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Toyota recalling 1.9 million hybrids


A bit under two million Toyota Prius models have just been recalled globally in what is definitely the biggest recall of a current-gen hybrid car to date.

Linked to a fault with the engine control units of the Prius – ECU, the Japanese carmaker has announced the worldwide recall today.

This fault affects all third-generation Toyota Prius models built between January 2009 and February 2014. according to the company the voluntary safety recall is caused by a software fault that can result high thermal stress of certain transistors within the hybrid system when faced with high-load driving conditions – these include accelerating from a dead stop, thus potentially causing them to deform or otherwise become damaged.

When this happens, several warning lights will turn on and then the vehicle can sometimes enter in failsafe mode. In some rare cases, the hybrid system can shut down altogether while the vehicle is being driven, which results in a total loss of power and the vehicle coming to an eventual stop.

This problem was first reported back in May of 2011 in the US but Toyota has said that it has received no report of accidents or injuries stemming from this issue.

The repair work for this fault involves a software update – obviously – of the motor/generator control and hybrid control ECUs at no cost to the owners. Those affected will be contacted via email and the repairs shouldn’t take more than an hour to complete.

This latest safety recall is the third major campaign for the current Prius, after a recall last June for a fault with the brake booster pump accumulator and in February 2010 when they had an anti-lock brake software issue.

As far as the fourth-generation Toyota Prius is concerned, it is still on track for a 2015 release when it is expected to deliver fuel consumption of 3.5L/100km while maintaining a hybrid powertrain.

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