mph vs. 22 mph - but i'll have to check with the regulatory engineers)and more stopping to replicate the more congested conditions found in Japan. Apples and Oranges. U.S Spec Prius EPA rated at 52 city/45 highway/48 combined. Priusman

    An individual consumer purchaser of a Prius may be entitled to a federal tax deduction of up to $2,000 for Prius purchases completed on or before December 31, 2001. This deduction is not available to a consumer lessee of a Prius. The overall federal tax benefit will depend on your individual tax situation, particularly if you claim depreciation deductions on your Prius. Contact your individual tax adviror for further information on how you can take advantage of this important federal tax benefit for qualified clean fule vehicles like Prius (Internal Revenue Code Section 179A). Priusman

    Based on what my engineers advise, it will be nearly impossible to add cruise after the fact due to a unique wiring harness. And with the sophistication of the 13 on-board ECUs I don't think there will be any aftermarket applications anytime soon. It will be extremely difficult if not impossible to add this feature (cruise control) after production. Major components which would require replacement or adds would include ECU, actuator, stalk and potentially a wire harness.

    On the cruise control, as I have stated to other concerned consumers, it will be very difficult if not impossible and potentially expensive to attempt to add after production. Several components will need to be added or replacement.
    The Factory Navigation system cannot be added after production since it requires a unique wiring harness. As for the center screen, after the ignition switch is turned on "Toyota" and our logo appear for a few seconds before the "Energy" monitor appears. This screen with the illustration of engine, motor, battery and wheels describes how the hybrid system is currently operating, energy flow and battery capacity. It updates every 2 seconds. Behind that is a fuel consumption screen which displays average fuel consumption and energy recovery in five minute increments over the past 30 minutes and current fuel consumption. Both these screens feature outside temperature at the top. When the display button is pushed the screen will show the six radio station pre-sets plus contrast and brightness controls. A day mode for screen brightness when the lights are on is also found here. Your AM/FM pre-sets and tuning is found here as well as bass, treble, balance and fade adjustments. Cassette controls also appear on the screen. Priusman

    Under U.S. DOE guidelines the Prius is not considered an AFV (Alt fuel vehicle) since the primary energy source is the gas powered ICE. It will not qualify for fed and state fleets to meet their EPACT requirements because the majority of operation is in ICE mode. As a broad description I usually describe it the way you refer to the Insight as a ICE with electric assist. Just stretching a gallon of gas with the electric power. Both Insight and Prius are HEVs but the way that the systems operate does differ dramatically...resulting in an emissions rating 75% cleaner than the Insight. SULEV vs ULEV. PM

    The warranty for the Hybrid battery pack and select HEV components is 8 yrs/100,000 miles. Battery life is expected to exceed this, at least 10-12 years. When the powertrain warranty of a conventional car expires after 5 yrs/60,000 miles you can expect considerable operation life beyond that. The same holds true for the Prius battery pack. Currently there is no need for a consumer to worry. The only parties likely to have to purchase a battery pack would be an insurance company in an accident repair. But this is very unlikely due to the location of the battery pack. It would have to be a significant accident to require such and in that situation the car would likely be totalled before repair. Full battery pack MSRP is published in excess o $4,500. But as you indicate, we do expect the price to decrease over time as more economy of scales are met. We don't see this as a big issue for consumers. If there is that concern, we provided a very competitive lease program for those consumers who do not want to make a long term commitment. PM

    The engine will remain on during initial start up until the two inputs are met: coolant temp and battery SOC. Once these two level are attained the engine shuts off automatically, but the car is still ON. So at rest, the car can actually be on (with the key in the IG switch ON position). And will turn itself on to run the AC for example.....Priusman

    This is the reason why the newest generation of Prius has a rear spoiler. I too was surprised a year ago during final model review to see that the Chief Engineer had added a spoiler. We felt that it didn't fit with the personality of the car. But chief engineers are very practical types and equipment is never added on impulse. We probed. Many of you may have heard these old proverbs over the years that rear spoilers don't kick in on impact until you start approaching very high speeds. I too was of this understanding.
    Then we were presented with the data. The rear spoiler apparently really cleans up the air flow at the rear of the vehicle and significantly contributes to its CD (coefficient of drag) which is .29, equal to our new Celica. The front tire fairing, rear tire fairing, rear spoiler and flat under body all contribute. Big deal. So what if its slippery. How does the CD translate in practical terms for Prius. The impact came through when he revealed that with the rear spoiler, the highway mpg test results were 2-3mpg better than without. Styling is always in the eye of the beholder, but in this case the addition of the spec does indeed provide some benefit. Priusman

    There is a din or standard sized space for an audio component directly below the 3 HVAC dial controls. Standard spec is a storage space with a door (CDs, glasses, etc). This is the location where we mount the factory/port or dealer CD player. The door remains intact after our installation so the unit is out of sight when out of use.

