This latest round of car news didn’t really surprise me. In the past I have read about people overclocking their cars to get more horsepower and performance. So it shouldn’t be shocking to learn that some Toyota Prius owners have started using this vehicles onboard computer to improve gas mileage and to unlock other features. Even your average old school grease monkey has started to use computers to soup up their ride. On many car related TV shows you’ll see computers being used to tweak performance. As technology usage is increased in modern day vehicles. I think we will start to see a growth in this new type of hacker / cracker. Of course Toyota is firmly against any type of tampering with the internal systems. They sight safety issues as a major concern. I’m sure this would fully void any warranty your entitled to as well. Yet you can see why people would want to do it. For some reason Toyota has taken away a button that allows the Prius owners to switch their hybrids to all-electric mode while driving locally at low speeds. This is a feature that is available to European and Japanese Prius customers. Logic tells you this would help to increase your miles per gallon for each tank of gas. Which at this time is something that has once again become important to some Americans.
Here is what a company spokesperson had to say in the article.
“Kwong said Toyota doesn’t offer the switch to electric mode because of U.S. laws mandating that it offer a minimum eight-year warranty for the car’s power system. Thus, he said, by disabling the switch, the company is able to ensure a longer battery life.”
treehuggerHack Your Hybrid—Activate EV Stealth Mode, Get Rid of the BEEP, and More!