Last post on Mar 10, 2011 at 12:13 AM
You are in the Toyota Prius Maintenance & Repair
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Toyota Prius, Steering, Suspension, Hybrid Cars, Hatchback, Sedan
#2 of 26 New 2006 steering/alignment problems + airbag light always on
Sep 29, 2006 (12:58 pm)
I just bought my new 2006 Prius on Sept. 11 2006. It had 9 miles on it, and now has 134. I am ready to unload it! The steering is very loose at highway speeds, the alignement is off and car veers to the left, the passenger airbag light is always on, and generally it feels shaky. Frankly, I don't feel safe in this car.
I am going into the dealer today.
Any thoughts, please?
#3 of 26 Re: New 2006 steering/alignment problems + airbag light always on [lynsam]
Sep 29, 2006 (1:09 pm)
Maybe have the dealer do a wheel alignment?
#5 of 26 Re: New 2006 steering/alignment problems + airbag light always on [lynsam]
Sep 29, 2006 (5:19 pm)
If there is one consistent complaint about the Prius, I have it also, is that it does get blown around in heavy weather and it drifts. The steering isn't loose in fact with the Electric Power Steering it's very very responsive - just maybe too responsive. In most non-performance vehicles there is some significant 'play' in the steering wheel. I'm certain you've driven vehicles where you can turn the wheel an inch or two left and right while cruising and the car won't move. Now that's loose.
In the new vehicles with EPS turn the wheel a milimeter left or right and it'll go there. But I love it in cornering at any speed. It's very easy to know where you are at all times in these cases.
I too find it annoying that the vehicle 'drifts' so I just pay more attention to driving. What a concept. A lot of owners switch out of their Goodyear Mediocrities as soon as possible. I'll be going to Michelins withing 10K miles.
The passenger A/B light being on always? Did the sales person explain the 'Occupant Classification System'? Shouldn't the passenger A/B light be ON when someone is sitting there?
It's one of the safest vehicles on the road in it's weight classification by the IIHS standards. However I do recognize what you are saying.
#6 of 26 Re: New 2006 steering/alignment problems + airbag light always on [kdhspyder]
Sep 30, 2006 (6:35 pm)
i never noticed any unusual driving characteristics driving my sister's prius, other than it is not a memorable experience. it was no different from other average vehicle.
i did enjoy trying to max my distance before the 'ice' kicked in.
#7 of 26 Re: New 2006 steering/alignment problems + airbag light always on [lynsam]
Oct 12, 2006 (5:52 pm)
So what did the dealer find when you took it in? Did they do an alignment? Was the passenger airbag actually malfunctioning?
#8 of 26 Re: New 2006 steering/alignment problems + airbag light always on [devsienna]
Oct 13, 2006 (8:04 am)
Hi again -- Yes, I took it in, and they said there is absolutely nothing wrong with the vehicle! So, I guess it is as they say: this is the way a Prius drives. I just have to get used to it! I'm just used to driving a much heavier vehicle, so this is different for me. Thanks for everyone's feedback on this. Oh -- and the "passenger airbag" light -- that's fine too -- just to let the passenger know whether or not his airbag is engaged.
#9 of 26 Re: New 2006 steering/alignment problems + airbag light always on [lynsam]
Oct 13, 2006 (12:59 pm)
If the car is pulling to the left or right when you take your hands off of the steering wheel, then there is definitely something wrong with the alignment or the brakes. There is a TSB that covers this. Insist that they look up the TSB and do the work.
As to the passenger airbag light, does the manual indicate that the presence of the light means that there is a problem with the airbag system? If so, take it back to the dealer and have them fix the problem. Show them the light, show them the section in the manual that says "This light means that the airbag system is broken." That's a huge safety issue. I'm assuming that it's the actual passenger air bag light, and not the "put your seatbelt on" flashing red light.
If the dealership you are taking it to is giving you the runaround on this stuff, then take it to another dealership. Or call up Toyota's Customer Experience number, explain the problems you are having with the car and the fact that the dealership is being unresponsive. This tends to get immediate attention from the dealership.
#10 of 26 Re: New 2006 steering/alignment problems + airbag light always on [devsienna]
Oct 13, 2006 (2:29 pm)
There is a weight sensor in the passenger seat of all new vehicles since 2005. With a normal sized occupant in the seat the airbag says 'ON'. With a small child ( should not be there ) under 60 lbs the airbag sensor shows 'OFF'. With a purse, briefcase or packages on the seat the sensor thinks a small child is there so the sensor shows 'OFF'. With heavier packages ( over 60 lbs ) there the sensor thinks a a normal sized person is there so it shows 'ON'.