Toyota Motor Corporation has just announced that it shall be recalling as much as 625,000 of its hybrid cars globally, according to Reuters. This said recall has been initiated due to a software glitch that is capable of shutting down the hybrid system while the vehicle is still being driven.
The models that are reportedly affected by the recall include the Prius Alpha (Prius v minivans) and the Prius+, which is available in certain markets. Moreover, Toyota has said that it will be recalling models of these vehicles that were produced from May 2010 to November 2014. To date, however, there have been no reported crashes, injuries or any other accident associated with the said vehicles.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s vehicle recall database, Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing is recalling its Prius vehicles from 2010 to 2014 due to transistors in the inverter module – which is located in Intelligent Power Module (IPM) – as it can possibly get damaged due to high operating temperatures.
Moreover, according to the report, “If this occurs, various warning lamps will be illuminated on the instrument panel and the vehicle will have reduced power allowing it to only drive a short distance.” As a consequence, the report said, “The vehicle may enter a fail-safe/limp-home mode that limits the drivability of the vehicle. The hybrid system could also shut down completely resulting in a vehicle stall, increasing the risk of a crash.”
The report also states that Toyota shall notify both car owners and dealers with regard to this. Moreover, they will also update the software for the motor/general control electronic control unit (ECU) and hybrid control ECU free of charge. In addition, should the inverter of a vehicle already fail prior to the software update, Toyota shall also replace the inverter assembly for free.
There are, so far, 39 complaints that have been recorded for the Toyota’s Prius. Among them, one of the complaints read, “This vehicle is a little over 3 months old and has had electrical problems through this period. When put in reverse on occasion it freezes and all the lights on the dash go on and stay on (including the yellow triangle) and the car does not move. The Prius C needs to be shut down every time this happens and restarted to work. This has happened 5 times in the last 3 months since purchased new. Worse yet, the last time when it was put in reverse (yesterday) all the lights froze on the dash however this time the car lurched forward even though the gear shift was in reverse and the dash said ‘r’ for reverse. The car was purchased new from the dealer.”
Of the hybrid cars Toyota is subjecting to a recall, Reuters has learned 120,000 are said to be in North America while 160,000 of them are in Europe and 340,000 are in Japan.