Lexus HS 250h to be Part of Toyota Prius Brake Investigation


2010 Lexus HS 250h

Taking the upmost caution in the face of increasingly ridiculous media attention, Toyota has announced that the Lexus HS 250h will be investigated alongside the 2010 Toyota Prius for a software glitch that is causing problems with Toyota’s hybrid braking—even though the two models don’t even use the same software:

The mechanical parts that make up the brake system in the Lexus model are identical to those in Toyota’s 2010 Prius, but the two gas-electric hybrid cars use different software systems to control the way the brakes are used, said Brian Lyons, a Toyota spokesman.

Still, he said, the Lexus is now part of Toyota’s investigation.

“If you’ve got an issue with the Prius, then you are going to look at the [Lexus] HS 250h too,” Lyons said. “The two cars have the same components, so we are looking at both cars despite the difference in their software tuning.”

To be clear, not a single complaint has been received about the HS 250h’s braking system, and neither the HS 250h or the 2010 Toyota Prius have been recalled—in affected Prius’, there can be a temporary “disconnect” in the braking system when going over a bump. Tellingly, it mirrors Ford’s recent Customer Satisfaction Program that fixes a similar issue with the Fusion Hybrid, and which was not classified as a recall and was fixed with a software update.

(It’s unfortunate that media coverage has reached such a fevered pitch, as it’s becoming difficult for consumers to separate hype from fact—events this week with U.S. Transport Secretary Ray LaHood & the UAW have only confused the matter more—and I have to recommend that everyone read this story from the Financial Post (titled appropriately enough “The War on Toyota”) for an alternative look at this entire situation.)

[Source: The LA Times]

Update: Here’s another well-reasoned article, this time by Autocar’s Steve Cropley. Nice to see some “Positive Backlash”, as The Guardian’s Edmund King puts it.

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