Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Unsafe At Any Speed It's Capable of Attaining?

Enviro weenies despair that Ralph Nader will destroy their beloved hybrid?

The Toyota Prius, the gas-electric hybrid sedan that has generated waiting lists of environmentally conscious consumers, is the subject of a government investigation into reports that the engine can stall without warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said today its preliminary investigation will involve about 75,000 of the passenger cars from the 2004-2005 model years.

Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. said in a statement it was "an early-stage inquiry to determine if further analysis is warranted, not a recall."

....NHTSA said it has received 33 complaints alleging engine stalling. The majority of the complaints involved reports of the engine stalling at speeds of 35 mph and 65 mph.

Some complaints indicated the vehicle was in electric mode for some period after the gas engine stalled, NHTSA said.

All the reports said the engine shut down without warning. About half said the vehicle wouldn't restart and required a tow after the engine shut off.

Toyota executives noted there have been no reported cases of deaths or injuries from the engine problems.

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