Vivisection of bad Prius

Old 03-10-2010, 07:32 AM
Active Enthusiast
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 59
Default Re: Vivisection of bad Prius

Thinking more on this... clearly... the advice (from so called 'experts') to nail the brakes and slow down is worthless. When you think on it... despite what 'experts' have said... the brakes will not overcome a vehicle with an commanded acceleration. They will momentarily retard and then lose effectiveness as they heat up. Eventually they will become so hot as to be useless. (And we're talking perfect brake system not one with thousands of miles or years of use that decrease the time to ineffectiveness greatly.) There's a good chance they'll catch on fire... and then the tires. What a silly method to bring an out of control vehicle to a stop.

This is like running down a steep mountain and riding the brakes all the way down. At the bottom you are, likely as not, not to have any braking power. Despite what the 'geniuses' who rationalized that the brakes have enough power to overcome a runaway engine, they don't. Not even the carbon fiber brakes on and F1, Le Mans Prototype, or a Rally Cup car could withstand the heat generated holding against an engine running full tilt.

The only solution here is to push and hold the START/OFF button till the motor stops. Then shift to N.

Now back to the HyCam case. You don't see those brake disks smokin' or any carbon dust on the wheels... or any red glow as they try to shed the built up heat. I don't think this guy's telling the straight dope here on what happened. And... oh... they happened to have a helo available??

Not buying this guys story.

Last edited by Old-Crows; 03-10-2010 at 09:59 AM. Reason: clarity
Old 03-10-2010, 07:38 AM
Keeping Toyota Solvent
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Princeton, New Jersey
Posts: 1,068
Default Re: Vivisection of bad Prius

Maybe he's a shill for one of the other auto makers.
Think about it.
Old 03-10-2010, 07:52 AM
Active Enthusiast
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 59
Default Re: Vivisection of bad Prius

More likely... a shill for a lawyer seeking a huge settlement. Like the ABC story on the throttle problems.
Old 03-10-2010, 07:57 AM
Active Enthusiast
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 59
Default Re: Vivisection of bad Prius

Just saw the car in question on Jolopnick.Com. It has plastic wheel covers. If this guy was really trying to stop the car... like fusing the pads to the disks trying to stop. I'd think those wheel covers would have been turned into melted junk.
Old 03-10-2010, 10:00 AM
Hot_Georgia_2004's Avatar
Ridiculously Active Enthusiast
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Posts: 1,797
Default Re: Vivisection of bad Prius

From what I understand, the California Prius driver stood on his brakes, causing them to smoke/overheat so apparently they were working.

Sounds to me like it proved to be a case of fighting "The little engine that could".
Old 03-10-2010, 10:34 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 15
Default Re: Vivisection of bad Prius

Originally Posted by Old-Crows View Post
Thinking more on this... clearly... the advice (from so called 'experts') to nail the brakes and slow down is worthless.
Toyota hybrids are supposed to have a fuel shutoff mechanism that's activated by hard pressure on the brakes -- which is why the recalls for the hybrid models don't include reprogramming to add an override, like the other models do.

One of the following must be true:

1. Toyota is lying and there is no shutoff mechanim -- though it's hard to believe they'd risk getting caught in a lie over something so readily verifiable.
2. There is a shutoff but for some reason it didn't work in this case.
or 3. The guy is lying (as others have speculated).
Old 03-10-2010, 03:47 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 10
Default Brakes vs Engine: The final showdown

I found a recent article in Car & Driver very entertaining (I'm a sucker for car magazine writers' humor) regarding what to do if UA happens to you. The magazine tested samples of very different cars from a modest daily driver to a hi-po monster Mustang. In all cases, even at WOT and high speeds, all cars were stopped under control using only the road brakes.

Here's a link to article:


Now granted, I have never tried this stunt with any of my cars, not even a buddies' or a rental, so I cannot comment on how capable this method of "slam on the brakes with both legs and don't panic" is in controlling real world UA.

I am however, personally acquainted with the phenomenon of instantly losing half your IQ when panicked. For most people, in order to respond best in a survival situation (such as seemingly loosing control of your personal 2 ton wrecking ball on wheels), the desired responses must be trained and drilled into your subconscience through realistic practice.

My humble guess is we are in the midst of a media fuelled mass hysteria (think Audi 5000 in mid 1980s) and there are some drivers who, despite what they insist to have happened, are mistakenly pressing the wrong pedal and panicking when their vehicle doesn't slow.

Prehaps this latest outbreak of "crazy autos with crazy drivers" will convince the DOTs and DMVs that we need to radically overhaul the US's lax Drivers' Education standards (the right to an operators' license to anyone with half a pulse) and provide our drivers with real skills and capabilities to deal with an uncertain world.

Last edited by joeumama; 03-10-2010 at 10:55 PM. Reason: Fixing link
Related Topics
Topic Starter
Last Post
Toyota Prius
06-28-2018 11:34 AM
Honda Civic Hybrid
09-27-2007 02:51 PM
Ford Escape Hybrid
11-29-2006 05:45 AM
Journalism & The Media
03-23-2006 06:24 PM
Toyota Prius
11-12-2005 08:08 PM

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Vivisection of bad Prius

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.