Tom-Tom Stopping a Prius

Stopping a Prius

Absent the arrival of an expected Tom-Tom, AWCom offers this expert’s report on his stopping a Prius at high speed. Tests results by Craig Van Batenburg, CEO of the Automotive Career Development Center in Worcester, MA may answer drivers’ questions about what happens when the brakes are slammed on or the power turned off in a 2004 Prius traveling 80 mph.

“Once I hit 80mph with my foot to the floor I kept my right foot down and then hit the brakes as hard as I could with my left foot. This action does two things. It shuts off MGI and MG2 (effectively setting it into neutral) and allows the ICE some limited RPMs. Then it must use only mechanical brakes as a safety back up in the PCM. It stopped the car very quickly. I did this 3 times in a row. After the 3rd time the brakes were smoking hot but still worked.

Also, just before this abusive treatment I went 80 mph and while still accelerating I pushed the power button until the dash went blank. It takes about 3 seconds. This does 2 things. It shifts the car into neutral and shuts off all electrical power to everything except a few 12-volt items that the 12 volt battery can handle. The 12 volt battery back up (black box of capacitors near the 12 volt battery) supplies power to the brake-by-wire so you can make a safe emergency stop.”