Toyota Recalls More Than 800,000 Prius Vehicles
BY BILL CHAPPELL, NPR
Toyota has announced a safety recall of some 807,000 Prius and Prius V cars in the U.S., saying that it needs to fix a problem that could cause the vehicles to lose power and stall “in rare situations.” The recall covers Prius cars from the 2010-2014 model years and Prius V cars from the 2012-2014 model years.
“While power steering and braking would remain operational,” Toyota says, “a vehicle stall while driving at higher speeds could increase the risk of a crash.”
The recall addresses how the vehicles respond if their hybrid systems hit problems. The cars are designed to enter a failsafe or “limp-home” driving mode if the hybrid system overheats or develops other issues.
“We’ve found that in rare situations, the vehicle may not enter a failsafe driving mode as intended,” said Tania Saldana, a Toyota spokeswoman, in an email to NPR. “If this occurs, the vehicle could lose power and stall.”
When asked if any crashes had been reported because of the issue, Toyota offered no comment.
Worldwide, Toyota’s new recall covers roughly 2.43 million Prius cars, including more than a million that were sold in Japan and nearly 300,000 in Europe, according to Automotive News.
To fix the problem, Toyota will update software on the vehicles. The company says its dealers will contact affected Prius owners when the software is available.
The company says the issue is different from problems with the Prius failsafe mode that were addressed in earlier recalls in 2014 and 2015. Those problems were also fixed by software updates to the vehicles’ motor electronic control unit (ECU) and the hybrid drive ECU.
If you want to see if your vehicle is mentioned in a safety recall, you can check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration site.