Toyota Prius/Notable facts

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Toyota Prius - Contents

Awards[edit]

  • 2005 European Car of the Year (Toyota Prius 2nd generation with 406 points, ahead of Citroën C4 with 267 points and Ford Focus II with 228) [1]
  • Motor Trend Motor Trend Car of the Year 2004 (January 2004 issue)
  • Car and Driver magazine's Car and Driver Ten Best list for 2004.
  • The Prius also won the North American Car of the Year award for 2004 and was nominated in 2001.
  • 2003 Scientific American names Toyota Motor Corporation as "Business Leader of the Year" ("Scientific American 50"; December, 2003) for its singular accomplishment in the commercialization of affordable hybrid cars.

Notable facts[edit]

  • Due to the success of both the engineering and sales of the Prius, in 2005, Toyota has released a hybrid V-6 engine for the Lexus RX400h and a hybrid engine version of the Highlander.
  • Toyota is also actively developing a hydrogen-fuel-cell engine. They have already successfully developed a RAV4 that can achieve 900 miles (1450 km) on one tank of hydrogen.
  • The Prius fuel tank holds 45 litres (11.9 US gal), although the internal bladder in American models limits the fill, giving a range of up to 600 miles (1,000 km).
  • In August 2004, Toyota began a Special Service Campaign (SSC 40G), affecting most previous generation Prius cars manufactured between 2001 and mid-2003. This repair involves re-sealing terminals on the high-voltage battery to avoid minor electrolyte leakage. Repairs will be performed free of charge on affected automobiles.
  • Starting with the 2004 model, Toyota is now producing the Prius on a standard mass production assembly line, resulting in one being produced every minute instead of one every 8 to 10 minutes. The use of a standard assembly line has dropped the manufacturing cost significantly, allowing Toyota to deliver a substantially upgraded model, which in turn has generated publicity and popularity. The limiting factor in Prius (and Lexus RX400h) production now appears to be third party component availability, particularly batteries.
  • The battery pack of the 2004 Prius is guaranteed for 100,000 miles (160,000 km) or 8 years, although Toyota has stated that they expect it to last 15 years. The warranty is extended to 150,000 miles (240,000 km) or 10 years for Prius in California and several other states that adopted the Californian emission control standards.
  • In May 2005, Finnish anti-virus firm F-Secure Corp. has tested a Prius for Bluetooth vulnerabilities in the on-board mobile telephony and computer systems and found the car has performed "admirably".
  • On June 1, 2005, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the US started an investigation on the 33 reported cases of engine stalling when the Prius travels at highway speed. The cars were still operatable under battery power with substantial loss of power when the internal combustion engine failed to run. Toyota believes it was due to a computer programming error that was fixed in a recall (SSC-40D) issued back in September, 2004. The investigation needs to verify if all the reported cases occurred to the cars that didn't receive the software fix. Some supporters argued that 33 cases (of which some were duplicate reports and/or valid out-of-gas conditions) among 75000+ cars sold was not an alarming percentage figure compared to the millions other auto makers have recalled. Besides, the Prius is safer than any other car with a failed engine, as the Prius can still run with its electric motor until it can stop at a safe location.

Celebrities[edit]

  • Larry David, co-creator of Seinfeld and star of Curb Your Enthusiasm drives a Prius.
  • Bill Maher, host of the HBO series Real Time with Bill Maher, drove a Prius for 3 years before trading it in for the Lexus RX 400h hybrid.
  • Not only did actor Leonardo Dicaprio buy himself a Prius, he bought several for others in his family.
  • In Gilmore Girls, Rory drives a first generation Prius which she received as a high school graduation gift from her grandparents.
  • Brian Griffin of the show Family Guy drives a Prius (which inexplicably appeared in the fourth season of the show).
  • Claire Fisher of the show Six Feet Under drove a Prius to NYC after crashing her Cadillac Hearse.
  • Holly Madison, Hugh Hefner's ex-girlfriend, drives a Prius instead of her Porsche.
  • Jeff Dunham drives a Prius according to his show.
  • Karen Moody, Hank Moody's ex-wife from Californication drives a Prius.