Investigations into Toyota products have forced the automaker to recall nearly 4.8 million vehicles in the U.S. this past year alone, a number that is more than four times higher than in any other year on record. The last thing Toyota wants is yet another recall.
Though this issue has not reached recall status, the numerous complaints lodged against the automaker are growing and the government has taken notice. The newest issue to crop up regards the braking performance of the 3rd Generation Toyota Prius.
Here's a rundown of the problem. As the driver applies brake pressure, the regenerative brakes kick in and slow the car. When the vehicle hits a bump or pothole the regenerative brakes switch to friction braking. The friction braking slows the vehicle at a lower rate than the regenerative brakes which in turn makes the driver feels as though they are monetarily accelerating. The driver must then apply the brakes more firmly to return to the expected level of deceleration.
The reports have been coming in for some time now and the NHTSA has been contacted by Prius owners. Their main complaint centers around pedestrian safety. According to Prius owners filing complaints, the unexpected decrease in braking on rough roads causes them to overshoot expected stopping areas. This could result in hitting pedestrians in walkways or perhaps others cars stopped at lights.
Certainly Toyota does not want another recall. Is this problem widespread? It seems to affect many owners, but some have simply said that it's something that takes some getting used to. Yet others are demanding that Toyota take their Priuses back.
For reference to an internal NHTSA memo on this issue, follow the link below.
Source: Detroit Bureau