Japanese automotive manufacturer Toyota has announced a massive new recall resulting from a software glitch in its newer cars. The recall impacts nearly 460,000 vehicles in the US alone and could impact thousands more around the world.
Toyota says the recalled vehicles have a software glitch that can take place when the car is restarted. According to the official recall notice, this glitch can cause the affected vehicle to disable the electronic stability control system.
The Toyota software glitch can reportedly deactivate the electronic stability control system. The stability control system is an advanced feature available in newer Toyota vehicles that uses a computer system to individually apply the brakes to any of the four tires, independent of the driver’s input.
The result of this system is that the computer can keep the car more stable and easier to control in unpredictable conditions. If the tires slip on a slick road or slippery surface, the system can kick in to help drivers navigate more easily. If this system is deactivated suddenly when drivers expected it to function, it could result in a traffic accident.
The glitch can occur when the affected vehicles are restarted. One of the car’s computers could fail to set the stability control system to the “on” mode, leaving it deactivated even while the car is in motion.
The sweeping recall impacts Toyota vehicles sold between 2020 and 2022. The impacted models include the RAV4 Prime, Mirai, Venza, Sienna Hybrid, RAV4 Hybrid, and Highlander Hybrid. What’s more, the recall doesn’t just affect Toyota’s vehicles – it also impacts the luxury automotive brand Lexus.
Lexus, a subsidiary of Toyota, uses the same computer technology as its parent company. Lexus cars made between 2020 and 2022 are also subject to this recall. The affected Lexus models include the LX600, LS500h, NX350h, and NX450h-plus.
If you drive a recalled Toyota or Lexus car, the manufacturer will notify you by mail starting in mid-June. Owners will be able to take their cars to authorized Toyota dealers to receive a free software update that will correct the glitch with the stability control system.
In the meantime, drivers are encouraged to exercise caution on the roads when they encounter unusual surfaces like dirt or snow. If they’ve become accustomed to the stability system, its sudden deactivation can come as a shock when the conditions become slick or hard to navigate.