Toyota Recalls 700,000 Prius Vehicles and 260,000 Pick-Ups & SUVs By Tod Aronovitz | 02/19/14 | 0 Comment

Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc., announced that its latest safety recall will affect 700,000 Prius owners, and in a separate issue, involve more than 260,000 RAV4, Tacoma, and Lexus RX 350 vehicles. The company recently advised the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of its plans to conduct the voluntary recall.

Toyota is recalling certain model year 2010 through 2014 Prius vehicles to update the motor/generator control electronic control unit (ECU) and hybrid control ECU software.

The software’s current settings could damage transistors in high operating temperatures. If damaged, 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, increasing the risk of a crash as the loss of power could stop the vehicle.

Toyota will notify owners and dealers will update the software for both the motor/generator control ECU and the hybrid control ECU, free of charge. If an owner experiences a failure of the inverter before the vehicle receives updated software, the dealer will replace the inverter assembly with a new one at no charge.

Toyota is also recalling about 261,000 pickup trucks and SUVs because several electronic safety systems could be disabled. The vehicles include the 2012-13 Lexus RX 350, the 2012 Toyota RAV4, and the 2012-13 Toyota Tacoma.

Toyota will update the skid control ECU software to address an electronic circuit condition that can cause the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Anti-lock Brake (ABS), and Traction Control functions to intermittently turn off, reducing the directional control assistance and increasing the risk of a crash.

According to a New York Times article, Toyota told the NHTSA that it received a series of complaints starting in July 2012. It found that “in most cases” the system would work again if the vehicle was turned off and restarted. After attributing the problem to a supplier in Ohio, the automaker switched to a Japanese-made part. It wasn’t clear why the automaker did not recall vehicles at that time, the article said.

Toyota will notify owners, and Toyota and Lexus dealers will update the software for the Skid Control ECU, free of charge. A notification schedule is not yet available for the Toyota recall.

Toyota said that it has not received any reports of accidents or injuries associated with either condition.

More information is available at www.toyota.com/recall and by calling the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331. Lexus customers can visit www.lexus.com/recall or call the Lexus Customer Satisfaction Center at 1-800-25-LEXUS (1-800-255-3987).

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