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Both our Prius wagon and Sienna van have PCS. PCS stands for "Pre-Collision System" in North America but in most of the rest of the world Toyota calls it "Pre-Crash System".

PCS has never activated on our Prius we have owned for two years or the Sienna we have owned for about five months.

If it were to activate, it would be when a potential crash is detected. The system first sounds an alarm to alert the driver to brake and pre-charges the braking system. If the driver does not brake, PCS applies the brakes forcefully and tightens the front seat beats. PCS does not prevent a crash and is designed to reduce the force of impact.

People sometimes confuse PCS with the ARCC (Adaptive Radar Cruise Control) which share the same components. ARCC allows following the vehicle in front of you at one of three following distances set via a button on the steering wheel. In North American markets, Toyota's (and Lexus's) ARCC operates only above about 25 mph but in other markets it operates all the way down to 0 mph which allows it to operate in stop and go traffic without pressing the accelerator pedal.

There have been reports of PCS malfunctions but they are rare. Malfunctions of the ARCC are more common but are seen to be acceptable. I've had the automatic braking of ARCC kick in a few times on my Sienna when I encountered a steel plate on a street at the point when the street started uphill but the automatic braking of ARCC is not as forceful as the automatic braking of PCS and it has been easy for me to override the automatic braking.

PCS and ARCC are the main reasons we bought our Prius and Sienna and I cannot see buying another vehicle with these or similar features. I absolutely love ARCC due to it making it much easier to drive in heavy traffic where the speed of traffic flow varies up and down.

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