Toyota Motor Corporation has just issued a global safety recall of 625,000 Prii (plural for Prius) in order to mend a software glitch that can shut down the hybrid system of the car entirely.
"In the involved vehicles, the current software settings for the motor/generator control ECU and hybrid control ECU could result in higher thermal stress in certain transistors, potentially causing them to become damaged. If this happens, 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, resulting in the loss of power and the vehicle coming to a stop," said Toyota's official statement on the recall.
Toyota has stated that there have been no cases of the faulty software causing an accident or fatality though in most cases, drivers will be alerted by the problem via warning lights on the dashboard.
The recall affects the Prius v, Prius alpha and certain Prius Plus models. Vehicle produced between May 2010 and November 2014 may be affected with the faulty software.
In Japan, the automaker reported 340,000 models to be recalled to the Ministry of Land, while Reuters reports 160,000 units from Europe. According to the automaker: 109,000 units are being recalled in the US, while 9,519 are in Canada; the rest have yet to be disclosed. But Toyota will contact owners of affected models through registered mail.