Last post on Mar 09, 2011 at 11:13 PM
You are in the Toyota Prius
What is this discussion about?
Toyota Prius, Steering, Suspension, Hybrid Cars, Hatchback, Sedan
#7 of 26 Re: New 2006 steering/alignment problems + airbag light always on [lynsam]
Oct 12, 2006 (4:52 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 (7:04 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 (11:59 am)
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 (1:29 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'.
#12 of 26 Re: New 2006 steering/alignment problems + airbag light always on [lynsam]
Nov 17, 2006 (6:20 pm)
I do recommend replacing the chassis stiffener plate with the BTTech plate (about $145 shipped), available on www.priuschat.com. I bought one and my dealer installed it free, during the 5K oil/lube. It really helps the handling and cross wind performance. I don't seem to have any alignment problems, and find the handling pretty good. With the plate installed, it's much better. I also find the electric steering quite responsive, and much lighter than my Volvo XC70.
Don't know about the airbag situation.......
#13 of 26 Re: New 2006 steering/alignment problems + airbag light always on [kdhspyder]
Nov 22, 2006 (11:18 am)
Yes, and this is standard Toyota practice with the new advanced frontal airbags. NOTE: we are NOT talking about the "airbag faulty" red warning light.
NHTSA requires only that the indicator be lit when the passenger airbag is OFF and someone or something is sitting in the passenger seat (normally an infant, child, or something that weighs more than about 10 pounds).
Toyota goes one better by showing that the passenger airbag is ON when a sufficiently heavy person (adult or large child) or a heavy object is on the seat.
Plus, Toyota also is better IMO in that the light is NOT illuminated at all when the right front seat is unoccupied. (Some other manufacturers tell you the airbag is OFF when there's no one there. Duh!)
#14 of 26 Prius rear wheel alignment
Mar 02, 2007 (4:19 pm)
At 31,000 miles my 2005 Prius factory Goodyear tires needed replacement because they were unevenly worn, expecially on the outer portion. They have been rotated by the dealer every 5000 miles. I've had new Michelin tires installed at COSTCO and then had a wheel alignment check at reputable shop. The front wheel alignment was fine, but both rear wheels showed too much toe-in: R rear was 0.35 and the L rear 0.51 giving a total toe of 0.86 (Specified range is 0.05-0.55). As you may know, the Prius rear wheel alignment is fixed and there are no adjustments. The shop noted that they've recently had two Prius's with almost identical mal-alignment. The shop, which also does body work, can pressure-bend the wheels to comply with alignment specs. Has any one else done this?
I talked to the service manager at Toyota who's offered to check the alignment at no charge, but notes that any repair is not covered under warantee after 12 months or 12,000 miles.
Has any one else had a similar problem??
#15 of 26 Re: Prius rear wheel alignment [jimdemaine]
Mar 03, 2007 (8:00 am)
A Toyota dealer service manager has had shims made for just this purpose. Ask over on Priuschat.com. The "chat" over there has indicated it's common, but it's not just the Prius. I had a 4Runner with the same problem, and my Dad's Rav4 was way out of alignment off the lot new. So much I could see it! It also made a lot of tire noise on the road.
#16 of 26 Re: Prius rear wheel alignment [jimdemaine]
Apr 12, 2007 (6:19 pm)
I have experienced the exact issue you are describing. I own a 2004 prius and I could sense there was a problem with the car since I brought it home two years ago. The original tires were replaced at 31000 mi at my own expense because the Toyota dealer in Rochester, MI would not help me. In fact, they refused to acknowledge that there was an issue. To my utter disbelief, they told me "this is normal tire wear for a toyota". The drivers side rear wheel had scrubed the outside edge off almost to the steel reinforcements. I wish that I had kept a photo. I purchased new michelins and now at 75,000 mi the tires are badly worn again with the same scalloped wear pattern. I have had the alignment check 3 times and have been told it is within spec. I am not sure if the technicians do not know what they are doing but the tires are surely saying something is wrong. My ownership experience has been downright aweful because of the dealers reluctance to admit that any of my observations could be valid. This will probably be my first and last toyota. The basic message at toyota is if you buy a car with problems, you are on your own and please don't be foolish enough to buy the extended "bumper to bumper" warranty as I did. You will be astounded at the number of exeptions to the "total" coverage if you read the fine print. My roof liner is falling down and the interior trim is all loose and sounds like it is 10 years old, and by the way, also not covered under the extended warranty. My next hybrid will be a Honda or Chevy volt. I noticed another message on this discussion board about the existance of shims to correct the wheel alignment so I am holding out some hope for a solution.