Feeds

back to article Random car shutdowns force Toyota to recall Prius hybrids - AGAIN

Toyota is recalling nearly two million of its Prius hybrid cars worldwide because of a software fault that can make the car slow down or even stop while it's being driven. Around half of the third-generation Prius cars being recalled are in Japan and over 700,000 are in North America, the carmaker said. In Blighty, the recall …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

g e
Silver badge

Wow. 80 million man minutes....

Over 152 man years to update em all!

4
0

Go Scottie.....

"The more they over-think the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain"

And the old blokes Moggie Minor up the road id still going strong.

4
0

Yep, a bloody waste of time

They should probably add some way of doing an OTA software update on the next model. But considering how difficult that has proven to be even for manufacturers of devices with no moving parts, I highly doubt such a feature is high on their to-do list.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Yep, a bloody waste of time

OTA Updates, no thanks.

<Starts Vehicle>

Message pops up "Updating please do not turn off or drive"

<15 minutes later>

<Update complete, please restart for the changes to take effect>

1
0
FAIL

To use or not to use computers, that is the question

Can I have a computerless car, please? Also, no complicated electronics.

Fewer parts, fewer fails. It was called KISS at some stage, but got probably rebranded to mean something completely different.

19
7

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

So you don't want any airbags then ?

16
2
Silver badge

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

No you can't. Take away the computer on a modern IC engine and you lose lots of efficiency, your CO2 output goes up and the mechanical alternatives are actually LESS reliable. Modern cars are wonderfully reliable compared to their mechanical ancestors of the 1970s and 80s.

13
2

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

As this comment was not submitted on a stone tablet or piece of paper, you must agree that computers are handy things. An improper software setting points to a manufacturing issue rather than a computer problem.

6
1
404
Bronze badge

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

Nope. Only time my family needed them, they failed (2003 Dodge Ram quad cab pickup-> 50' ravine, large trees= ugly) You live in your hamster ball, I'll take my chances with a larger, heavier, real metal 1960's American sedan.

To each his own, I say.

7
11
GBE

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

"Can I have a computerless car, please? Also, no complicated electronics."

Cars were never simple and reliable. And they're a damned site more reliable than they used to be. Mechanically, they are in some ways simpler than they used to be. Remember having to clean and rebuild a 4-barrel carb with automatic mechanical choke every couple years -- otherwise the damned thing wouldn't start on cold mornings?

Modern comptuer-controlled cars are far, far, more reliable than they were back in the "good old days".

14
1
Silver badge

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

@b0llchit.

Yes, they changed that to EU.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

Sure, how reliable do you want it to be and how much fuel are you intending to put into it?

Also - It is often the case that the electronic/microelectronic solution to an engineering problem is rather more reliable than the mechanical.

Motor driven electronic steering, with no mechanical linkage to the steering wheel would be in that case, it sounds counter intuitive, but there is a hell of a lot of stuff to go wrong in even a basic rack and pinion system, let alone a modern hydraulic power steering system.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

@404 - I didn't realise you have two IDs, Jake?

Still, I'll keep my blue motion golf 1.6TDI rammed to the hilt with modern electronics. In the event that I crash it'll be much, much, safer than your travesty.

7
2

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

They were a damm sight easier to do running repairs on.

I remember fixing the breaker points on a Triumph with an elastic band. I remember setting the timing by sticking it in 3rd and rocking to find top dead centre.

Yesterdays: Car's misfiring. Oh look, a split HT lead. I'll swap that. 5 minutes?

Nowadays: Car's msfiring. It's a coil pack. No you have to buy the whole bank. No, you can't get to it without stripping the whole intake off. That's 6 hours labour please.

Car's not running.. Which one of the 2000 sensors is it? Oh aye, it's a crankshaft sensor. That'll be 12 hours labour please as we strip down the engine.

15
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

"Nowadays: Car's msfiring. It's a coil pack."

Yeah, but how often do they go wrong. I have only ever had one car that needed a new coil pack and it was a 20 year old MK1 MX5. I've never even heard of any of my friends needing a new coil pack.

3
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

"Also - It is often the case that the electronic/microelectronic solution to an engineering problem is rather more reliable than the mechanical."

So, a few years back, a family car lost it's drive by wire steering whilst going down the road. After stopping and restarting it came back to normal. It was driven to the dealership, who said, "Nothing we can do. They all do that. Just stop and restart it". Car was rapidly sold! A friends car with drive by wire steering, kept trying to go sideways on motorways. The dealership bought the car back and scrapped it, whilst giving him a big discount on the new one of the same model.

I've never had a major failure on a hydraulic power steering system, but judging by Ebay, Corsa owners with electric power steering have quite a problem. The reason for changing over was purely to save production cost, nothing to do with being better.

4
3
Silver badge

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

Actually, it's a hell of a lot simpler to diagnose my modern motorcycles than my older ones.

If I had a cracked coil, as you say, I'd just get intermittently stranded when the motor warmed up enough to expand the crack. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

Today, the computer notices that the plug is wonky and logs it, giving me somewhere to start troubleshooting.

