Toyota is recalling more than half of the Prius vehicles ever sold to fix a software glitch that could slow down or bring the car to a halt.
Although there are no reported incidents, Toyota is aware of a problem with the software in affected cars and says, “The setting of the software could cause higher thermal stress in certain transistors within the booster converter, and these transistors could deform or become damaged as a result.” This will result in various warning lights being illuminated in the instrument panel and possibly shutting down the hybrid system while the vehicle is in motion, resulting in a loss of power and a complete stop.
The recall involves about 1.9 million of the hybrid vehicles produced globally since March 2009 through 2014 model years. It involves about 1 million cars in Japan, about 700,000 in North America and the rest in Europe and other regions, spokesman Brian Lyons said.
Toyota will also update software on certain 2012 RAV4s, 2012-13 Tacomas and 2012-13 Lexus RX350 models to fix an electronic circuit condition that can cause the vehicle stability control, anti-lock brake and traction control functions to turn off intermittently.
“Since claims of unintended acceleration first popped up for Toyota back 2009, we have seen a significant increase in the number of recalls the manufacturer has issued,” Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book told USA Today.
“Although consumers continue to give Toyota the benefit of the doubt, with the competition today stronger than Toyota has ever seen, Toyota needs to keep a keen eye on quality to ensure current owners and potential intenders don’t begin to look elsewhere,” he cautions.
“Toyota is trying to be more transparent and is more aggressive than other automakers with recalls. But it doesn’t seem to be that big of a deterrent for consumers,” said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst with the auto information company Edmunds.com Inc. “I don’t think there is that big of an impact from something like a software update. It is not a recall where there are crashes or people are dying.”
Owners will be contacted to return their vehicles to Toyota or Lexus dealerships for software updates, when they are available.
Concerned customers can visit www.toyota.com/recall or www.lexus.com/recall for more information, or call Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331 or Lexus Customer Satisfaction Center at 1-800-255-3987.
Toyota Recalls 2 million Prius Cars for Software Glitch
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