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My understanding is that the non-braking time is random, possibly infinite, due to a design flaw within the firmware.
But yes, even 100 milliseconds of absolutely no braking can not only be extremely frightening but easily result in an accident. In the past ten or more years I have been involved in two "light" rear enders due to needless ABS activation that inadvertently extended my stopping distance on a perfectly dry highly tractive surface.
In my opinion ABS should NEVER activate unless VSC indicates a need for stearage, either the vehicle is not following the driver's stearing inputs, plowing, or is over-stearing.
No, the lurch/surge occurs as the result of the need to transition to ONLY frictional braking from LIGHT regen braking or (typically) heavier combined regen/frictional braking. ABS is ONLY implemented on the frictional brakes.
No, any small perturbation or slippery spot in the roadbed that results in a regen braking tire's loss of contact/traction, even momentarily. Loss of traction sampling, calculation, is done, typically, every 10 milliseconds, 100 times/second.
"..Highly unlikely though..."
Actually, more likely than otherwise if you drive any hybrid on a regular basis.
"..and probably never after getting the update..."
Wrong. The lurch/surge forward is systemic to ALL Toyota HSD hybrid vehicles and cross-licensed "clones". The service campaign only addresses the firmware flaw that tended to elongate the low or even non-braking time during this ABS induced transition period.
Unless you need to input directional control or corrections during the "event" all ABS activation does is elongate your stopping distance.
When I got the car, I was concerned about this and just stayed far enough away from the car in front of me so I would feel comfortable. Now, I don't even do that as I've gotten used to the slight delay and am not really concerned.
Although we lost 12k, we traded it in and I have never regretted it. We were afraid that if I did have an accident, Toyota could simply point to the data in their computer saying that I was driving two footed and the blame would be squarely on me.
The problem was the brake issue. To the person who asked if they checked a particular thing on my brakes. I honestly don't know. They kept the car for a day and assured me that they had checked every single thing on the brakes (to include the pedal) when they saw that I had supposedly been driving almost 200 times using both the gas and brake. Unfortunately I was a few days out from a cross-country move for my company and did not trust loading my young children in the back seat for a 2000 mile drive.
For me the most logical choice was to sell and cut my losses. I do wonder if other people are having the same type reading saying they are hitting both pedals at once.
This is dangerous. I think people in California won't understand because they won't drive in these conditions. I can see where a tight turn on a gravel road would be hazardous with this braking problem as well.
The dealer tells me the brakes releasing for a second isn't a problem and I should learn how to drive with it. At first they act like they don't know what I'm talking about. They know very well what the problem is and the computer flash doesn't fix it. I hope you reported your accident to the NHTSB. I hope everyone does! This is dangerous.
RELATED PROBLEM--This is related only insofar as it concerns what happens when you depress the brake pedal. Every once in awhile another driver tells me my brake lights come on late. Where I can see the red glow from my own brake lights reflecting off a surface visible in my rearview mirror, I occasionally get the same feeling. No need to describe how dangerous late brake lights can be, especially with the endemic tailgating at any speed on the roads where I am. Does this sound familiar? Can it be fixed by a dealer?
But to be fair I have had EXACTLY the same instance you describe in a '92 Jeep cherokee Limited. On a truly slippery surface the Jeeps ABS system will become so active that you literally cannot bring the vehicle to a full stop.
The conditions you describe are exactly the reason FWD vehicles are so hazardous for wintertime use. Now here you are in a vehicle with tires specifically desired for low rolling resistance....LOW TRACTION coefficient except on a reasonably tractive surface.
Next time try careful/judious use of the rear implemented e-brake, parking brake.
The rear brake light switch, control, is an integral, KEY component of your hybrid's braking system. If the brake lights are not coming on the very INSTANT you touch the brake pedal, even lightly, the regen/frictional braking system will not operate as designed.
I have a 2004 Prius that we bought new.
At about 90,000 miles the brakes would grab at low speed (less than 5 MPH) when backing out of the garage or coming to a stop. This was a intermittent problem which could not be reproduced at the dealer, and the dealer could find no problem with the brakes. There were no alarm light on the instrument panel.
