Toyota Prius Gets The Blue Screen Of Death

from the whoops dept

It seems that stories about hybrid cars are popular today, so we’ll give you another one. We’ve joked in the past that, with so many cars using more software and computing power, it wouldn’t be long before cars would start getting the blue screen of death and run into problems due to software bugs, rather than mechanical issues. Apparently, that’s already happening with the Toyota Prius, and there are a number of reports of software glitches that turn off the engine or turn on the hazard lights. Of course, mechanical failures happen all the time, so it’s not like this is unlike those situations in some ways. However, people just don’t expect to have to bring their car to a programmer to be fixed.

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Comments on “Toyota Prius Gets The Blue Screen Of Death”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Not the first time

It’s not the first time… VW New Beetles had a recall because of oxygen sensors failing quite frequently (there are two on the car, I think my car went through three of them). The way it was fixed was via flashing the computer. In a separate bug, after the oxygen sensors failed, the car’s gas mileage would be half of normal… the software patch also fixed this.

crystalattice (user link) says:

Bound to happen

As devices get more sophisticated and complex, the likelyhood of errors showing up is a no-brainer.

Cars have been around for a long time, so the mechanical aspects have pretty much been perfected. Cars still break down but proper maintenance reduces the odds.

With more electronics being introduced, people don’t know how to work with them. Software errors in the computers are a guaranteed issue. I won’t be surprised if car makers start releasing patches for car computers; actually, if vehicles have USB ports installed, consumers could probably fix many problems by installing the patch themselves. Not to mention there would be a huge market for home-grown mods.

Count Porkula says:

No Subject Given

This is not new. I had a 96 Corvette that had the most annoying and embarrassing bug you can imagine. Completely randomly, my electric locks would cycle (lock and then unlock). Then my hatchback would pop open while I was driving! It even happened once while I was at the dragstrip. The announcer was “WTF…..for some reason the black Vette just popped its hatch at the 1/8th mile”.

Ryan (the former techdirt one) says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

I’ve had software problems with my car before… I had a Renault Megane and the engine computer kept reverting to the factory setting rather than the one for my type of engine. The result was a car that wouldnt shift gears (yes it was an automatic) until I pulled over and restarted it with the keyless ignition button!

Chris Maresca (user link) says:

Electronics and Mercedes quality

Jurgen Schremp, former chairman of DaimlerChrysler, once said that 60% of warrenty problems were caused by software, particularly integration issues.
That’s seems to be true for both BMW and Mercedes, as their most advanced models have a ton of 3rd party electronics. It may be a design philosophy vs the Japanese, who tend to develop a lot of electronics in house.

Daniel A LeClair says:

Filling the Void

We need to realise that there are going to be changes and focus on what lies ahead. If we can lower the consumption of natural oil slowly and find alternatives that will be a good thing.

I personally don’t want to live in a world that is to hot and covered with polutants.

We have to force the oil companies to start investing in the future of our planet rather than pushing it till it is to late to change.



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