By Hans Greimel, Automotive News
But the world's biggest carmaker didn't notify customers at the time of the change. And it says it is still uncertain how to handle the thousands of Prius vehicles that were sold before the fix.
The problem occurs in the third-generation Prius, which went on sale in the United States, Japan and Europe last year. Transportation agencies in the United States and Japan have been compiling dozens of complaints that the car's brakes give way under certain conditions.
Japan's Ministry of Transportation has ordered Toyota to investigate the problem and consider a recall if a defect is found. The ministry has logged 38 complaints since July.
What GM needs to do to get this one right
Toyota admits to Prius brake problems almost immediately
Toyota said today that it had found design problems with the Prius' anti-lock braking system, but had corrected the issue for models sold since late January. The company did not, however, roll out a plan for dealing with models sold before then.
IIHS rates small pickups for rollover safety for the first time, with surprising results
Of the five small pickups tested -- the Nissan Frontier (also sold as the Suzuki Equator), Ford Ranger, Dodge Dakota, Toyota Tacoma and Chevy Colorado (aka GMC Canyon) -- only the Frontier received the highest safety mark of "good." Not only that, but the latter three models were all rated "marginal," the second-lowest possible rating. The Ford Ranger was given the mark of "acceptable."
Audi takes an uncharacteristic tack with its Super Bowl ad
Audi is hoping to take advantage of that fact with a commercial whose tone and delivery go decidedly against the brand's image of refined luxury.
The "Green Police" spot is meant to shill for the Audi A3 TDI, the diesel that won the Green Car of the Year award at the recent Los Angeles Auto Show. Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen said that Audi decided to promote the car after it won the award and that the company "decided the usual Audi style of subtle and understated would not be appropriate here. We knew that it needed to be a bit bolder and that humor is a very effective way to make an impression during the Super Bowl.”
Electromagnetic interference a cause of unintended acceleration?
Of course, given all the back-and-forth with Toyota's accelerator issues (have you heard of that whole thing? It was sort of underreported in the press. HA!), it would be easy to assume this is a Toyota-only thing. Not so; fact is, NHTSA is looking at the general impact of signals from radar, radio waves and other sources on all vehicles' electronic throttles. However, in Toyota-specific news, USA Today is reporting that EMI is a major factor in two class-action lawsuits brought against the Japanese automaker.
There are conflicting reports as to the viability of the EMI hypothesis.
Jalopnik gets the lowdown from eBay Motors itself on how to avoid scams
Obviously, with that kind of volume -- and natural lack of oversight inherent to the machinations of the site -- there are bound to be some deals gone sour, or outright examples of fraud. Jalopnik originally came to the defense of eBay Motors user "McFly," who had trouble making good on a Hyundai he had purchased on the site, leading to legal wrangling and an online support campaign. (You can read the entire saga over at Jalopnik -- click here for the story.)
As a follow-up, Jalopnik -- ever watching out for its faithful gearhead readership -- has gone a step further and procured some do's and don'ts from eBay Motors itself.
By Hans Greimel, Automotive News
Toyota Motor Corp., already grappling with recalls totaling 8.1 million vehicles on five continents, has been ordered by Japan's Ministry of Transportation to investigate a rash of consumer complaints about braking problems in its popular third-generation Prius hybrid vehicle.
The Japanese carmaker has received several complaints about braking in the Prius in both Japan and North America since the end of last year, Toyota spokeswoman Ririko Takeuchi said.
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Clifford Atiyeh has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own. Raised in Volvos, he has grown to love fast, irresponsible vehicles of all kinds. He is the senior news editor at MSN Autos and also reports for Car and Driver, Road & Track, The Boston Globe and other publications.
In the garage: 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (not his)
Doug Newcomb has covered car technology for over 20 years for outlets ranging from Rolling Stone to Edmunds.com. In 2008, he published his first book, "Car Audio for Dummies" (Wiley). He lives and drives in Hood River, Ore., with his wife and two kids, who share his passion for cars and technology.
In the garage: 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS, two 1984 Chevrolet Blazers, 2008 Honda CR-V
James Tate learned to drive stick at age 13 in a 1988 Land Cruiser - in La Paz, Bolivia. He's since been a mechanic, on a pit crew and has wrenched on every car he's owned since his first 1989 Honda CRX Si (and won't stop until the car is a 1973 Porsche 911 RS). His work has appeared in Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics, Automobile and others.
In the garage: 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera, 1988 BMW M5