At first, when the car was brand new, the car would not lock into Park one day. I drove down to the car, my daughter was out shopping in it, and I could not get the car to make the wheels lock, even when the lever was put in "brake", and the Park button on. She was so upset that she let the car roll all the way forward into a sidewalk that resulted in the front bumper busting.
Anyway, after carefully driving the car to the dealer around 9 pm., pulling the car up to the curve and placing the spare tire under the back wheel, it turned out to be a bad control box, they said after 8 days, but we still had to pay our $500 dollar deductible to have the $3400 bumper replaced and painted.
Toyota admitted that the car would not hold itself, I already knew this, but they say that my 17 year old, scared to death, daughter, with a cell phone in the car, should have known to drive the car to some level parking lot and then get out of the car and go to the trunk/back and get her cell phone to call for help. If they don’t pay us back our deductible and have our insurance company drop this chargeable claim off of our record, we will sue and win.
Our monthly premium went from $202 a month to $258 a month because of this “Loss”.
On cold winter days, when the temp is around 5 degrees F, the digital dash speedometer is lazy and slow to respond. Once the car warmed up, it is fine. Toyota says that this may be normal. It continues to do this on cold mornings.
Sometimes the car will jerk violently. The car will do this under the same load, at the same exact spot, when I turn and gas the car going from one stop light up a slight hill. Toyota even drove the car to the spot and cannot duplicate the jerk - They say. They claim that the car has no trouble codes and that this may also be normal for the car. This car has done this same thing when I have driven in this spot, my daughter, and my wife.
The VIN number bar code will not scan most of the time when we take it in for service, the service write up guy will have to spend about 10-minutes trying to successfully type in the vin number by hand. They said that they would try to see if they could order a new vin number plate for the car, but now they have called and said that this is against the law. This one doesn’t matter, because we just sign a blank sheet and let them pull the car on around, and we walk in the front door.
We had the dealer install the “Fake wood dash trim” to the car when we bought it. Now this trim is coming loose and vibrating when the car starts to take off. I blame Toyota for this, because it appears that they didn’t properly install the trim pieces.
The left brake light is starting to fill up with water. Toyota removed the brake light assembly and inspected it, to see if we damaged it - they told us this, and found that it was their fault due to a "misaligned mold/gasket/seal/glue"- this is what the paper work says, and they ordered a new light for almost $800, they told me this is what the part would cost. Our almost a thousand dollar brake light should be in soon. I’d hate to have to pay for a hood or something for this car. Look at what our bumper cost.
I think that Toyota is doing a great job, but I expected a bit more out of them. I understand that this is a new car design, and I do give them lots of room for that.
I just don’t think that buying this car, over just buying a Corolla, was a wise decision.
The car is proving to be quiet a burden to own and the promised mpg has never been realized, even after the car has been more than “Broke IN” as Toyota put it to us. We were told that we would get 60 city and 51 roadway, but we have never seen that.
We had a 2003 Toyota Corolla automatic that averaged around 32 miles per gallon, and this Prius is only averaging around 41 mpg, which is not bad at all, but we expected more, a lot more, because of the advertising and hype, and even the sales team at Toyota. This Prius cost almost 2.5 times what the Corolla costs new, and doesn’t really deliver much more, and is much harder to drive and see out of.
We do think that the leather seats are very comfortable, and that the car’s design makes the best of every square inch of real-estate that the car sits on top of.
The climate control screen will require about 6-months of use, to finally figure out how to use it properly, without almost causing a wreck, from keeping your eyes off of the road and on the confusing flow chart type runabout, just to change the temperature.
The car does transmits a lot more road noise than what the Corolla did, but the Prius’ powertrain is very quiet and fluid like, other than this intermittent jerk that we experience far too often. This has been very embarrassing when I have had a passenger in the car with me on business, and have to explain to them what that jerk was.
I have talked to a number of Prius owners at the supermarkets and such, and most of them have had a few little, and some big bugs, but I seem to be the only one with this jerk bug.
Anyway I would have to give the car a 9 out of 10 for trying so hard and delivering a lot of promise. I just think that Toyota pushed the car a bit much, but I know that the next generation, or newer year models will be much improved.
By the way, our 2003 Corolla had 45,000 trouble free miles on it before we traded it in after a wreck. I think that if I could have gone back in time, we would have just bought another Corolla. We bought the Prius because it seemed so neat at the time and the thing to do, not to mention the $2000 tax credit that we took, which I read at the dealership is now up to $3400. I knew we should have waited.
I think that with me being the head of the household, and the safety of my family at the top of every decision that I make, I will most likely trade the car off soon for a more conventional car. My daughter is still a bit leery of this cute little car after her parking failure ordeal and the jerking problem.
I think that we will look at a new Camry non-hybrid, or even maybe a diesel by Volkswagen or Mercedes.
I will give them a bit more time to pay back my deductible, and absolutely find and fix this jerking power train issue, or else the car is gone. Please understand I am not blaming the car, I am upset with my experience with this particular car, and the lack of resolution that we are experiencing. I think that Toyota is doing all Americans a favor by bringing the Hybrid cars to market and helping to save the Earth.
I just wonder what kind of depreciation bullet I will have to eat? We lost over 50% of the value of out Corolla in just 2 years, but it did have 45,000-miles on it, and was just repaired from a major accident.
Please post if you have solved/have this jerking issue. Mine does it when the car is going about 20 mph up a slight hill under medium acceleration, right as I let up on the gas a bit. It is just a one time jerk, and kind of bounce of the front of the car.
One last thing, the dealer seems like they are skittish when Prius owners pull up. I get the feeling that the repair department does not know a lot about this car, and would rather not see them come back in for work. I wonder if Toyota has cut back on their training programs, and thus caused their mechanics to become less confident in themselves?