Hybrids - News, Reviews and Views in the Press

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  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    "Last I checked, CR subscribers ARE a part of the "general population."

    Allow me to indicate the proper emphasis:

    Last I checked, CR subscribers ARE a part of the "general population."

    A survey based a nonrandom part of the population should not claim to represent a random sampling of the entire population.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    How are they a non-random part of the population?

    Just because they subscribe to the same magazine?

    How does that reduce the value of their Prius data?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    ...have been greatly exagerated ( as might have been reported by Mark Twain )


    Toyota Reports February Sales
    03/01/2007 Torrance, CA
    March 1, 2007 – Torrance, CA - Spurred by record hybrid sales, Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today reported best-ever February sales of 187,330 vehicles, an increase of 12.2 percent over February 2006.

    "Sales were brisk at both ends of our product lineup," said Jim Lentz, TMS executive vice president. "Setting an all-time record, the Prius hybrid led the way, nearly doubling last February's sales pace; while the new full-size Tundra got off to an impressive start since hitting showrooms February 5th."


    link
  • tpetpe Member Posts: 2,342
    I conceded the fact that a CR survey is not a representative cross-section of the general public. What I'm asking is why CR's particular subset of the general public would lead to data skewed in a certain direction? In this case we're talking about the Toyota Prius and owner satisfaction. So why do CR subscribers like the Prius more than the general public? That's the question. The obvious answer would be that CR subscribers tend to care more about fuel efficiency than the average motorist in the US. As a CR subscriber that's an observation I can accept and if it's a criticism I can also accept it.

    Here's an analogy. Let's say you did a "scientific" survey of Americans and asked them what they considered to be the best source of protein and the result was hot dogs, hamburgers or steak. Now you performed this same survey amongst people that visit gyms and health clubs and the result was fish, chicken or maybe soy. Would you dismiss the health club survey as being invalid because it was not scientific or representative?
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Last I checked, CR subscribers ARE a part of the "general population."

    Which part? People who live in Alaska are part of the general population. Why not just survey people who live in Alaska?

    Are subscribers of CR likely to be influenced by CR's recommendations? ;) Have you ever studied pyschology?

    Back to the Prius and the news article.
    CR claims to measure vehicle satisfaction.
    JD Power APEAL study measures how gratifying a vehicle is to own and drive.
    The interesting thing is, NO PRIUS listed.
    No PRIUS here!

    Autopacific also measures ownership satisfaction. The interesting thing is, Lincoln Navigator had the highest rating. No Prius here either
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    "What I'm asking is why CR's particular subset of the general public would lead to data skewed in a certain direction?"

    Because people who subscribe to CR have a certain mind-set, which may or may not be different from the general population.

    RE: Health club. Yes, I would not consider that a valid representation of anything other than the health club membership group. Just as CR is only a valid representation of the membership of CR. People try and use it to indicate the opinion of the general population. Maybe. Maybe not.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    You got to love them company men

    while the new full-size Tundra got off to an impressive start since hitting showrooms February 5th."

    I wonder if he fooled his boss with that BS? Hard to be happy about 21.8% lower Tundra sales. Looks to me like they had about 3 big winners and over a dozen real big losers. We shall see if selling more Corollas & Prii make for a better bottom line. Toyota also keep the lid on hybrid sales by not breaking them out from the crowd.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    Making any judgement on 13 days of sales.... with reduced availability of new vehicles as they ramp up is not valid. Let's defer til July /Aug when the CrewMax has arrived and been sold and seen on the streets....and when all the stores have 20-50 units available iso 4 units each.

    Now if gas continues up over $3/gal and stays there all big rigs will become lot anchors.

    At the bottom of the article they broke them all out separately.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    I was curious about the Camry hybrid and do not see it on the list. It could be my eyes though. The crew max better be nicer than the current Tundra crew cab. It is cramped compared to GM and Dodge Ram CCs.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    It's bigger than both..
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Out of Control Prius Crash

    quote-
    The car began to act strangely. He was taking it back to the dealership when suddenly the car began accelerating even though he applied the brakes and the emergency brake.

