Toyota's ABS Sensors Are Just Like Their Pedals
RECENT NEWS FROM TOYOTA: Toyota has retained Exponent, a well-respected engineering and scientific consulting firm, to conduct a comprehensive, independent analysis of Toyota and Lexus vehicles using the ETCS-i system (Electronic Throttle Control System with intelligence) for concerns related to unintended acceleration. Toyota has provided members of Congress with an interim, first phase report from Exponent on its evaluation of the ETCS-i system, consistent with the company’s commitment to increased transparency regarding the quality and safety of its vehicles. The interim report, dated February 4, 2010, notes that Exponent was unable to induce unintended acceleration in any of the ETCS-i equipped Toyota and Lexus vehicles it tested. In all cases, the vehicle either behaved normally or entered a fail-safe mode where engine power was significantly reduced or shut off. Exponent’s testing and evaluation is ongoing. Its first phase evaluation was performed by a team that included both engineers and technicians with specialized knowledge in mechanical, electrical, and automotive engineering and involved extensive testing on multiple vehicles and individual components under a variety of normal and abnormal conditions. *** Wow, Toyota is experiencing a real curse with their vehicles. Today the Japan division of Toyota Motor Corporation has started to recall several models to the issue with antilock braking system (ABS) controlling software. That list includes Toyota Sai/Camry, Prius and Lexus HS250h sold mostly in Japan. By Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism the recall will occur 223,000 of cars. Toyota has sold almost 400,000 of this models worldwide and the company will take remedial measures ASAP in the United States, Europe and other regions. By the TMC's expectation the conduction of the corrective reprogramming for the Prius models will take approximately 40 minutes per vehicle. By the officials: Both a hydraulic braking system and a regenerative braking system work in unison in ordinary driving conditions. Drivers of the four models subject to the recall may experience reduced braking performance resulting in increased braking distance when their vehicles switch at low speed to hydraulic braking-only to activate ABS (which is used to stabilize handling on slippery surfaces, such as snowy and icy roads). We Offer the Official FAQ of the Recent Recalls 1. What is the problem with the 2010 Prius? The anti-lock brake system (ABS) in the 2010 model-year Prius, in normal operation, engages and disengages rapidly (many times per second) as the control system senses and reacts to tire slippage. Some owners have reported experiencing inconsistent brake feel during slow and steady application of the brakes on rough or slick road surfaces when the anti-lock brake system (ABS) is activated in an effort to maintain tire traction. 2. How is Toyota responding to this Prius issue? Toyota has responded to owner concerns with a running production change for the 2010 Prius that was introduced last month, improving the ABS system’s response time, as well as the system’s overall sensitivity to tire slippage. The recall will allow Toyota dealers to perform this software update in the anti-lock brake systems of 2010 Prius vehicles sold prior to this production change. 3. Why does this only impact 2010 Prius models? First- and second-generation Prius vehicles use a different ABS system and are not involved in this campaign. 4. What is the problem with the Lexus HS 250h? The anti-lock brake system on the Lexus HS 250h shares similar component design to the 2010 Prius, so it has been included on this recall. 5. How is Toyota responding to this Lexus issue? The software adjustment planned for the Lexus HS 250h production and dealer modification is being finalized and will be announced very soon. 6. How many vehicles are impacted? This recall involves approximately 133,000 2010 model year Prius vehicles and 14,550 Lexus Division 2010 HS 250h vehicles. 7. What should 2010 Prius and Lexus HS 250h customers do if they experience this braking issue? If a Prius or Lexus HS 250h owner were to experience this condition, pressing hard on the brake pedal will stop the vehicle safely. 8. Are these vehicles safe to drive until they get their update? The vehicles are safe to drive because pressing hard on the brake pedal will stop the vehicle. 9. When can I get my vehicle fixed? Toyota will begin sending letters to Prius owners included in this recall by mail next week and Lexus HS 250h owners within the next few weeks to let them know when to bring their vehicles into a dealership. Owners will only receive a letter if their vehicle is involved in the recall. 10. How long will it take for a dealer to repair my vehicle? The software update should only take approximately 30 minutes to install, depending on technician workflow. 11. Is the repair covered by warranty? Will drivers have to pay any money out of pocket for this work? Toyota will cover all repair costs associated with this work. 12. Is this recall related to the ongoing Toyota recalls associated with sudden unintended acceleration? No, this recall is unrelated to the ongoing recall of Toyota vehicles for sticking gas pedals and floor mat entrapment issues. 13. What is the problem with the Camry? On certain early production 2010 model year Camry vehicles equipped with the 4-cylinder engine, a power steering pressure hose in the engine compartment may be the incorrect length. If this condition exists, a crimp on the power steering pressure hose may come in contact with the No. 7 front brake tube. Should this condition continue, a hole may wear in the brake tube and deplete the brake fluid in the vehicle. As a result, the brake pedal stroke will increase and lead to greater vehicle stopping distance. 14. Which and how many vehicles are involved? Approximately 7,300 Camry vehicles in the U.S. are involved. 15. Are there any warnings that this condition exists? No, there are no specific warnings that this condition exists. 16. What is Toyota going to do? Any Toyota dealer will inspect and, if necessary, adjust the space between the brake tube and the power steering pressure hose crimp. Based upon the inspection results, the dealership may need to replace the brake tube. The inspection/adjustment and, if necessary, the brake tube replacement, will be performed at no charge to the vehicle owner. 17. When will Camry owners be notified? Toyota will notify owners by mail starting in mid-February 2010. 18. Where can I get more information on this recall? Information for Toyota customers can be found at www.toyota.com/recall and at the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331. Information for Lexus customers can be found at lexus.com and at the Lexus Customer Assistance Center at 1-800-255-3987.