Toyota Motor Corp. has recalled its popular Prius hybrid to fix a software glitch that could cause the car to stall. The Japanese automaker also launched a recall of about 260,000 RAV4 sport-utility vehicles, Tacoma trucks and Lexus RX350 SUVs sold in the United States to address a separate issue. The Prius recall includes 1.9 million vehicles sold from 2010 through 2014 model years. It involves about 1 million cars in Japan, some 700,000 in North America and the rest from Europe and other regions.
Toyota claims that it will update software in the electronic controls of the car. The software’s current settings could create heat in some of the transistors in the circuits of the car, damaging the parts. When this happens, warning lights on the dashboard activate. The hybrid system might shut down while the vehicle is being driven, creating a sudden stall, which is a definite safety hazard. The automaker claims it knows of no accidents or injuries resulting from the problem.
Toyota sold more than 234,000 Priuses in the U.S. last year, making it one of the top-selling passenger cars. It is the most sold vehicle of any type in California, even the nation’s top-seller, the Ford F-150 pickup. In the other recalls, Toyota will update software on certain 2012 RAV4s, 2012-2013 Tacomas, and 2012-2013 Lexus RX350 models in order to address an electronic circuit condition that can cause the vehicle stability control, antilock brake, and traction control functions to intermittently turn off.
This latest recall comes as the automaker is negotiating a settlement of a four-year federal criminal investigation into whether it properly reported safety complaints about incidents of sudden acceleration in its vehicles to safety regulators.
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