The 2010 Toyota Prius may not have an innovative fuel bladder that has functioned as Prius gas tank since the Japanese -built hybrids, but definitely it has a bigger engine, better fuel economy and solar powered cabin cooling.
Toyota scrapped the environment friendly bladder mainly because there were complaints with the collapsible container holding much less fuel than the 11.9 gallons listed in the owner's manual while taking much space in the car's range.
Other Prius owners criticized that the tank's fuel gauge signals prematurely that it is close to empty. So, to address this concern, it will make use of a rigid tank made of lightweight resin.
However, it wasn´t soon enough for Darlene Sharar who traded her Prius into a 2009 Toyota Camry when she had problems with the fuel tank's design and there was no repair available to change it.
There was also fuel storage issue in relation to temperature change in as much as the capacity of the fuel bladder drops by about 1.3 gallons at 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
As for the gauge, maintenance manuals suggest recalibration to solve the problem. Owners with a fuel-bladder problem usually complain that the tank won't take more than 9 1/2 or 10 gallons of gasoline, Toyota spokesman Bill Kwong said, adding he had never heard of the bladder taking only seven gallons.
Bladders reduce hydrocarbon emissions by preventing fuel vapor from building up in the tank. Thus, in order to retain its low-emission rating in California, an improved vapor-recovery system will be used by Prius' new fuel tank.