Toyota is recalling more than 250,000 Prius vehicles for a serious safety issue. A software glitch could cause the engine to stall.
Failsafe Mode Fails
According to a statement from Toyota, the issue is a problem with the “failsafe” mode.
“The involved vehicles were designed to enter a failsafe driving mode in response to certain hybrid system faults. Toyota has found that in rare situations, the vehicle may not enter a failsafe driving mode as intended,” a statement from Toyota read.
“If this occurs, the vehicle could lose power and stall. While power steering and braking would remain operational, a vehicle stall while driving at higher speeds could increase the risk of a crash.”
In other words, the system designed to protect occupants of the car could actually harm them instead. That’s clearly a bad thing, and Toyota is taking steps to correct the issue.
267,000 Priuses are involved in this recall in the US, as well as another 12,000 in Canada. The affected models and years are as follows:
- 2013-2015 Prius
- 2014-2015 Prius V
Toyota did not disclose whether the software glitch has caused any accidents or injuries. They plan to start notifying registered drivers in August. The fix will be a software update, conducted free of charge at an authorized dealership.
As always, if you’re not sure if a recall affects you, be proactive. Enter your vehicle identification number (VIN) into the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s database. You’ll be able to see any active recalls on your vehicle dating back 15 years.
Prius Stalling Issues
This is not the first Toyota has had issues with stalling Priuses. The first recall, in 2014, pulled 700,000 Prius cars over an issue with the transistors. In extreme cases, the problem could shut down the car while driving.
In 2015, the automaker recalled over 100,000 Prius V hybrids. The 2012-2014 models could lose power while driving thanks to an issue with the hybrid motor.
You’d think that Toyota would have figured things out by then, but another recall in 2018 proved to be the tipping point. The Prius C was recalled then, sparking outrage over Toyota’s handling of what should have been a simple fix.
According to court documents from a lawsuit against the automaker, 20,000 Prius owners had the powertrain of their vehicle fail. We hope that the latest recall will be a relatively simple fix for a serious issue. However, given Toyota’s track record with Prius problems, we aren’t optimistic.
Toyota did not recommend that Prius owners stop driving their hybrid vehicles. Be advised, though, that the engine can stall without warning.