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Toyota Prius, Too Quiet of a Car?

by Winston Sih | August 24, 2010August 24, 2010 11:47 am PDT

Often consumers desire of a car that is built to be quiet on the road to make their trip that much more peaceful, however some are finding the Toyota Prius to be too quiet at times.  To rectify that problem, a new optional speaker system will be made available to give the car some extra noise that it’s lacking.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that hybrid vehicles are twice as likely to be involved in accidents with pedestrians and bicyclists than other vehicles.

According to the Associated Press, Toyota will sell an additional add-on of a $148 speaker system in Japan starting August 30th to play under-the-hood sounds to achieve the “same noise level as a regular car engine.”

Toyota will only make the speaker system available in Japan and the purchase will be made voluntary to the customer.  A representative of Toyota told the Associated Press that they will be considering offering the feature in the United States and other markets in the future.  Pedestrians find they have the biggest problem with the Prius as many people just can’t hear the are coming.  This is because of its ability to run in a silent electric mode during most of its driving.

It has been reported that Toyota isn’t alone among automakers looking into how to increase the sound of their hybrids to keep pedestrians safe. For instance, Nissan plans to include a safety sound system in its electric Leaf vehicle, coming in December.


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