October 24th edit: This has become our most visited page, being linked from the EU (hey hybrid-synergy.eu!), Australia and even being visited a dozen times by Toyota out of Torrance, CA (hey guys!). As it gets colder here in MN we’ll keep an eye on this – CARspec has yet to see any of the failed head gaskets in person. Stay tuned.
A few months back we wrote about the disappearance of the technical service bulletin for 2010+ Prius with codes P0301, P0302, P0303, P0304 (general misfire codes) and a bulletin for P0A0F/P2111 that remains. You can check out that post and video here.
Today we made a belated discovery: the original, now deleted, P030# bulletin is still available and applicable in Canada (including part numbers that work in the USA).
So what’s the story here?
It is difficult to accuse Toyota of being malicious intent, especially when they consistently go out of their way to provide out-of-warranty goodwill repairs for guests (especially for Lexus owners). Reading PriusChat, the issue persists even with the updated parts as suggested in the Canadian bulletin, so we suspect Toyota is revising it’s US fix for the issue. The Toyota conference call notes between field engineers and dealerships also hints at a larger issue at play – failed headgaskets leading to similar codes. Proof of that here: (image removed by request)
To us it doesn’t seem that the head gasket issues are related to the intermittent misfires most owners are experiencing (and we’re only saying this because how rare a headgasket failure is on a Prius in general), but a standalone issue Toyota is trying to stay ahead of. We’ll try and keep an eye on this as it develops.