Sunday, December 30, 2007

Prius broken Multi-Function-Display update

I have not yet heard from Toyota of Berkeley's owner, Tim Southwick. I wrote the letter in May of 2007 and it has been over seven months (see letter in a previous post). So I have contacted the Toyota Customer Experience hot line (800-331-4331) and had several conversations with a woman named Robin. She has been very courteous and diligent about getting back to me. After about five calls, including calls she made to the national and regional offices of Toyota, she informed me of the bad news. This I find hard to believe, and you may also. Toyota is not going to give me a break on the MFD replacement. Well, actually, they claim that the $850 or so they want to replace it IS a break already, and that a new unit is over $3,000. This is a factory refurb unit they want to sell me. I insisted that I had read on the Priuschat site that people had gotten much better deals, even no charge or $200 or so, and Robin confirmed this. However, she said the customer cited in that post had purchased five Toyotas from that dealer so they were doing the loyal customer a big favor. I said that this is ridiculous. The MFD is known to be bad in the 2004 Prius model year and they often fail. (Toyota technical service bulletin TSB #EL002-05 details this issue.) She said there were nothing they can do for me. I have to say that I'm very disappointed in Toyota, and in Toyota of Berkeley particularly. I asked Robin to have someone from Toyota of Berkeley at least phone me to tell me the news and respond to my letter. But so far there has been no call. It's been a few weeks now. I have no intention of paying $850 to have Toyota repair a piece of equipment that has a known defect, and that there is even a technical service bulletin for. Toyota should replace these free of charge when they come in broken in the way that is the known and expected failure mode, in my opinion! This does not speak well of the Prius, nor of Toyota USA.


  1. I have a 2004 Prius, and at about 42,000 miles had to replace my MFD. I live in Colorado, and apparantly "cold" is one of the triggers. The dealer would do nothing for me, but Toyota did provide what I thought was a new replacement unit after I spent a significant amount of time on the phone with them talking about there should be a recall if the car can't handle the colorado winters and not taking no for an answer. Now, 2 years and 40,000 miles later, after another cold winter, - my MFD is again appears to be going out. My A/C does not work (although everything else does right now) and the dealer here is quoting me slightly over $950 to replace it. The initial verbal from the dealer was about $500 - but I think this is their new "gold mine" for repairs. I was also told I don't get to keep my used part - that the "cheaper" price was based on surrendering it to them so it can also be refurbished and sold. I'm starting to wonder if Im expected to replace it every 40,000 miles - or if Toyota just gave me another defective unit (I have a very early 2004, purchased in Dec of 2003; my first unit failed in Spring of 2006. I should have bought another Honda Accord - I had it for 250K miles and not a single major repair.

  2. I killed my MFD by using it as a
    mount point for a GPS unit,it lasted for about a month before it more or less became unresponsive.
    I searched the internet and Ebay auto and only found two scources for salvaged MFD's Autobeusers and Xviper.On Autobeuser Web site they
    have pictures showing how to disassemble the dash to replace the part ( two screws and a snap ).Autobeuser had no MFD's so
    I did a search on Ebay auto and came across Xviper who had a MFD
    that I thought would go into my 2007 Prius with the backup cam.
    The one that I recieved had different connectors and had to be sent back ( with no problem ).As it turned out the Display for the backup cam is considered Hi-rez.
    So when searching make sure that the MFD supports this.I lucked out
    and 2 weeks later Xviper salvaged a Prius that had a backup cam and
    they let me have it for a few hundred more ( intial cost was $500.00 ).
    My dealer wanted 3 K for the unit
    and 3 K to put it in,I just asked
    and that's were it ended.
    Replacing it was not hard using the instructions from Autobeuser.
    I admit that it was my fault for
    my MFD but I am glad to have it back ... now I just need to stay away from low curves.

  3. I live in Huntsville Alabama and have a 2007 Prius now with non-responsive MFD. My car has 51,000 miles on it and I've not even started talking to the dealer about a price. Do you think I should simply find my own refurbished and attempt the hardware swap myself. As far as the old one goes who would by it to refurbish it? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  4. Yeah... what Mark said. I have 2007 with same problem. Dealer wants me to pay $1200 and some change, plus $98 install. Very disappointed in the fact that Prius had a similar problem with the 2004 and now, again with 2007 ... why don't I hear 'recall'? I have about 58,000 miles on my Prius.


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