At about 100,000 miles the car developed a second brake problem, in that at higher speeds (about 30 to 50 MPH) when braking, the brakes would suddenly fade for a second and then grab, this would repeat it self, bringing the car to a very jerky stop. There was no alarm lights, and this was not an ABS stop. The dealer could got find any problem with the brakes.
At about 112,000 miles the higher speed braking event happened twice with in a month. I took it back to the dealer and they did a 100% inspection of the brakes and could find no problem. As part of this inspection they bleed the brakes. I have now driven the car for over 3 months and greater than 1,000 miles, and have had no problems with the brakes.
My 2010 Prius has performed well, but a new wrinkle started last year. While going down hill on the 405 freeway, the gas pedal did not engage. I coasted down, pulled over, turned off the engine, restarted and was on my way.
It has happened 3 more times.
I took it to the dealer and they tell me that it is driver error-that I am putting on the gas and the brake pedal at the same time. That is physically impossible and I have never driven with 2 feet! They have referred me to customer relations- their response so far is for me to go to the dealers so they can test drive. Seeing how this has happened only 4 times in over a year, the dealer would be driving forever.
In any case, their ‘diagnostic’ tools spotted this error, but they say there is nothing wrong with the car; it is my driving.
Customer service has not returned my calls for the last 2 days.
Is there hope for this sad story?
I tried the customer relations, but got nowhere. All they will tell you is that you need to take it to the dealer.
I hope you get some resolution. I miss my Prius, but I don't miss the worry that it brought about.
Came home on January 29- no problems.
Next morning- high pitch system whistle; ABS, brakes and VSC lights are "on" and brakes are working terribly.
Went to the Toyota dealer- they told me that they never heard about a problem like this before and wanted me to pay $180 just for inspecting the car. I did not trust "never heard about a problem like this before" talk and went to an electric specialist. After the computer reset my car, it was working normally again.
Up to this point really liked the car. Hopefully it will work properly from now on.
And then there was the software patch for 2010's "surge" issue that does not work for me or many others.
The interesting thing would be if the "Prius 2011" brakes are any different than the 2010s.
It took over a month of trying before I was able to recreate the original brake pause. After the flash, I was unable to recreate it. This doesn't mean the flash cured all brake problems so I'd like to try and recreate any current symptoms.
an American made car! Support your country and be safe!
I first noticed a braking problem the first winter after I purchased the car, in Nov 2010. During a soft stop when one wheel went over a pothole or drop in pavement, such as after a bridge where the asphalt was lower than the concrete on the bridge, the brakes would fail for a split second. This happened sometimes when I slowed down before a stop sign or stop light and hit a pothole with one tire. It also happened if I braked when one front wheel was on pavement and the other passed over a patch of ice. In these cases would lose brakes for about for about 6 feet, then they'd catch. I took the car in and the dealer couldn't find any problems. After it happened several more times that winter I took it back again. They said there was a software update that should correct the problem. It didn't. Sometimes the brakes fail, for a short distance, under the same circumstances. It has never occurred during a hard stop, only during a soft stop and under 30mph. I believe it has to do with the regenerative braking and ABS systems not working together properly. I've learned to live with it and always leave plenty of stopping distance, and avoid potholes when I come to a stop.
Fortunately, no one was in the truck. Since the tires go flat before it hit the truck, I guess it was not as fast as it began accelerating, so I didn’t get injured.
The local Toyota collision center checked the car and told me there was no problem with brake and gas paddle. They didn’t believe me and said they never heard of Prius unintended acceleration problem.
Insurance said it’s my fault.
I claimed the problem to Toyota. They said we can inspect your car, but it will take up to 3 months. And I need to pay the parking fee in the collision center. Is this crazy? Anyone has a suggestion as what I need to do? Thanks a lot!
Your statement that the poster tried to see how much damage he/she could do as a result of the quick movement of the car sounds like you are saying the poster intentionally did this? I disagree.
You weren't there.
>When I need to stop my car, i just push DOWN on the brake pedal.
That didn't work for several people who claim their toyota products had runaway acceleration in the forward mode. Despite the floormats, sticky accelerator pedal sensor unit, and the use of NASA to supposedly rule out ALL electronic malfunctions of the drive-by-wire of the nonhybrid toyotas, I don't believe it is all solved.
