Toyota to Recall 2.43 Million Priuses for Stalling Problem

Toyota said the failsafe may in fact fail, causing a breakdown instead of allowing the car to limp home.

Toyota

Toyota plans to recall 2.43 million Prius hybrids worldwide to correct an issue that may cause the car to stall while its in operation. The company gave no timeline for when to expect the update, but promised customers will be alerted when the fix is available.

When abnormal conditions are detected in the hybrid system by the vehicle's computer, the vehicle will attempt to enter a "failsafe" limp mode. According to Toyota, this backup system may too fail, and the vehicle could instead stall in some cases. The automaker states that power steering and power braking will remain functional in this situation, but that at high speeds, this could risk a serious accident.

Of these cars, approximately a third (807,081) are in the United States, spanning 2010-2014 model years of the Prius and 2012-2014 model years of the Prius V. The new recall affects the same batch of cars affected by recalls in February 2014 and July 2015 (which one dealer refuses to sell to its customers) for a different problem, one not anticipated by the prior recall. A majority of the vehicles recalled are not American-market vehicles according to Automotive News, which reported that Toyota is unaware of any crashes related to the issue in its home market of Japan.

"Due to the originally-equipped software's control logic (i.e., before receiving the updates in the previous recalls), certain boost converter transistors could become damaged by thermal stress," a Toyota spokesperson explained to The Drive. "If this occurs under certain conditions, such as when operating the vehicle under high-load driving conditions, the involved vehicles may not enter a failsafe driving mode as intended."

Toyota said its dealership technicians will be able to fix the issue with a software update. The Drive contacted Toyota for details on the software fault, and we will update when we receive their response.

Toyota also issued a recall in September, concerning a fire hazard in 2016-2018 model-year Priuses. Owners of vehicles effected by any Toyota recalls are urged to call the company's customer support line at 1-800-331-4331.