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Toyota Prius

My parents own a 2006 Toyota Prius. Over a week ago, they were dropping off my toddler at my house after doing me the favor of babysitting for a few hours. As they were getting ready to park my driveway, the Prius had sudden acceleration. There’s a 1000 gallon propane tank right in front of the driveway parking spot. Thankfully, the car stopped when my father stepped on the brakes. We took it to the Princeton dealership and they ran all sorts of diagnostics and even brought in someone from Toyota. They couldn’t find anything wrong with it. They told us it’s safe to drive. I know Toyota went to great lengths testing for problems and couldn’t find any. However, you can imagine how unnerving it is for my parents to be driving the vehicle, but because they’re both retired they really can’t afford to buy a new car. What should they do?

There is a recall for some of their vehicles concerning the gas peddle and the mats. I tend to think it is in this area as any problems I’ve had have been associated with the peddle on my Toyotas (RAV and 4Runner) which temds to hang up on anything. If the carpets aren’t reinstalled exactly or they are after market, they can slide and bind the peddle. If it’s not this, keep complaining.

Following up on dagosa’s post: Your parents should have received a recall notice for both the factory floor mats. Did they take their car in for an inspection? The binding accelerator pedal is not applicable to the 2006 Prius. You should be able to look at the floor mat and see if it is hooked in properly. If not, that could be the problem. And the problem should repeat. You can press the accelerator pedal to the floor and see if it binds in the floor mat while the car is parked. You don’t need o run the engine to stick the pedal on the floor mat.

Thanks for the responses. The floor mats were changed out last year. However, I got a bit of information from a mechanical engineer that seems interesting. Toyota purchases disparate electronic systems from different manufacturers. The ABS system is from one company, the Traction Control System is from another, etc. How these system are integrated may lead to a 1 out of 100,000 case scenario that will cause sudden acceleration. Toyota may not be able to reproduce the scenario in a controled environment.

Neither traction control nor ABS would cause the car to try accelerating, but could affect the braking.

They should practice throwing the car into Neutral and using the emergency brake.

can you actually put a Prius in neutral while driving? I know they got some funky setup for their shifter

I don’t think you can put the Prius into neutral. I saw a stalled Prius and the tow truck couldn’t tow it, because once the battery is out of electricity the whole car is pretty much stuck. They had to get a flat bed.

Still could be the floormats. I’m NOT convinced that the floor-mats themselves are the problem…but rather that people don’t use the hooks to keep them in place is the REAL problem.