I read that this poster had something unexpected happen in reverse and that caused the driver to lose control. It seems as if the spinning or surprise caused them to faint or become uncapable of trying further to control the car. I accept that. Our concern is did the car do something unexpected, not was the poster trying to do as much damage as possible.
2014 Malibu 2LT, 2015 Cruze 2LT,
I've had my 2010 Prius for 45,000 miles and it's been a superb car, saving me a LOT on gas. It's one of the few cars that delivers the MPG they advertise.
I found a website describing the unintended accelration in two situations: low speed and high speed. "low speed" refers to when we are parking or or backing up or trying to change a parking position when the car accelerates by itself; "high speed" means when we are driving it froward in relatively high speed. My case is the "low speed" one.
I contacted Toyota. They will take the EDR (Event Data Recorder) to analyse--it will tak up to 3 months for them to do it! But I am afraid they will conclude that I stepped on both Brake and Gas paddle at the same time, like some posters said.
I was pround of my Prius before the accident. I told a lot of coworkers how fuel efficient it iwas. Some of them brought Prius recently, some of them were planning to buy. But now I am much more concerned of safety than saving gas. When they heard of this accident (some of them saw it), a lot of them don't want to go with Prius.
From the article:
A Toyota spokesman said the Prius braking problem is caused by a computer glitch which creates a lag in response between the regenerative braking system (which captures energy during braking to improve fuel economy) and the antilock brakes (which help the car continue to steer under emergency braking situations). The problem occurs when the brakes are applied while the car is traveling over bumpy surfaces or in wet conditions.
Obviously the car "wants" to use regen braking, especially so if the HV battery charge is close to being marginal. regen braking only occurs on the front wheels...you know, the one's you constantly rely on for directional control.
So any, even the smallest, indication of front wheel slip during braking will be, MUST BE, reacted to instantly. So, would you like to have, with definity, a sudded increase in braking rate, or a "slow" transition into a less pronounced braking mode...?
There is a serious level of MG mass inertia to be ovecome inside the PSD/CVT in switching from "brake" to "neutral". The multiphase rotating electric field(s) inside the MGs cannot "lead" the rotor by too great a margin without the possibly of becoming unlocked.
And you DO NOT want the frictional braking to come online until most of the regen braking has been abated.
Drive the new RWD Infinity to get an idea of the overall driving dynamics of a RWD hybrid vs a FWD.
Hard call for the design engineers.
An ideal solution overall would be ofr the Prius to become a RWD hybrid.
More like "lurch forward" as the regen braking is released, "wound down", during the transition to frictional braking, with all wheel "distributed" FRICTIONAL braking and ABS capability.
Regen braking can be PERFECTLY "metered", fine resolution modulation, moderation, while frictional braking simply cannot be. So Toyota dare not bring on frictional braking until regen braking is mostly "wound down", the PSD has gone from regen mode (reverse[?]) to "neutral"
The only solution I can think of is to ALWAYS brake EARLY and HARD, only lighten the braking once you have slowed to your comfort level with DEFINITY. Always "coast" up to a final stop.
Well, now this "non-issue" has caused an accident as my husband was driving my car last weekend and the car lurched forward while he was braking over potholes (there are a lot of them around San Diego) coming up to a stoplight and it didn't stop and it resulted in him rear-ending someone. There was no damage to the Prius, just some dings in the bumper of the other car, but $2000 later I feel pretty upset that my Prius clearly is not reliably safe to drive. I'm going back to Toyota soon with my documentation in hand that I brought this issue to their attention months ago and I'd like to see what they have to say now it's led to an accident because they ignored the problem.
I also have other electronic issues with it - smart key system not working well either. It completely failed about 2 months after I got it, then Toyota reset it and it hasn't worked as well as new since. Oh and the radio system sounds terrible, with lots of electronic interference that makes the sound very muted. It will sound clear for a split second when I turn the car on or switch from CD to radio, and then it gets muffled. Dealer also found "nothing wrong" on the radio. I do like the car but am seriously frustrated to have spent so much money on a car that does not perform as a new car should or provide the level of safety a consumer would expect.