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Loss of power

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My wife was driving our Auris Hybrid 1.8 (2016 model) on the M40 last night, and it suddenly lost all acceleration while travelling at around 50-60mph on a level road. She tried accelerating hard, and the tachometer needle was well into the "Power" zone, but the car had lost all power. She pulled over onto the hard shoulder for a few minutes, then restarted her journey and the problem seemed to go away. It could be a coincidence, but she and her 2 passengers also noticed a strong smell of petrol inside the car afterwards.

Any idea what the problem might be, and what the procedure for getting it looked at under warranty is? (we bought it second hand from a Toyota dealer in Twickenham a couple of months ago). It has about 21,000  miles on the clock.

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Whatever advice you may get from here I think you do best to get the car to Toyota service dept as soon as possible. A car should not do that.

it sounds similar to what was happening on Prius and Auris which warranted a recall by Toyota, but that was 2008-2014 cars. Steering and braking were not affected but engine could loose power. Does that sound familiar?  

Maybe a completely separate problem, but needs checking out. Have you checked if there is a recall on your hybrid..... type in a search engine Toyota Recall Checker, just need your reg number to get info for your car.

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Yes steering and braking were fine - it was just the engine power that died. I'll give Toyota a call this week.

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My 2016 4th Gen Prius (21,000 miles only) did the same. The ECU had to be remapped with information received by Toyota Europe. My Toyota garage were great (this is my 3rd Prius and 4th Toyota from them in the last ten years - I also have an iQ) but Toyota UK HQ were very defensive when I spoke and wrote to them. I asked them to do a recall for all models with similar powertrains but they have refused to do so even after acknowledging how dangerous the situation was and accepting that my problem could occur with other hybrids. To me this is disgraceful as in my case (similar to your wife’s) it led to a complete loss of power when crossing a major road junction which is also a notorious blackspot. It is only by a bit of good luck and some quick thinking that a truly life threatening situation was averted. Why on earth does a global corporation think they can get away with this sort of decision making? The hybrid range is a fantastic piece of automotive engineering and design but my faith in Toyota UK HQ personnel is seriously in question. I do hope you get your problem solved quickly otherwise your family and other road users are at serious risk. Good luck! 

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We dropped off the car at Toyota service this morning. The engineer said his guess was that the Battery cooling duct beneath the rear passenger seat may have been obstructed, causing the Battery to overheat, which would have put the car into safety mode. He seemed to regard that as "normal" behaviour. Has anyone else experienced this?

He said he's going to run some diagnostics.

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That is a fan to cool the large hybrid Battery under the rear seat. Yes the intake can get blocked with air borne matter. The intake needs to be kept clear at all times ie no coats etc hanging over it etc.  Is it "normal", well it happens, it will be mentioned in your handbook, but obviously not desirable. Go on YouTube, the Prius system is same as Auris, so you will find plenty ways to clean it, but prevention is the best way.

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On 6/2/2019 at 8:18 PM, John Drury said:

My 2016 4th Gen Prius (21,000 miles only) did the same. The ECU had to be remapped with information received by Toyota Europe. My Toyota garage were great (this is my 3rd Prius and 4th Toyota from them in the last ten years - I also have an iQ) but Toyota UK HQ were very defensive when I spoke and wrote to them. I asked them to do a recall for all models with similar powertrains but they have refused to do so even after acknowledging how dangerous the situation was and accepting that my problem could occur with other hybrids. To me this is disgraceful as in my case (similar to your wife’s) it led to a complete loss of power when crossing a major road junction which is also a notorious blackspot. It is only by a bit of good luck and some quick thinking that a truly life threatening situation was averted. Why on earth does a global corporation think they can get away with this sort of decision making? The hybrid range is a fantastic piece of automotive engineering and design but my faith in Toyota UK HQ personnel is seriously in question. I do hope you get your problem solved quickly otherwise your family and other road users are at serious risk. Good luck! 

As regards the Prius, page 607 of the full owners manual describes the warning displayed if there is a problem with the cooling of the traction Battery, and page 515 describes how to clean the vent to the traction Battery (Maintenace and Care chapter).

If you wish to raise the issue regarding a possible recall, you need to use the DVSA system for reporting vehicle faults - https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-recalls-and-faults/report-a-serious-safety-defect 

If there are sufficient numbers of similar reports, the DVSA will investigate the potential issue with the manufacturer. If not, they will report back to you.

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  • Club Hybrid Poll

  • 199 Hybrid Reliability

    1. 1. If you were to consider buying a Hybrid model over 5 years old, would you be worried about the reliability of the Hybrid system?


      • Not really as Hybrid systems are always reliable
      • Not if it had a Manufacturers Warranty on the Hybrid system
      • I would not buy a Hybrid model over 5 years old