Last year, automakers recalled a record 63.5 million cars. Looking at that figure might make you think it’s a record that won’t be broken anytime soon, but with Takata having already issued an airbag-related recall for around 41 million vehicles and with various automakers announcing new recall campaigns every month, it looks like we’re headed toward a new low for the automotive industry. Toyota, one of the many brands involved in the Takata airbag recall, has just issued a new callback, this time around for a software glitch.
The recall affects no fewer than 625,000 2015 Toyota Prius V models (Prius Plus in Europe and Prius Alpha in other markets), 109,000 of which were sold in the United States. Most of them, about 340,000, are in Japan, while 160,000 are located in Europe. The recall affects cars produced between May 2010 and November 2014.
In the involved vehicles, the software settings for the motor/generator control ECU and hybrid control ECU could result in higher thermal stress in certain transistors, which could cause them to become damaged. If this happens, the vehicle can enter a “failsafe mode,” and in rare circumstances, the hybrid system might shut down while the vehicle is being driven. This would result in a sudden loss of power and the vehicle coming to a stop. Toyota said there had been no reports of crashes or injuries.
Owners will be notified by mail and Toyota dealers will update the software for both the motor/generator control ECU and hybrid control ECU.
Why it matters
Recalls have been a major issue in recent years and, as things stand, things aren’t getting any better. Though it’s still regarded as one of the automakers that builds the most reliable cars, Toyota continues to struggle with recalls only a bit more than a year since it agreed to pay $1.2 billion in settlement with the U.S. over its unintended acceleration recalls. Sure, this issue with the Prius V is nowhere near as serious, but it makes me wonder if makers such as Toyota and GM will be able to get rid of their current “total recall” image.
2014 Toyota Prius V Driven
Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. today announced that it is conducting a safety recall of approximately 109,000 Model Year 2012-2014 Prius v hybrid vehicles.
In the involved vehicles, the current software settings for the motor/generator control ECU and hybrid control ECU could result in higher thermal stress in certain transistors, potentially causing them to become damaged. If this happens, various warning lights will illuminate and the vehicle can enter a failsafe mode. In rare circumstances, the hybrid system might shut down while the vehicle is being driven, resulting in the loss of power and the vehicle coming to a stop.
Owners of the involved vehicles will be notified by first class mail. Toyota dealers will update the software for both the motor/generator control ECU and hybrid control ECU in the involved vehicles.
Information about automotive recalls, including but not limited to the list of involved vehicles, is subject to change over time. For the most up-do-date Safety Recall information on Toyota, Lexus or Scion vehicles, customers should check their vehicle’s status by visiting toyota.com/recall and entering the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Safety Recall inquiry by individual VIN is also available at the NHTSA site: safercar.gov/vin. For any additional questions, customer support is also available by calling Toyota Customer Service at 1-800-331-4331, or Lexus Customer Service at 1-800-255-3987.