Text: Martin Aguilar / Photos: Toyota | posted February 13, 2014 13:31
Hybrid cars recalled for software update, local units unaffected
Toyota is recalling about 1.9 million Toyota Prius models globally to reprogram the software of the car's hybrid control unit. The recall is to fix the said problem which can cause the vehicle to automatically shut down.
Toyota Motor Corporation announced the global recall of the third-generation hybrid vehicle that extends to 1.9 million Prius models. Affected by Toyota’s recall are the 713,000 Prius models from North America; 997,000 in Japan; and 130,000 in Europe. Furthermore, Oceania, Middle East, China, and other markets are affected by the said recall. This marks the biggest recall of the world’s best-selling hybrid.
"The software update should take about 40 minutes," said Shino Yamada, a Toyota spokeswoman. Furthermore, Toyota said "if the update doesn't take, a control module would then need to be replaced, a fix taking about three hours. The software problem causes a glitchy boost converter, which can lead to overheating that can, in turn, damage or deform transistors."
The said issue concerning the Prius was first reported in the United States last May 2011 where the warning light of the car went off that caused it to be on failsafe mode wherein the engine power is reduced enough to bring the car on the side of the road. Fortunately, there have been no injuries or accidents reported regarding this issue.
This marks Toyota’s third major recall on the third-generation Prius. In Febuary 2010, Toyota recalled 397,000 vehicles worldwide due to the problems in the anti-lock brake software. Last June, it recalled 87,000 vehicles in North America to fix a brake pressure accumulator.
"My impression is Toyota is recalling more often, even with very minor flaws. Toyota learned its lesson from the big recalls in 2009 and 2010," said Yuuki Sakurai, the Tokyo-based President of Fukoku Capital Management.
We contacted Toyota Motor Philippines and they officially said that the locally sold Prius models through their dealers are not affected by the recall.