Aggressive traction control hampering Prius in snow?

Business Materials 6 February 2007 17:32 (UTC +04:00)

(www.autoindernews.com) вЂ" Some Toyota Prius owners have reported problems with the car's permanent traction control system. Whenever the traction control system detects a loss of traction, it shuts the engine down, which can cause major problems in the snow, where spinning wheels are a given.

When my car is on any kind of slick surface that causes one of the front wheels to slip, ALL power to the drive system is stopped, wrote Prius owner Christopher of Reston, Virginia. This past weekend I was on a snow-covered road with about an 8- to 10-degree grade. Driving at 20 miles per hour, one tire began to slip on the snow and the car came to a stop. The wheels then refused to engage, because one would slip a little, regardless of throttle position, he wrote.

Despite having tire chains and installing them properly, a tire would slip on the 4 or 5 inches between the cables and the car would refuse to move, he added

Toyota spokesman Bill Kwon agreed the traction control in the Prius could impact performance in snow, but states that it is not a safety problem, reports Trend.

Prius has TRAC (traction control) as standard equipment, said Kwon. The purpose of traction control is to help prevent wheel spin and minimize slippage of the drive wheels by applying brakes and/or reducing engine power. Kwon added that the system works as intended, and an 8 to 10 degree grade is a fairly steep grade.

A vehicle without TRAC in those conditions, he said. would probably just start spinning in place and eventually spin out of control. In my opinion, it's better to have the vehicle stop then to have the wheels spinning and out of control.