Also, I just left my bike sit for 3 weeks while it was cold as hell. If I did that with an older bike with carbs instead of fuel injection, I'd be disassembling and cleaning carburetors all weekend.

It's still weird as hell plugging a USB cable into my motorcycle though.

My main problem is the monkey 'tards at the dealership. I had my car complain an ABS sensor was broken and it was like dragging my balls through broken glass to get the dealer 'tard to change it out.

5
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

Unfortunately those larger, heavier, real metal American sedans weren't designed with modern CAD, meaning that the disposal of all that metal was often arbitrary and not at all optimal. In a crash, lumps of metal could come and join you in the cabin. That's why F1 cars weigh diddly squit and drivers walk away from horrendous looking crashes; all the stuff is where it needs to be.

I put my faith in computers.

4
0
Happy

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

>Can I have a computerless car, please? Also, no complicated electronics.

Points at 1966 Morris Minor on drive. No electronics *at* all. Electrics, yes. Electronics.. no.

And a nice bloke wot does when things go wrong. Me - I just herd things that go beep.

5
0
Silver badge

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

> Motor driven electronic steering, with no mechanical linkage to the steering wheel would be in that case, it sounds counter intuitive, but there is a hell of a lot of stuff to go wrong in even a basic rack and pinion system, let alone a modern hydraulic power steering system.

Call me old fashioned if you will, but drive-by-wire car steering sounds incredibly scary.

7
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

I had a problem with an automated gearbox. Light came on...went back to dealer. Ended up with courtesy car.

Two weeks later it got fixed. Apparently the ECU told them there was a mechanical fault in the gearbox. Stupid manufacturer said, our gearboxes never go wrong, it's an ECU error. After swapping out the ECU twice, with great reluctance they authorised a gearbox replacement.

The gearbox had a defective shaft clearance in the change mechanism which was causing it to stick. Electronics 1, Machinery 0. Total invoice of garage to manufacturer over £3500.

6
0
Silver badge

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

> Car's not running.. Which one of the 2000 sensors is it? Oh aye, it's a crankshaft sensor. That'll be 12 hours labour please as we strip down the engine.

Living in Canada at the moment: got a Pontiac Montana "minivan" (that's people carrier to my brothers back 'ome). Engine compartment is "full" of engine. One of the problems with modern design is that you can design the engine and compartment to fit snuggly together to "save space". Trouble is, it makes it almost impossible to do anything without removing the engine.

Wanted to change the plugs some time back. It's a transverse V6 and half of the top of the engine is snuggly fitted under the bulkhead so you can't get at them. The best you can hope for is to disconnect the engine and rotate it on the bearers. Failing that, lift the whole damn thing out.

Some change is good, but I'm afraid common sense is often a casualty.

7
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

Nowadays: Car's msfiring. It's a coil pack. No you have to buy the whole bank. No, you can't get to it without stripping the whole intake off. That's 6 hours labour please.

If only it were that simple...

It's a Mass Air Flow sensor. OK, so that didn't fix it, it's a coolant temperature sensor.

No joy? OK, it's a lambda sensor.

Still not running? Must be the throttle body. Or the ECU.

Yes, a main VW dealer did try all that on, and offer £1000 trade-in for the car against a new model on the grounds that, at 8 years old, it was at the end of its life.

I fixed the car. Took me half an hour. It was an interconnect fault, as you'd expect with symptoms like that. But VW still charged my missus nearly a grand for the work they did, and were quoting £2.5K for what they wanted to do...

Vic.

10
0

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

I had a big old Peugeot 607 which woudl cut out randomly - no power at all, though the engine kept running.

Did it once at 70mph in the outside lane of a dual carriageway. Luckily the road was quiet so no nasties.

As far as I can tell, it was a fault in the cruise control. Seemed ok after the battery was disconnected (a hard reboot I suppose).

But yes, that got sold pretty quickly after that.

5
0

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

You've seen the crash test of the 59 Chevy Bel Air compared to a 2009 Malibu I assume?

All that real metal really doesn't help very much.

4
0

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

Ummm... no your family car didn't lose it's "drive by wire steering" a few years back, And I'm pretty damn positive your friend also didn't lose his drive by wire steering either. The first production car Q50 that had drive by wire steering came out summer of 2013.

What you probably did have was "electronic power steering" which is dramatically different than "drive by wire steering".

6
0
Headmaster

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

Are cars so intelligent nowadays that you can befriend them?

:D

0
0

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

@404

You might want to watch this video before you continue to extol the virtues of 60s heavy metal...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPF4fBGNK0U

1
0
Bronze badge
Trollface

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

Yes, but it will be a 1932 Travesty; replete with suicide doors, a small V8, a three speed shifter, manual steering and manual braking; and weigh at least 2 tonnes.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

"Fewer parts, fewer fails."

Yes, software and electronics in cars does, in general, lead to fewer parts and few fails.

The difference though is that software/electronic failures are generally unfixable and impenetrable.

