2018 Prius shuts down completely while driving! - Toyota Tundra Forums : Tundra Solutions Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-19-2019, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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2018 Prius shuts down completely while driving!

My senior (82) father was driving his Prius when it suddenly "just completely shut off". It stopped on a rather major 4-lane road, and he was unable to move it out of the travel lane - which ended up blocking traffic. Fortunately, no accidents resulted.

He called the police, who came and tried (unsuccessfully) to move the car out of the traffic. They called a tow truck, who then also struggled to get the car to power up to get it on their rollback flat bed. They towed it to the local dealer.

Once there, the tow truck driver once again struggled to get it to power up get it off the wrecker.

An hour later I was talking to my dad, who was already driving his car back home! I asked him what the dealer had found... and they found NOTHING WRONG WITH THE CAR - and sent him on his way.

Something didn't seem right, so I called the service adviser. He said they did a full diagnostic on the car and couldn't find anything wrong with it. At this point I hadn't spoken with the tow truck company or the police, so I didn't know that they both had issues moving the car. So I accepted the dealers claim that there was nothing wrong. They, of course, refused to pay for the tow since there was no problem with the car. I asked the adviser if he'd ever hear of a Prius just shutting down while being driven. "A Prius? No."

I then called a friend who works as the service manager at another Toyota dealer in the neighboring county, and explained to him what happened (at this point I knew about the difficulty the police and wrecker had). When I told him what the adviser at the other dealer said about no Prius ever shutting down, he said "what a Doooshbag"... He said "Get the car here, and we'll do everything to make sure it's safe".

My dad is starting to show is age, and gets easily flustered and confused. I was certain it was operator error until I talked to the wrecker and police. Now I think the local Toyota dealer that sent him home with no problems, was either woefully inept, or purposefully deceptive (perhaps to avoid the towing bill?). My father was so thrilled to get his car back right away, that any further discussion about the potential hazard of continuing to drive an unreliable vehicle was immediately met with "I don't care, I don't want to know" stick-your-head-in-the-sand mentality.


Has anyone here ever experienced a sudden shutdown, or read/heard about anyone that has? I've found several articles (one as recent as 4/18) that claim Toyota has been dogged with these sudden/unexpected shutdowns in their hybrids for 7-8 years. Seems extremely dangerous.

I can just see my dad trying to cross traffic, the car pulls out 10' and dies, he gets creamed, and the finding will be that he simply didn't see them coming.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-26-2019, 07:40 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: central florida
Posts: 58
Re: 2018 Prius shuts down completely while driving!

Update: After sending it to another dealer, they kept it for a couple days and spend considerable time downloading logs. No issues found. The dash camera we installed in the car recorded sounds that reveal he accidentally put the car in park while at a red light. When the light turned green, he stepped on the accelerator. When nothing happened, and the cars behind him started to honk, he panicked. The rest is history.

Fortunately, this even has convinced him that it's time to surrender the keys - at least when mom's not in the car.
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