Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 2.4 million vehicles worldwide to fix a problem with the hybrid system that could cause the vehicles to lose power. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the recall mainly affects certain Prius variants produced between October 2008 and November 2014. In the United States alone, this recall covers more than 800,000 vehicles – including the model year 2010-2014 Prius and the larger model year 2012-2014 Prius v. The recall also covers certain hybrid versions of the Auris hatchback, which is not sold in the United States.
Vehicles Could Stall
The automaker said the vehicles are designed to enter a “fail-safe mode” if the gas-electric hybrid system fails. This is supposed to give the vehicles sufficient power just to get off the road. A problem with the system could prevent vehicles from entering this mode, which means they could lose power suddenly and without warning. The vehicles that are part of this recall were subject to previous ones in 2014 and 2015.
Toyota said some parts of the control system could be damaged by heat causing the hybrid system to reset without entering the fail-safe mode. When the recall begins, dealers would update the vehicle’s software to address the latest defect in which hard acceleration and hardware failure could cause the vehicle to stall and lose power.
The automaker will contact owners of the affected vehicles when the software update becomes available. This is the second largest recall in as many months for Toyota. In September, Toyota recalled more than a million Prius and hybrid versions of the C-HR crossover SUVs for potential fire hazards.
Auto Product Liability Issues
When vehicles stall suddenly without warning, the consequences can be devastating. A stalled vehicle on the freeway or highway can be extremely dangerous because there is the danger of getting struck. If your vehicle stalls suddenly and there is no way to get it safely to the side of the road, you could be facing a real danger.
If you have suffered injuries as a result of defective vehicles, you may be able to file an auto product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced auto defect lawyer will be able advise victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.