US Safety Regulators Probe Toyota Prius Complaints

Regulators said that in more than 85 percent of the complaints it was said the Prius stalled between 35 and 65 mph.

Published: 02-Jun-2005

INGTON/TOKYO (Reuters) - The U.S. government is investigating Toyota Motor Corp.'s popular Prius gasoline-electric hybrid sedan over complaints about sudden engine stalling, safety regulators said on Wednesday.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a preliminary evaluation this week of 2004 and 2005 model year Prius cars -- roughly 75,000 vehicles -- after receiving 33 complaints about engine problems, some of which occurred at highway speeds.

"All of the complaints reported that the (combustion) engine shut down suddenly without warning," according to a summary of complaints prepared by highway safety investigators. All but five involved 2004 model year vehicles.

The second-generation Prius, equipped with Toyota's new gasoline-electric hybrid system, is now the auto maker's third-best selling passenger car in the United States, and its runaway success has convinced some rivals such as Ford Motor Co. to follow Toyota's lead into the hybrid market.


Playing catch-up a decade late, the world's auto giants now find that they have to lease or buy technology from Toyota.

Spc. Jeffrey Hamme and Staff Sgt. Michelangelo Merksamer of HHC, 1/506th Infantry, point out features of the Hybrid Electric Humvee at the AUSA Annual Meeting earlier this month. The two Soldiers participated in a Military Utility Assessment of the prototype vehicle last month at Fort Campbell, Ky.

Ford's 'Hybrid Patrol,' a 10-city initiative this fall that aims to show hybrid drivers how to drive for best fuel economy. EV World photo of Bill and Lisa Hammond on way to first Ford Patrol event in Detroit during stop-over in Omaha.


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