As consumers we rely on vehicle manufactures to make safe and reliable vehicles for us to drive, many of us purchase certain models and trim packages because of these safety features such as side curtain air bags, anti-lock brakes and accident avoidance. A recent inspection of a 2012 Toyota Prius Hybrid at a dealership has prompted a new reason for getting a pre-purchase used car inspection before you buy your next used car.
The window sticker in this 2012 Toyota Prius Hybrid showed this car was suppose to be equipped with the Toyota Advance Technology Package or “ATP” for short. This package includes several safety features wrapped into one…
- A Prius with ATP comes with laser cruise control which automatically senses when another vehicle moves in front of it and adjust the speed accordingly. This same laser cruise control also senses when you are about to rear end someone or you are coming up too fast on another vehicle and will apply the braking system as well as tighten your seat belts automatically.
- Another part of the Prius ATP is lane accident avoidance or blind spot protection as some other manufactures call it. This feature comes with small cameras mounted in the side mirrors to sense when another vehicle is along side you in your “blind spot”. The vehicle is suppose to make an audible alarm and flash a small light in the side mirror if you turn the steering wheel either direction or turn on the turn signal and another vehicle is in your blind spot. This feature also helps alert you if you are moving too far out of your lane as seen in the video below.
- Another cool feature of the Advance Technology Package is automatic high beam sensing… The vehicle has cameras mounted on the windshield side of the rear view mirror that sense if lights are coming your direction and will automatically dim the high beams but the cool feature is it will also turn them back on after that oncoming vehicle passes.
These features not only attract safety minded individuals but also provide a sense of security when driving knowing that the car “has your back” when it comes to commuting. Toyota has developed these features knowing that many business commuters are often distracted while driving. While there isn’t much other than education that can be done to help change the driver car manufactures have decided to start helping drivers protect themselves even when they don’t realize it. This is what the ATP in a Prius is all about.
Now getting back to the reason you should get a pre-purchase inspection. When we perform any used car inspection, especially those with special packages such as the ATP, we check forums and other sources of information to know how to tell if a vehicle has a set of options or not. Not everything these days is as simple as power windows and power locks and making sure the switches work. When we check packages such as the ATP we look for cameras, sensors, special trim packages and certain switch placements within the vehicle. Often with other inspection companies these things might get overlooked or not commented on. Then, while we are test driving the vehicle we will purposely wait for another vehicle to come along side us and do something as simple as turn on the blinker to test the blind spot avoidance features. While at cruising speeds we can also test the laser cruise control and the high beam sensors.
These things may seem very simple and something you could check for yourself which is absolutely the truth! The main concern however, is that new or used car buyers are often very excited to be driving that “new to them” vehicle. This excitement often leads to not double checking to make sure they are buying what they think they are. This is where we come into play… We help used car buyers make sure they know they are getting what they are paying for.