definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
39,200 miles

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problem #1

Apr 252012


  • 39,200 miles
I'm writing about two design flaws that led to an unfortunate incident, and which could have had caused even more serious results. I believe the primary cause for this incident is a poorly designed interior trunk safety latch, and the dashboard display design is a contributing factor. I was driving on the highway, 35 miles into my trip. As I changed lanes, my trunk popped open (it had been latched) and my laptop in its computer case jettisoned out of the trunk and flew across the interstate, causing vehicles behind me to swerve. My mechanic upon inspecting the trunk observed the interior trunk release is designed such that it 1. dangles freely in the trunk so could easily get caught on something that shifted in the trunk, and 2. releases with almost no pull needed. What likely happened is that the strap of the computer bag caught on and pulled the interior trunk release when I changed lanes. Although this resulted in significant financial damage to me and breach of computer security, it could have caused an accident to cars behind me. Had the driver behind me not honked his horn and motioned me to pull over, I would not have been aware of what happened for quite some time. The trunk of the Yaris doesn't open wide enough to catch my eye in the rear view mirror, and I did not see the door ajar light come on: The dashboard display on the Yaris, centered rather than in front of the driver, makes seeing the signals on the dash during daytime driving very hard. Add to that, the door ajar signal, far to the left, is obscured by the rim around the display. In other words, you'd have to lean to the right to notice that a door, or in this case the trunk, just popped open. The placement of the dashboard panel is not great in terms of safety. Thank you for providing an opportunity for me to report these concerns with the Yaris design.

- Florence, MA, USA