New Toyota Prius Recall Hits UK Drivers

Monday, 03 March 2014

A software issue is forcing Toyota to recall 30,790 UK-registered Prius models manufactured between March 2009 and February 2014.

The issue relates to the software that controls the hybrid's boost controller in the 'Intelligent Power Model', which, Toyota say, is required when driving with a high system load - when you accelerate hard from a standstill, for example.

Drivers are said to have no way of knowing if the software is about to malfunction, but if it does go wrong then transistors in the boost control may deform and stop the component from working effectively. In an official announcement the manufacturer says:

"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 Europe say that 11 incidents have been reported so far, and fortunately none have resulted in accident or injury. But, according to The Independent, the problem has affected around 1.9 million cars worldwide, and The Telegraph claims that 400 faulty vehicles have been discovered so far, predominantly in Japan.

The news will come as a big blow for the Japanese manufacturer, which has been hit by a string of recalls in recent years, including last year's recall of 885,000 vehicles after it was discovered that an air conditioning leak could result in the accidental deployment of airbags in several Toyota models.

Toyota will contact the registered owners of affected models by telephone or post to provide them with details of the nearest Toyota Centre and how to make an appointment to have the problem fixed. Concerned Prius drivers can also check the dedicated Recall Checker microsite.

According to Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) guidelines, the repairs will not cost affected owners a penny. However, if you are required to take your car in for repairs as a result of a recall you must inform your car insurance provider as soon as possible, as it could affect your cover in the event of a claim.

Sources:
1. blog.toyota.co.uk/toyota-prius-recall   
2. www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/nearly-31000-uk-toyota-prius-hybrids-among-19m-recalled-worldwide-9122740.html  
3. www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/car-manufacturers/toyota/10632703/Toyota-recalls-every-third-generation-Prius-over-software-glitch.html  
4. www.gov.uk/government/organisations/vehicle-and-operator-services-agency  

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