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Toyota Prius news - Toyota recall: now it’s the Prius - 2010
It seems that in certain circumstances the
ABS system gives too much kickback through the brake pedal. Drivers tend to think
this means braking action is delayed. It isn’t - if they don’t lift their foot they’ll find the brakes work as normal.
But a software re-flash of the affected
cars will change the feedback in the circumstances in question, and everyone
should be happy.
It affects only the Mk3 Prius, and only the
first few months’ production. Brand-new ones are fine.
That’s because Toyota recognised the issue
some while ago after some customer comments. It modified the software on
Priuses built after a certain date. Older cars will now get a simple upgrade to
this new software.
There was no recall at the time. Toyota
didn’t think it was a safety issue - the brakes always work fine. But I
guess Prius drivers aren’t the type to habitually drive right up to the ragged
edge, so they don’t know what ABS intervention feels like. When they experience
it, they’re spooked.
And now, because everything Toyota says and
does is viewed through the lens of ‘safety’ and ‘recalls’, the company has to
be super-cautious. It gets badgered by the media if it doesn’t act. In normal
circumstances this wouldn’t be a recall.
Seen from the outside, Toyota seems to be
having a PR catastrophe. But remember, the company has built its business on
loyal customers. It has just taken delivery of its first batch of redesigned
accelerator parts from the main accelerator recall. This has taken just days. It
has made contact with owners, again in days.
Most recalls take months. And it’s not as
if recalls are unusual. There are about a million recalled cars in the UK each
Dealers and the HQ have been working
overnight and at weekends. It’s a mammoth effort, and it’s directed not at
finessing the media but at fixing the cars. People who buy Toyotas trust Toyota
and its dealers. That’s where they choose to get their information, not from scare
stories in the tabloids.
Toyota is trusting that this will be the
way to ensure the damage of the recalls - both to the customers and to its
own reputation - gets healed rapidly.