    (This is posted 7/24): 11 retail units were delivered last week, primarily in the Northwest but I think in NY/Boston as well. A couple of contest winners will get there cars last week/this week due to contractual obligations(National Science Teachers Assoc. winner and Earth Day 2000 sweepstakes winner)The balance are those customers who got their orders in the first day based on color match. Priusman
  • ewmetzerewmetzer Posts: 3
    Town Hall members/guests may want to check out these other Prius discussion groups:

    Egroups:
    http://www.egroups.com/group/toyota-prius
    (Founded 5/1/00--home page includes images and reviews)

    Yahoo:
    http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/toyotaprius

    Enjoy!

    Eric W Metzler, Enfield, Maine, USA
    Hybrid Car coveter
  • dan1036dan1036 Posts: 1
    I see that the AZ Dept of Commerce has not placed a hybrid (like Prius) into the new rebate/incentive program. I test drove the Prius here in Mesa, AZ yesterday and was really surprised by its performance and lack of engine noise. I am wondering if the Prius qualifies for the alternate fuel vehicle plates, the one time registration fee, and of course the HOV privileges? Have already sent inquires to the local dealer, the MVD, and my state senator without response. Any help would be appreciated.
  • stirratstirrat Posts: 5
    I just ordered a Prius here in Tucson and plan to try to help convince our lawmakers and executives that they need to not exclude this very clean running vehicle from our laws as well.
  • stirratstirrat Posts: 5
    Here's links to a Car and Driver road test

    http://www.caranddriver.com/FrameSet/0,1350,_sl_NewArticle_sl_0_cm_1633_cm_993_1_17_cm_00,00.html

    and a MotorTrend road test

    http://www.motortrend.com/jan00/prius/1.html

    Both magazines tested the Japanese market versions of the car.

    MJS
  • stirratstirrat Posts: 5
    I had an ordering experience at my local dealer that met my expectations for dealing with an auto dealership, in other words, it was very frustrating. I couldn't get an answer on the availability of the CD player other than, "You take the car how it comes." I'm pretty sure it got ordered with one but I'm not sure. Anyone know how find out the real scoop on order process and status?

    The on-line chat feature is outsourced and the anwswer to most of my questions was call 1800gotoyota. They did say that only CD player available was the single disc player not the 6-disc changer. I wonder if that's true. . .

    MJS
  • The CD player is available as a dealer-installed option (the only one, other than floor mats). However, some "drop" models arrive with a CD player factory-installed (see other PRIUS groups for further details). Your dealer should have given you the option to select a CD player when you ordered... but you should be able to request it when the car arrives, since it is a port option.

    As far as the "Live Help" on the Prius site is concerned, I too have found that the PeopleSupport reps only know what you can find on the site for yourself. It's a neat feature but of little use for complicated questions. I think it is mostly there to reassure for novice Internet users and to make the whole experience more user-friendly. If you email PeopleSupport, they can forward your comments to Toyota reps, who can give you a more comprehensive response.
  • I have also been researching the details of SB1504 (AZ Enactment which provides incentive for use of low/no emmission vehicles) and have written my state Reps to urge their immediate action on the "hybrid electric vehicle" exclusion. Am also forwarding some of the technical articles (like Gary's one from the ACEEE Ranking Toyota Prius as Number One).

    AZ buyers (Gary; Michael; Dan; and others) please email me direct so we can co-ordinate efforts/share responses (I've had none). I have switched my email address to public (in Profiles) for a week or so to facilitate this contact.
    I have also written my US congress persons to urge support of H.R.4270 "The Advanced Technology Motor Vehicle Fuel Economy Act".

    Buyers from other states: send your representative a copy of Maryland's effort (Post 162). Refer them to Arizona's very generous provision (but make sure they get the electric hybrid in there): http://www.azcommerce.com/energy2/
    new%20incentives.htm#Alternative
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    Dealers are still having problems understanding some of the intricacies of this product. I consider myself one of the more informed salesmen and I am still a bit shaky on the issue of CD players.