    "I could not stop the car. Because of its design I couldn't shift into neutral," Robinson said.
    -end

    Are the changes in controls in a hybrid dangerous?
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    That had nothing to do with the "hybridness" of the car.

    The car (as can any car) either had a stuck accelerator or the driver hit the gas instead of the brake (a common problem in this kind of accident.)

    And that crap about "having to call a team of Toyota experts" - that was stupid. There was no danger to anyone. Kdhspyder has already explained the safety of the high voltage system.

    Just what we need - another story to create some false paranoia and anti-hybrid sentiment. I guarantee you some of the lower-IQ people at that wreck are gonna come away with the COMPLETELY IDIOTIC IDEA that "hybrids can accelerate out of control and will catch on fire and electrocute you."

    Oh My.......so sad..............

    And this paragraph is SO IDIOTIC:

    The driver, Art Robinson of DuPont, told KING 5 News that he just purchased the used 2005 Toyota Prius this morning only after he was absolutely sure it was safe to drive. Two different dealers gave it a clean bill of health - one even certified it.

    He bought it "only after he was absolutely sure it was safe to drive?"

    Why in the name of all that is holy did he even have an idea that it would not be safe to drive? It's just a 2005 car like any other 2005 car, except it gets better mileage !!! Would he have been "worried that it was safe to drive" if it was a Cobalt or a Corolla or a Camry?

    GGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • petlpetl Member Posts: 610
    KING5 must be hard-up for news.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    Don't get your blood pressure going up now. I thought of the two dealer comment as well. I think it may have been a salvage repaired vehicle. It does not take much of a crash in a Prius for the insurance company to declare a total. There are some unanswered questions. This is not the first case of a hybrid accelerating out of control. I know you find it hard to believe and that may be so. I am not thrilled with any drive by wire systems. Another good reason to buy an older vehicle and keep it maintained for the next 20 years.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    gary says, "This is not the first case of a hybrid accelerating out of control."

    Well, if you are referring to the HCH which crashed into a 7-11 that was posted on this website, that was a hoax.

    This is the first one I have ever heard about that made a real news story on a real news website.

    And this one is still to be determined if it was an actual stuck accelerator or if it was driver error like almost all "accelerating out of control" stories are.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    I am referring to the myriad of problems with the Prius that you are in denial over. If you check the NHTSA ODI you will find 50 different categories of complaints on just the 2005 Prius. They go from airbag failures resulting in injuries to wheels coming loose if you do not tighten them every 1000 miles per the Prius manual. I cannot find another 2005 vehicle with as many complaints. I checked on my GMC Sierra PU. There were only 7 complaints. I am sure they sold twice as many Sierra PU trucks as Prius in 2005. As far as the HCH you referred to it was branded a hoax because you did not want to believe it could happen. You called the poster everything but a liar. No one with bad news about hybrids is welcome on Edmund's is the truth.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    gary says, "I am referring to the myriad of problems with the Prius that you are in denial over."

    Those Prius complaints are mostly "I don't understand my car please help me" and not "my car BECAUSE IT IS A HYBRID accelerated out of control." Those are different subejects altogether.

    gary says, "As far as the HCH you referred to it was branded a hoax because you did not want to believe it could happen. You called the poster everything but a liar. No one with bad news about hybrids is welcome on Edmund's is the truth."

    No, it was branded a hoax because my instincts are good and I saw through the falsehood. Like I said and you can look it up: Almost EVERY SINGLE INSTANCE of cars "accelerating out of control" is driver error. Cars have a myriad of safety features to prevent that one single dangerous occurence.

    Toyota will be able to determine if that man's Prius was out of control because of a stuck throttle. If it WAS, it was NOT because the car is a hybrid: it's because cars (rare but true) sometimes DO get stuck throttles. Old cars, new cars, does not matter.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
    We know that you guys are on opposite sides of the true-believer/skeptic fence.

    Repeating the same stuff to each other endlessly is not convincing anyone to reconsider their position.

