[EDITOR'S UPDATE: Toyota has come out now and said there is an issue with the braking system of the 2010 Prius. To read more recent developments on this, go here]
Toyota, as many probably know by now, is in the middle of a massive issue with a wide range of its models around the accelerator pedal getting stuck while an automobile is being driven. One vehicle in its line up which seemed at first to be immune to any issues during this time period was the Prius hybrid. No more it looks like, as reports are surfacing both here and in Japan about braking problems. Also, a high profile person has been reporting observing what looks to be an accelerator – unrelated to the on-going Toyota accelerator issue – in his Prius as well.
First the high profile person – Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Wozniak, according to TreeHugger, has been making public comments this week about noticing an accelerator issue with his 2010 Prius. It is reported that he said at an event he was speaking at that “I have a new model that didn’t get recalled. This new model has an accelerator that goes wild, but only under certain conditions of cruise control. And I can repeat it over and over and over again–safely. This is software. It’s not a bad accelerator pedal. It’s very scary, but luckily for me, I can hit the brakes.” Toyota, while not yet publicly acknowledging an issue of this nature might exist with the Prius has, according to Jalopnik, been trying to get in touch with Wozniak to test his Prius to see exactly what is going on.
The other potential Prius issue, which Toyota said this evening it is investigating, is one of an “inconsistent brake feeling” in the new 2010 model. This problem, as reported by CNN Money, drew a request from Japanese government officials for Toyota to look into after complaints were filed. It has also been noted that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it has gotten similar complaints from American drivers and, according to Bloomberg, is looking into the matter. Toyota says specifically the reports have centered around customers experiencing “inconsistent brake feel when the vehicle is driven over potholes, bumps or slippery road surfaces.”