Much of the electronics in modern cars is just replacing a control that was previously mechanical. For example, look at the ignition circuit in an old car. That had a vacuum advance/retard and points for the timing. These would go out of whack badly due to mechanical damage over time and spark erosion. Hence cars used to have relatively short service intervals. They were relatively easy for a competent DIY person to fix and replace. Now the electronic equivalent don't wear out. They last forever.... or until they suddenly break. They don't need any tweaking, hence longer service intervals.

The real problem with electronics & software is that it almost always dies suddenly. There is no graceful aging.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: So you don't want any airbags then ?

Hell no! The damn things are dangerous - the chemicals used are carcinogenic, mutagenic and get increasingly unstable with age.

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

Anecdote isn't evidence.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: So you don't want any airbags then ?

Whereas smashing your head into the steering column under massive deceleration is positively healthy?

1
2
Silver badge

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

Simplicity is a direct threat to some VPs or BODs job. How dare you suggest such a thing. Pack your things.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

"Modern comptuer-controlled cars are far, far, more reliable than they were back in the "good old days".

Until they aren't. Ever spent time chasing down a faulty sensor or realize yet another software update didn't fix the problem? Or the analyzer you paid x-thousands for will not work with this year's cars?

While I agree that modern cars are amazingly more efficient and faster than cars just 15 years ago and it is a direct result of not only better electronics, but better all around quality control and materials, they also cost a lot more to buy and when they break, they cost a lot more to fix. And they DO break. (seriously, 15K for an econo-box? GTFOOD)

2
0
Bronze badge
Boffin

Re: So you don't want any airbags then ?

"Whereas smashing your head into the steering column under massive deceleration is positively healthy?"

You could try wearing a seatbelt.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: So you don't want any airbags then ?

Seatbelts are good, but not a panacea.

0
1

Hydraulic power steering failure

I can't agree with the A/C on the reliability of hydraulic power steering. I have had a failure on a hydraulic power steering system. It was a Citroen, one of the ones with the high-pressure hydraulics. A seal blew out, which caused the power assist to fail in one direction, so it had the effect of pulling the car to one side. It happened in a snowstorm, so it was quite frightening at the time.

I'm currently driving a Prius, but it's a Mk2, so it's not affected by the latest recall. It's got 150000 miles on the clock, it's going fine, and it's the only car I've had which has never broken down on me. (And that includes a brand-new Mercedes which stopped dead on the M25 after spitting out a fuel injector)

As a completely irrevelent side issue, yesterday I took the Prius to a local independent dealer to have brake fluid changed (a tricky job which I didn't want to do myself). He refused on the grounds that he "didn't have a licence to work on electric cars". What the ***!

1
0
Bronze badge

Seatbelts are good, but not a panacea.

Then why is it that countries which legislate compulsory seatbelt use have less vehicle fatalities per capita, than the countries who decry them as a socialist plot that infringes upon their personal freedom?

Seatbelts always worked, well before the age of the airbag. Airbags are just a backup safety system to be used in conjunction with seatbelts.

2
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Bronze badge

Re: So you don't want any airbags then ?

"You could try wearing a seatbelt."

Seatbelt tension is governed by microcontrollers...

0
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Seatbelts are good, but not a panacea.

@MrDamage - That was exactly my point - Seatbelts are good, as in they stop a lot of injury and death, but not all of it, airbags are a nice backup system, which further prevent injury and death.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

Yes, but you will have to build it yourself; a CNG powered, external combustion steamer with carbide lights and no electrics. No remote shutdown by the police, no GPS tracking and ... hardly any place to fill up!

0
0

Re: To use or not to use computers, that is the question

Would probably be the brake switch. £6 part sited in the passenger footwell. The problem still plagues older 307s and 407s.

0
0

"Toyota to recall Prius hybrids - AGAIN"

At least Toyota have the balls to issue a recall like this. Most manufacturers would keep their mouths shut and just deal with the handful of people that notice. This issue wouldn't bother most of the drivers, 11 out of 300,000 is a tiny tiny proportion of cars and Toyota have done the right thing again by fixing the issue rather than ignoring it like BMW do with the problems with their cars.

19
1
Bronze badge

BMW

If BMW did recalls on their owners instead that would be an improvement.

6
0
Anonymous Coward

"A new car built by my company leaves somewhere travelling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one."

1
0

Sad Prius Driver

Sadly I have been driving one of these since 2009... Happily it is one of the most reliable cars I have ever had... Sadly I have had to return it for recall at my convenience, had a cup of coffee, read the paper and jumped back into a newly washed car... Happily I traded it for a VW Golf which despite its legendary reliability cutout at 75mph in the motorway outside lane twice on me due to a dodgy relay associated with the EMU.

Stop beating up on Toyota for providing a service.....

10
0

Re: Sad Prius Driver

<<Happily I traded it for a VW Golf which despite its legendary reliability>>

Needed a new keyboard after reading that.

3
0

Re: Sad Prius Driver

Lol. You obviously didn't do your research before buying a VW. They have the most dodgy electrical systems out there. Well, maybe next to Mercedes. Can't tell you how many times I've seen new VWs going down the road with shorted tail lights.

2
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.