    Please take the next exit from this traffic circle and move on.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
    Fuel-efficient engines, vehicles on offer at Geneva Motor Show

    GENEVA (AP) - Fuel efficiency through new technology and hybrid vehicles will be a top theme at this year's Geneva Motor Show, with DaimlerChrysler displaying a lower-emission diesel engine and Toyota unveiling its Hybrid X concept that marries an electric motor with a gas engine.

    The 77th edition of the show comes amid stronger concern about global warming and the environment, and a debate about auto emission limits in Europe. One sharp focus is on making engines more fuel-efficient and more environmentally conscious - while helping to maintain a healthy bottom line.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    In regard to the NTHSA complaints on the 2005 Prius:

    many of them are tire complaints
    a few are "crosswind" complaints
    a few are "gas tank refueling pump shuts off" complaints

    There are 144 total complaints, and 23 of those are duplicates, for a total of 121 complaints.

    121 complaints for about 107,000 plus 2005 Priuses sold, that seems pretty small.

    Many of them are related to "engine shutoff failures" which were involved in a Prius recall and has been fixed.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    "The car (as can any car) either had a stuck accelerator or the driver hit the gas instead of the brake (a common problem in this kind of accident.)"

    Yes, but the Prius runs it's brakes through the engine CPU - required for regenerative braking purposes. This opens the possibility of the CPU killing the braking system.

    I would expect that the emergency brake is a mechanical design.

    I think people missed the point about the fire department concerns. The crashed vehicle had been doused in water, which conducts electricity pretty well. This is not the same concern as surfaced a couple of years ago, dealing with cutting people out of hybrids after an accident. Firemen are very safe in their work (they have to be), and I agree with their concern about high voltage current. I would not put my life on the line based on a (hopefully working) high voltage cutout switch that should have shut off the flow of current, especially when the wrecked vehicle is wet.

    People should bear in mind that this sort of thing is not common with the Prius.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    See this page for a good breakdown on firefighter information when tackling a burning hybrid car:

    Burning Prius

    One paragraph caught my eye:

    Where a fully involved hybrid vehicle fire is encountered, copious (large and sufficient) amounts of water will generally be the extinguishing agent of choice. This will eliminate the radiant heat and begin cooling the metal battery box and the plastic battery cell modules inside the high-voltage battery pack itself. Fire suppression crews will not be shocked or electrocuted during direct attack on a hybrid vehicle fire, even if flames are impinging on the battery pack itself.

    There are many other methods of maintaining safety listed on that page and none of them say "dont walk around in the water if you put a Prius fire out."
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    I would think that any automaker that is selling vehicles with high voltage systems should be required to formally educate all the fire and rescue personnel that may come in contact with this type vehicle. Or expect a call when the occasion arises. I would not risk the life of a fire fighter to save Toyota a couple bucks.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Toyota and the dealer network do have a program for this.

    There is also a famous Toyota PDF for first responders.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Run-Away Prius #2

    quote-
    A Toyota Prius rampaged out of control on a Michigan highway recently, endangering the driver as well as those nearby. It's the second known incident of sudden, uncontrolled acceleration in the computer-controlled hybrids.
    -end quote

    Hmmm....These drivers certainly must not have been Consumer Reports subscribers or they would be the Happiest Vehicles Owners. ;)
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    That website commonly posts "anti-hybrid" stories. A little biased.

    You want me to start finding stories about "non-hybrids" which have "accelerated without driver input?" Because I can find some if you want.

    Bottom line: cars sometimes accelerate "supposedly" on their own. It's not a "hybrid phenomenon" and not a "Prius phenomenon.

    PS Can't resist:

    Runaway BMW

    Runaway Pontiac

    Runaway Jeep Cherokee

    Runaway Taurus (not)
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    You want me to start finding stories about "non-hybrids" which have "accelerated without driver input?" Because I can find some if you want.

    If you do, this is not the correct forum.

    Returning to the topic of hybrids I found this to be an interesting article about hybrids in USA from a German viewpoint. Why Hybrids are a Hard Sell

    My opinion is that is great that hybrids have created interest, awareness and demand for fuel efficient options.