    The problem stems from the unusual ordering system. Normally, when we have a car allocated from Japan, we can add things like the CD and security system at the port. We generally have a 3 week lead time to make changes like that. With the Prius, we don't yet know how long of a lead time we will have. We just got our first Prius for retail delivery today and only had two days notice and did not have the opportunity to add a CD. I am sure we could add one here but it costs us more to do that.

    This first retail car had some unusual problems (friend of the owner and I think some strings were pulled to rush it through) and I hope we can add various port options but I just don't know yet. I'll let you all know when I find out.
  • shaddadshaddad Posts: 4
    Hi - I work for Toyota in Northern CA region.
    Sorry about the last minute notice on CD players and floor mats.
    They are available as Port-installed options.
    MSRPs are $70 for mats (CF), $335 for in-dash single CD deck (P5).
    We are planning to add these options to the internet order site Aug. 10.
    For now, dealers need to let regional offices know whether customers desire these options.
    All customers will be contacted by regional offices when their Prius arrives in the US to confirm delivery. The port installed options can be added up until the time delivery is scheduled.

    I don't have an answer for when future options will be available, but they will include
    P6 6-disc in-dash CD player $550
    GN Cargo Net $45
    Cruise Control
    Navigation
    Daytime Running lights

    Hope this helps
  • gibrangibran Posts: 2
    I just wanted to mention that I received an e-mail from Toyota after inquiring about the lack of cruise control. I was told it would be available on the 2002 model year which would be available for purchase next year sometime(2001). When I went for my test drive, the Salesperson said he thought the cruise control would be a retrofit for current cars though I have my doubts about this given the technology. I think its interesting to note the various experiences while driving at highway speeds. While my experience was less than acceptable to me, we have others merily crusising down the highway at 80mph and seemingly drag racing onto the interstate. My experience was more akin to the long test report where the tester mentioned taking 10 Seconds to pass a Semi and thought the car was struggleing at 65mph. Either there is a huge variance in these individual cars OR perhaps these test drives simply reflect our different expectations. With my current car(Volvo 240) taking something like 15 seconds to get up to 75mph, I find it hard to beleive my expectations are that great. I test drove a VW TDI which only has 90 hp and found it very quick and fast at highway speeds. Perhaps the Prius I drove was not fully charged. In any case, A very lengthy test drive is highly recommended for the Pius to anyone considering this vehicle.
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    a depleted battery means the car is running minus 40 horse power. Since passing power is directly in proportion to the horse power, you can see it can make a big difference. I can almost imagine the difference between a Prius with depleted battery (73 hp) and a fullying charged battery (>100 hp).
  • stirratstirrat Posts: 5
    I just received a call from a Service and Parts Rep for the Denver region verifying that I wanted a Prius. I tried to get some more information from him but no one really seems to know. He did tell me that I made it into the first order of 3000 and that that is a good thing. I asked him about the CD player and Mats and he did not know if I would be able to get them.

    To recap the process so far:

    Dealer put in my internet request on 7/28/00
    I received an e-mail from an automated server at Toyota verifying this.
    Dealer put my order into the system on 7/29/00
    I receiver another e-mail verifying this.
    Toyota called on 7/30/00 and left a message and called again today (7/31/00) and we verified that we do want the car.

    According to the dealer, the car will be here in 90-120 days. So I wait.

    MJS
  • mlg61mlg61 Posts: 4
    I have been hearing different stories on the daytime running lights. I have asked Toyota twice now whether daytime running lights are standard or not and both times they have said that they are standard and not an option. It is also implied on their web site that they are standard.
    http://prius.toyota.com/peace/safety.html

    Does anyone know for sure?
  • gckorngckorn Posts: 45
    Here is the word from Toyota's western regional offices:

    I've been informed that I'm about the 55th order that was received and that I should see delivery by the end of August.

    As for orders generally, I'm told that so far 3800 have been ordered (only 3000 of them will be delivered by the end of 2000). Therefore, Toyota is sold out on calendar year 2000 deliveries.

