In an effort to keep this as detailed as possible, and to the point, I am going to list what I learned in order of me learning it.
#1 OE Tools indicated that two modules needed to be updated. Something we all might want to know before performing calibrations. This was for the ECM and the Hybrid control module... two modules that likely take speed information into account, so we assume these are likely relevant to the service. Assuming, because there is no standard.
#2 OE & Autel information are both different. Below is the difference in distance when setting up your workspace for calibrations.
#3 Incorrect adjustment information from Autel scan tool and from Toyota OE information the adjustment information was correct... but that was the wrong position!
#4 Error code given was not in OE information for same model/year. It was actually found while researching for this article, under another model.
#5 After receiving that error code for the first time, the vehicle cleared all of the stored codes in every module and calibrated the vehicle with a bad calibration.
#5A We test drove the vehicle and it was very noticeable around curves that something was off. Otherwise, it might actually not have been very noticeable.
#6 Continued to attempt calibration with Autel & Toyota tools, continually failed. We performed the calibration setup at least 3 times to eliminate minimal potential degrees of error.
#7 Found the problem, through trial and error, the millimeter wave assembly is improperly aligned. First step, confirmed all OE Toyota parts were used for repair. Confirmed. Second step, no loose items, all items are according to documentation specifications. Decided to start with millimeter wave radar. Adjusted assembly in one direction.
WE NOW HAVE A READING! GREAT! Ready for the bad news?
The adjustment on the OE Cruise Control Module needed to be adjusted to the point of no return. I had to pull the adjustment screw to the absolute maximum just to meet the absolute maximum threshold of 0.6 allowed. Which begs the question... what happens when a few bumps are hit and the sensor inevitably shifts?
So as if that wasn't disturbing enough to learn, here's the real problem. What do I do with this information? Since we document everything we do, we took that documentation and informed our customer. Who is extremely appreciative of the level of care we provide to them. I communicated my findings to the team at Techstream, after being told by their customer support rep that the standard protocol was to email them and "someone would get back to you".
I contacted over 5 employees of Toyota corporate here on LinkedIn. One of them actually got back to me, said he would help me find the right department to report it to. 3 weeks later... no reply.
We have uncovered a massive amount of contradictions and bad practices with a safety flaw that likely affects all 2016-2018 Toyota Prius's with Cruise Control Modules. What's it going to take for the industry to wake up to the problems that are happening in real time and start finding ways to address them? We're talking about safety in transportation in the age where liability is the one variable everyone talks about... but few do anything about.
Without best practices in place and a reporting system for errors that are encountered, we are going to keep lawyers busy as this mess sorts itself out.