    I think hybrids have allowed a business case to be made for even more choices in fuel efficient vehicles.
    Look closely and you can see the automakers hedging their bets. Toyota is pushing into diesel. Ditto for Honda, which may not build a new hybrid Accord.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    PS Can't resist: Try harder to resist! :(

    Perhaps hybrids may contribute to driver error, especially with drivers not yet familar with differences in controls and layout from non-hybrids.

    Start-button instead of key switch, no neutral selection on transmission, etc..

    Many people fail to take the time to understand a new vehicles features after purchase before they take it off the lot and begin driving.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    mpoarbad says, "Perhaps hybrids may contribute to driver error, especially with drivers not yet familar with differences in controls and layout from non-hybrids. Start-button instead of key switch, no neutral selection on transmission, etc.."

    Good point, but one fact remains:

    The brake pedal and accelerator are in the same spot in hybrid floorboards as in any other car...:D
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    larsb -The brake pedal and accelerator are in the same spot in hybrid floorboards as in any other car...

    Same spot as an Audi 5000? :P
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    Maybe the states need to require a special license for hybrid drivers as they have for motorcyclists. All these last few posts point out what I am saying about drive by wire systems. They leave a LOT to be desired. Give me manual linkage to my accelerator, steering and brakes. A little assist is fine for brakes and steering. I don't want my car controlled by Microsoft Windows that crashes every few days.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Believe me, Gary, the day a car comes out with Microsoft Windows at the controls, it's time to march on D.C. my friend !! :D:D :shades:
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    gary says, "Maybe the states need to require a special license for hybrid drivers as they have for motorcyclists."

    You are not serious, are you? Hybrid cars drive EXACTLY LIKE REGULAR CARS. There is no difference in the driving part - all the differences take place behind the scenes !!!

    My 81 year old Granny drove my TCH and said it was just like any other car !!!
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    ConsumerAffairs is a trolling net for anyone dissatisfied with any product. They have no expertise on any subject ( lawyer-driven ? ) other than to gather potential prospects for future class action suits.

    If you don't like your blanket or drugs or toaster or hybrid or recliner rocker or self-folding mattress, then post it on CA's site and you'll be the subject of a forum like this.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    I think hybrids have allowed a business case to be made for even more choices in fuel efficient vehicles.
    Look closely and you can see the automakers hedging their bets. Toyota is pushing into diesel. Ditto for Honda, which may not build a new hybrid Accord.


    Agree wholeheartedly on this point.

    I believe also that Toyota and GM are acting in concert, as the two leading manufacturers, to pull the rest of the industry behind them. I think Toyota showed it could be done and be done profitably. Ford was a natural 'partner' to spread the word but unfortunately they are running into other problems. GM's 2-mode is a competing system but very capable by all initial reports and possibly more flexible in that it can be used in a wider range of vehicles.

    I now see that Merc and BMW are planning to add hybrids to their future product lines.
  • michael2003michael2003 Member Posts: 144
    Are there really vehicles that don't have a Neutral selection for the transmission?

    According to the interior pictures available for the Prius, I saw that the shift knob did show an 'N' position, which I would assume would be considered Neutral.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    How do you shut the thing off if it is key-less with a FOB in your pocket? A good case for the trusty analog key. A lot cheaper to replace also. I know most of the new keys attached to the FOB are upwards of $300 to replace, re-program and re-cut.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    It's a rolling computer. Just like any other computer, turn the power off. It's the same icon as it is on a computer.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    So the Prius is a Microsoft Windows machine? :shades: I mean how do you cut the power to the whole blasted vehicle? Shut it off. You know like the switch on the back of your computer that actually turns it off. If the software goes wacky as it is prone to do you may not have an icon to touch on the screen.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    If the software goes wacky as it is prone to do you may not have an icon to touch on the screen

    The On/Off button is in front where a keyhole might be but on the dash.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Virus testing on a...car?
    Mikko Hypponen, director of antivirus research at F-Secure, recently obtained a 2005 Prius from Toyota. Toyota (which also owns Lexus) said the Bluetooth used in the Prius was similar to the system found in the Lexus. Toyota cars use a proprietary operating system, not Symbian.

