2004-2009 Toyota Prius Recall Will Reshape Accelerator Pedal

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2008 Toyota Prius Touring

2008 Toyota Prius Touring

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Owners of Toyota's iconic Prius hybrid model who thought they'd escaped the rash of Toyota recalls need to think again. The company is working on a fix to reshape accelerator pedals so that they cannot be trapped by floor mats, and will issue details within weeks.

The upcoming recall took center stage after a widely publicized incident in San Diego, when the owner of a 2008 Toyota Prius said he was unable to stop the car after it accelerated to 90 miles per hour.

Loose all-weather floor mat jams accelerator pedal. Photo: NHTSA

Loose all-weather floor mat jams accelerator pedal. Photo: NHTSA

Front Exterior View - 2008 Toyota Prius 5dr HB Base (Natl)

Front Exterior View - 2008 Toyota Prius 5dr HB Base (Natl)

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Angular Rear Exterior View - 2008 Toyota Prius 5dr HB Touring (Natl)

Angular Rear Exterior View - 2008 Toyota Prius 5dr HB Touring (Natl)

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A California Highway Patrol car was dispatched in response to his 911 call, and advised him to apply both the foot brakes and the emergency brake. The CHP cruiser also moved in front of the 2008 Prius to protect other traffic.

The driver eventually switched off the engine and brought the car safely to a stop.  Toyota plans to send engineers to inspect the vehicle.

In response to publicity about the incident, Toyota says it plans to recall all 2004-2009 Toyota Prius models--the second generation of the best-selling hybrid--to modify their pedals.

The plans to modify 2004-2009 Prius models were announced as part of its first recall in September, to alleviate floor mat problems that could trap the accelerator pedal. That action covered five Toyota and two Lexus models, totaling almost 4 million vehicles.

The recall has not yet taken place because the company is still developing details of that fix, it says. Prius models are only affected by the first of two Toyota recalls for acceleration issues.

But the 2004-2009 Prius is not subject to the second recall, for sticking accelerator mechanisms, which covers eight Toyota models as well as a single Pontiac model built by Toyota (NYSE:TM).

Separately, the redesigned 2010 Prius is the subject of a different recall to update braking software that controls the interaction among its standard brakes, the regenerative braking function that recharges the car's battery, and the anti-lock braking system.

[Wall Street Journal]

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Comments (16)
  1. Curious why there hasn't been more news/information on how to safely shut off your car if it accelerates out of control? The Toyota dealers have sent e-mails on what to do, yet nothing is mentioned on the news. Are facts missing, is there liabilty? Please verify the best methods to shut off your vehicle while still having the ability to manually steer. Thought you could hold in the power button on a Prius for a few minutes and it would shut off! Hoping some useful info will be distributed to help folks.

  2. Isn't this a cruise control issue? There is already so much spin I can't determine the facts. If it is, in fact, a cruise control problem I can see why Toyota is looking elsewhere. A software problem with a software-intensive platform like the Prius is a huge can of worms no one wants to open. Even though there have been few incidents, damage or harm, if American lawyers get their hooks into Toyota they will kill the hybrid vehicle.

  3. I own a 2010 Prius and took it for a spin today to see if I could stop the car with my foot jammed down on the accelerator. Twice I put it in neutral with the engine roaring and each time it shifted to neutral and put the engine in idle where I could easily stop the car. Here is the trick... Just shifting to neutral didn't do it. You have to hold the stick in the neutral position for a couple of seconds before it cuts in. Try it. It's pretty easy and the test put my mind at ease. I'm confident that I can stop my car if this acceleration issue happens to me (whatever the cause).

  4. We own a 2008 Prius and have not had a problem with the car. Thank you Jim for the excellent instructions on how to stop my car. I am going to print the instructions in bold font and attach it to my visor so I don't forget just in case I need it. The instructions have been on FOX News but not explained in detail as Jim as done. Thank you.

  5. All cars should have an fuel cut off button on the dashboard. Make it Mechanical so you dont have to worry about any computer bugs.

  6. Idiots Idiots Idiots Idiots !!!!
    I'm going to sue Sony because my little 3.3 lb VAIO laptop is making me infertile. It's Sony's fault because they built wireless and bluetooth into the machine and when I stick it in the front of my pants (that's how I carry it around), it radiates my testicles and is making it impossible for me to do anything but fire blanks. It's Sony's fault, and they should pay!
    Yes, I'm ranting! I should rant. We should ALL rant! Just look at that photo in the article. This idiot makes an ill-advised and unauthorized modification to his Prius, gets into trouble and cries foul. Why?
    I've had Prius vehicles since 2001, 3 of them, and NEVER had a problem of any kind. I did hear Steve Wozniak complain about the accelerator sticking. He was tooling along at 95 mph when "all of a sudden" it went out of control. What was Steve doing to get his Prius to 95 mph? No doubt, MASHING the pedal to the floorboards. Another story of "Prius gone Wild" was similar to that, someone following an Ambulance at high speed, near 90 mph, who couldn't stop the vehicle.
    I have yet to hear a rational, reasonable, law-abiding person report that their Prius went out of control and yes, I consider the basis for this article to be an unlawful use of the Prius.
    Disagree? Bring it on!

  7. Bruno- Fuel cut off? Better work on both the gas and electric engine.
    Also, for clarification, we're told that holding the off button for 3 seconds, not "for a few minutes", and going to neutral requires the shifter to be held for something less than a second I would say. Definitely isn't instant, can't be flicked over and released, but still happens quickly.

  8. Pass cop going above speed limit....blame it on the car be a hero!

  9. i can't believe something like this would happen to such a well known brand as toyota o.o

  10. How can Toyota be confident they have the fix when there are customers still reporting problems after the "fix"?

  11. Does anyone know if Toyota goes to the scenes of the accidents?

  12. Would it be safer if we just went back to mechanical controls?

  13. I don't think that the many sensor switches that are found on the pedals and shifter can be over ridden by or have much to do with the computer as far as direct control. In other words the computer can't develop a mind of it's own and over ride them. Also in this case in California the car was in perfect working condition after.
    In the late 80's Audi suffered from what the press dubbed"Sudden Acceleration syndrome." It turned out to be the foot was on the wrong peddle syndrome after years of investigation.

  14. Toyota, moving forward

  15. I had similar issues with my Golf 1 GTi (Rabbit in the US) years ago, and it was the floor mats fouling the accellerator pedal. This was many years ago, but simply leaning down and pulling the mat back remedied the sticking accellerator.
    Reshaping the pedal should prevent the fouling to happen. Now we need to wait and see if the electronics hold out....

  16. Amazingly webpage, I like how your website looks! The toyota car is amazing!…mobil keluarga ideal terbaik indonesia

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