Toyota Prius - Malfunctioning Nav or Calling Inspector Gadget?

2004 Toyota Prius Long-Term Road Test

Toyota Prius - Malfunctioning Nav or Calling Inspector Gadget?

November 22, 2006

Toyota Prius nav screen

During my commute home last night, the Prius's nav started going haywire. Unfortunately, a lot of the car's systems are operated out of this computer, like the audio and climate controls. I couldn't access the map and sometimes I would get overlapping display screens.

Toyota Prius nav screen I was listening to the radio but the car's computer kept telling me the audio system was off... While I could control the volume and change the stations from outside the computer, I couldn't tell what radio station was set. Then the audio started blanking out and back on every few seconds. I ended up stopped at a red light under an overpass and lost power to the radio completely. It was a particularly bad song so I didn't care much. But I hit the power button anyway and the radio came back on and the nav system started working properly. I had been stuck in traffic and was suddenly surprised by how much I had depleted the battery. I had been getting an improper reading while the system was freaking out.

I was in and out of the Prius several times that night, and each time the computer would go crazy again.

my fancy phoneBecause the Prius is normally so reliable and no other editors have complained about this, I suspect the problem may have been caused by my fancy new cell phone. When I first got the phone, my wireless internet connection at home crapped out. When I called the wireless company, they asked if I had a new gadgety phone. Sure enough, the phone was the culprit. My wireless internet company changed my service to a different channel and now my mobile phone and wireless service are cohabitating nicely. At the time, my phone wasn't even turned on. Its mere presence in the house was enough to cause interference.

So, I am passing the Toyota Prius along to another editor. We'll see if our trusty little hybrid goes back to its normal reliable self.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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