    I'm also told that there will be a total of 7000 available through the end of 2001. When those are gone, Toyota will probably modify its web site to let people know they will be waiting quite a while for delivery. Those last buyers
    (of the 7000) will be told to expect delivery in December 2001. There will, in any event, be 2002 models available after the 7000 go. (Anyone care to venture a guess as to how many more weeks before the first 7,000 are ordered?)
  • davidfsdavidfs Posts: 12
    After gkorn's info on only 7k available, I now understand why Toyota is not advertising on TV!
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    I think Toyota has really underestimated the demand for this vehicle. They have done this before but with the way they are allocating them (over the Internet), I think it will slap them pretty hard. I would suspect that since Toyota has such a direct hand on the pulse of the consumer now, they may end up modifying their projections and build plans.

    Maybe I'm wrong but I can't see them getting multiple hits on the prius order page and not doing something about it.
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    Toyota is purposely trying to keep the sales low.

    After all, the car is priced at BELOW the manufacturing cost. So they lose money selling them.

    Wow, you don't see that everyday.
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    But, as they sell more of them, they begin to recoupe the R&D expenses. I think those costs are why people say they are spending so much on the cars right now and volume will take care of that. It depends on how long they amortize the development costs. Also, the more battery packs they sell, the lower the overall costs will be.

    If I were a Toyota exec, I would be very happy right now. They were hoping for a good launch and widespread acceptance so they can introduce an SUV in the next few years with this system. It looks to me like America is ready for this.
  • gckorngckorn Posts: 45
    Question for the thread: Let's say we take delivery on a 2001 model. This will be limited to 2 options: (1) floor mats and (2) a 1 disc CD player (I confirmed this today with the western region).

    However, 2002 models should have things like cruise control, side air bags, a 6 disc CD changer, etc.

    So, if one wanted to sell a 2001 car (with, say, 5,000 miles on it) and then purchase a 2002 model, what do you think one could get by way of a resale price on the 2001 model? What I mean to say is, do you think there will be typical depreciation, or do you think that, given the limited production and high demand, perhaps we can get back what we put into it (or more)?

    Incidentally, Toyota will sell 450,000 Camrys this year, but just 7,000 Prius.
  • Re: post #185-
    This is the first I've read of someone getting info on their "place in line"- what order number they are.
    Is this info coming thru your dealer, or do you have a phone number/email for that office? I'd like that kind of info myself!
  • shaddadshaddad Posts: 4
    Hello-
    Northern Cal Regional office here.
    There are a few misperceptions in some earlier posts that I would like to correct so that everyone interested in Prius will be satisfied with their purchase decision.

    Daytime Running lights are not standard on Prius for now. Go take a test drive and look at the front of the car if you don't believe me.

    Production of Prius scheduled for the US is currently 1000 per month, minus 100
    per month reserved for fleet accounts. Total for 2000 Calendar year is over 7500. Total for 2001 calendar year is approx. 12,000. However, as Cliffy has pointed out, Toyota
    may modify the production schedule, or the amount allocated to the US, depending on demand.

    Contrary to the above statement, Toyota will only accept orders for 3 months of production (3000 units) before telling customers that the order bank is full.
    Currently there are close to 2800 orders so far in the US.

    It is true that the only options currently available are single-CD and floormats.
    While the timing of additional options has not been determined, it does not depend on model year. Of the 8 Priuses we have here at the regional office, a couple do have cruise control and navigation.

    Prius will be advertised on TV in the near future. (Our dealers have already seen the spots)

    The regional office is responsible for contacting customers when their Prius arrives at the port to confirm delivery. Other than that contact, customers should get info from their dealers. The dealers can contact the regional office to determine which month of production a particular order is coming from.

    Please be patient. Both the product and order process are new and we are working as quickly as we can to get your vehicles to you.
    Thanks for everyone's interest in Prius!
  • gckorngckorn Posts: 45
    for the corrections. I sent your post on to the Denver regional office and have asked them to comment (as they had given me somewhat different information yesterday). I'll report anything I hear back.

    As for the TV advts, I agree they will be coming soon (as I previously posted). Here is one such advt: http://www.ecomtracker.com/downloads/download.asp?cid=183&mid=26004
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    After just one month on the market, there are already 2800 orders backed up. If like what's been stated here, Toyota is only taking orders up to 3 months of production, and production is 1000 a month, doesn't that mean they will stop taking order very soon?
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Posts: 3,581
    If you're ever in the CATD region, look me up. Its good to have a factory voice here. If you know of anybody in the service department, you may want to have them take a look at what is happening in the Sienna topic. A civil disturbance is about to take place over torque converters.
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