    Despite re-creating hazardous circumstances, in which someone walks into a Bluetooth-enabled Prius with a Cabir-infected cell phone, the team at F-Secure was unable to infect the Prius. And when the researchers attempted to send the infected SIS file to the car, the Prius responded with a "transfer failed" message. In fact, they were unable to successfully perpetrate any known Bluetooth attack.


    So no, Gary, the Prius is not a Microsoft Windows machine - thankfully !!!
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    I was sure that it was not a Microsoft product.:sick:

    No one has answered the question how do you remove power from the computer/hybrid system if something goes wrong while cruising down the highway? Soft switches do not remove power they only put it into sleep or standby mode. The proof being if you leave the car unattended for a few weeks it discharges the battery making the car unusable. I want to have the ability to CUT OFF the power quickly if the car goes berserk as it allegedly did in Washington this week. I don't think that is unreasonable.
    PS
    Same goes for a BMW that is out of control.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    The Power Button which turns the car ON is also the method of turning the car OFF.

    image

    Same as turning off the key on any car.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    You know me, I hate to disagree with you. The key in my truck turns the actual power to the vehicles operating system (computer) off. It does not drain the battery down as it does in the Toyota hybrids. There are actual electrical contacts that are opened when the key is turned off. It removes power that is required to start all the systems going again. If I am cruising down the road and turn the key off my truck comes to a halt. Maybe not all vehicles use this system. I would be curious to know which ones to steer clear of in my shopping for a vehicle.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Well, now that you mention it, I have no idea what happens if you are driving down the road and push the Power button to turn the Prius/TCH/HiHy off.

    Kdhspyder, do you know? :confuse:
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    Nope, never tried it but I'll investigate.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Go Thee Forthwith and Purchaseth a Hybrid Car-eth

    Considering a hybrid vehicle? Now is the time to buy, according to Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information. There are four key reasons: -0- *T 1. According to Edmunds.com True Market Value(R) (TMV(R)) pricing system, average transaction prices of most hybrid vehicle models are at their lowest levels in history because the supply is finally beginning to exceed the demand. 2. For the first time ever, incentives are being offered on many popular hybrids. 3. Certain hybrid tax credits will be lower for those who purchase later in the spring, after automakers reach specific hybrid sales targets. 4. Gas prices have begun their seasonal rise. AAA recently reported that unleaded fuel is up 32 cents per gallon compared with one month ago.
  • toyolla2toyolla2 Member Posts: 158
    Sadly Hydrogenics, a hydrogen research company in the Province of Ontario, has just laid off 50 staff. Their business is in electrolysers and reformers for the hydrogen economy. They also were working on a hydrogen propelled road vehicle for the US army. I believe they were connected to fuel cell companies on other projects.

    This is a very hard business to be in. One view of the feasibility of the hydrogen economy using electrolysers driven by solar energy is expounded by rorr on post #142 at the Hydrogen Fuel Cars forum here.

    T2
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    A reporter for a weekend news program is looking to interview consumers in the Los Angeles area who are interested in purchasing a hybrid. Please reply to [email protected] no later than Thursday, March 22, 2007 with your daytime contact info.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Member Posts: 1,405
    How ironic. Since Toyota is #1 Hybrid Company in the World it is very important that the citizens of the United States provide thousands of dollars in incentives to sell each Toyota hybrid cars.

    What does the tax credit accomplish? Reduced energy usage? Reduced emissions?


    This is not an issue about if you believe are hybrids beneficial. Assuming we've bought into that (I have) and If you believe that the government wants it's citizens to convert to clean cars (hybrids_and they must have) and thus offers incentives, then it makes no sense to take the credits away from Toyota and keep them with Ford, Nissan, Honda and others that enter the hybrid market. Don't mix market control with environmental benefits.
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