The problem is a glitch in the software that controls the power converter, which can cause the hybrid system to shut down, resulting in a loss of all power.
The largest version of the Prius, known as the Prius V in North America, the Prius Plus in Europe and the Prius Alpha in other world markets, is affected by this issue, along with certain Auris hybrids. Vehicles affected by this recall were built between May 2010 and November 2014.
Japan has the majority of the affected vehicles, with 120,000 of the cars in North America and 160,000 in Europe.
Toyota says that no crashes or injuries have been reported as a result of this issue.