Skip to comments.Spike in Prius complaints may not be all it seems
Posted on 03/10/2010 6:28:30 PM PST by Touch Not the Cat
Reports of sudden acceleration in the Toyota Prius have spiked across the country. But that doesn't mean there's an epidemic of bad gas pedals in the popular hybrid.
Experts on consumer psychology say the relentless negative media attention Toyota has received since the fall makes it much more likely that drivers will mistake anything unexpected -- or even a misplaced foot -- for actual danger.
"When people expect problems, they're more likely to find them," said Lars Perner, a professor of clinical marketing at Marshall School of Business at University of Southern California.
In just the first 10 weeks of this year, 272 complaints have been filed nationwide for speed control problems with the Prius, according to an Associated Press analysis of unverified complaints received by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
By comparison, only 74 complaints were filed in all of last year, and just eight the year before that.
For problems with the brakes, rather than the gas, the figures are even more stark: 1,816 filed so far this year versus just 90 in all of 2009 and fewer than 20 in every other year of the last decade. Toyota recalled 440,000 Priuses on Feb. 8 because its antilock brakes seemed to fail momentarily on bumpy roads.
It's doubtful the Priuses of the past two years suddenly became more dangerous than those made in years past. After all, Toyota's own recall for Prius floor mats that can trap gas pedals covers model years 2004 to 2009.
Earlier this week came one of the most high-profile case of any Toyota problem so far: A man driving on a Southern California freeway said his 2008 Prius sped out of control, reaching 94 mph, before a patrol officer helped him bring it to a stop.
(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...
...And the plantiff’s lawyers are ringing the dinner gong.
When people see PAYOFF they expect problems.
How many of the drivers were SEIU members. I call bullshit on this one.
How long has the prius been on the market and how come all these problems are surfacing now? Things that make you go Hmmmmm. Sharks er lawyers are circling. Kind of hurting for work with all their former victims being driven out of business by their fairy princess in the White House.
My guess is Hyundai...
Yup. this is all about getting lots of lawsuits against Toyota to destroy them or get UAW leaches in their USA plants. The other transplants will fall in line.
If Toyota/Lexus cars were dangerous they would be crashing everywhere including outside the USA. This BS and I don’t even like Toyos. Lexus drivers are usually raging AH’s who think they have a BMW when it is just a Corolla.
Hyundai then Nissan then Subaru.
Ford is probably next though.
I don't think so.
0 and the UAW already have GM and Chrysler, and they expect to take over Ford eventually. At least in UAW's thinking, smearing Ford would take money out of their own pockets.
Meantime there are other companies to be trashed. Later, with overseas carmakers back in the minority, and if Ford is still independent and strong, action might need to be taken, but not now.
Don’t mess with my Subaru! Fuji Heavy Industries. Great cars and the turbocharged ones are FAST.
Seems like a safe way to control the situation to me.
If i had a Toyota, I would even practice this in a safe location.
what is AH?
Is that Berkley Pit?
I was thinking Asian housewives since I see a lot of them driving Lexus vehicles.
I did date this Chinese woman who drove a Lexus and she was a raging wacko at times.
When you wrote AH I thought of her.
It’s okay, officer, I had a “misplaced foot”.
Spike is driving a Prius? That’s a comedown after a ‘59 DeSoto Fireflite
Our 2006 Prius has a “smart-key”. The system senses that you have the key on your person and unlocks the doors and allows you to start the car when you press the ON button on the dash. There is a gear shift on the dash but it doesn’t seem to be mechanical. One of the gears is B to be used for engine braking on steep hills etc.
Toyota has been selling the Prius since 2000, with excellent safety and reliability ratings. It is obvious to me that the Obama administration is out to destroy Toyota.
We also have a 2000 Toyota van which has 120,000 miles on it. We have never replaced anything on it except tires and batteries. It seems to be good for another 100,000 miles, but if I needed a car I would certainly buy another Toyota.
Thinking about this today, there is no way an average person could control that car for 20 minutes at that speed on that road, without being a professional driver. Not only that but he managed to make a call and talk. I say NO WAY, he was a pro driver. JMO
Racism works the same way.
...Lars Perner, a professor of clinical marketing...Professor of what???
We knew exactly which dealers had the defective product, most of them having been shipped to dealers in the Southeast, Puerto Rico and Mexico with most having been delivered to a single retailer and still in their distribution channel.
When it hit the media all of the sudden our product was catching fire all over North America. Other unaffected product lines also began catching fire.
Assholes were holding the device over their stove to deliberately melt the cable. We paid thousands of dollars to obvious con-artists in our of court settlements.
Listen to the 911 tape also if you can bear it.
Did Bankrupt Runaway Prius Driver Fake “Unintended Acceleration?”
James Sikes, the San Diego runaway Toyota Prius driver, filed for bankruptcy in 2008 and now has over $700,000 in debt. According to one anonymous tipster, we’re also told he hasn’t been making payments on his Prius. [Jalopnik]