Toyota recalls 1.9 million Prius hybrids due to 'software issue'

By Danny Palmer
12 Feb 2014 View Comments

Toyota has issued a worldwide recall for 1.9 million cars in order to repair a computer software glitch that could cause their Prius hybrid models to stop without warning.

The problem affects 30,790 UK-registered Toyota Prius hybrids models, all manufactured between March 2009 and February 2014. The move follows 11 reports of computer problems in the cars in Europe, although there have been no accidents or injuries related to the software issue.

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"Toyota has identified through its stringent quality reporting programme that there may be an issue concerning the software used to control the boost converter in the Intelligent Power Module, part of the hybrid system's inverter assembly," Toyota said in a statement.

"Toyota has identified that the software setting could lead to higher thermal stress occurring in certain insulated-gate bipolar transistors in the boost converter which may lead to them deforming or being damaged."

The vehicle manufacturer detailed how the software issue could initiate a "failsafe," which could cause Toyota Prius models to come to a complete stop.

"Should this happen, warning lights may be illuminated and the car is likely to switch to 'failsafe' operation - it can still be driven, but with reduced power. In limited cases the hybrid system may shut down, causing the vehicle to stop," Toyota's statement continued.

"The driver will not experience any change in the vehicle's behaviour or performance prior to the problem occurring," it added.

Prius owners will be contacted by Toyota in order to make an appointment to their nearest Toyota Centre where a software update will be applied to vehicles in order to repair the issue. Toyota will carry out the work free of charge.

The software issue doesn't affect any other type of Toyota vehicle.

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