Toyota recalls 1.9m Prius hybrids due to computer fault

Around 700 vehicles in Republic part of recall to fix problem that could cause vehicle to stop

The logo of Toyota  Prius hybrid car is seen on its body at the company’s showroom in in this Tokyo. The company has  issued a recall covering all 1.9 million of the third-generation Prius cars sold worldwide, due to a programming glitch in their hybrid system. Photograph: Reuters

The logo of Toyota Prius hybrid car is seen on its body at the company’s showroom in in this Tokyo. The company has issued a recall covering all 1.9 million of the third-generation Prius cars sold worldwide, due to a programming glitch in their hybrid system. Photograph: Reuters

Wed, Feb 12, 2014, 08:27

Car marker Toyota is recalling 1.9 million of its Prius hybrid cars because of a computer problem that could cause the vehicle to stop.

It is understood around 700 vehicles in Ireland will be part of the recall.

Toyota is recalling nearly 31,000 UK-registered cars because of a computer problem that could cause the vehicle to stop.

The recall affects the hybrid ultra-green Prius model.

The company, which has had a number of recalls in recent years including some involving the Prius, said there had been 11 incidents in Europe of the computer problem but there had been no accidents or injuries.

It said the latest incident involved a possible issue with the software “used to control the boost converter in the intelligent power module”.

The boost converter is required when driving with a high system load, for example when accelerating hard from standstill.

The company said today: “Toyota has identified that the software setting could lead to higher thermal stress occurring in certain insulated-gate bipolar transistors in the boost converter which may lead to them deforming or being damaged.

“Should this happen, warning lights may be illuminated and the car is likely to switch to ‘failsafe’ operation. It can still be driven, but with reduced power. In limited cases the hybrid system may shut down, causing the vehicle to stop. The driver will not experience any change in the vehicle’s behaviour or performance prior to the problem occurring.”

Toyota added that the issue would not occur in other of the company’s hybrid vehicles as these used different systems.

PA