UPDATE 10/11/18: A Toyota spokesperson told Car and Driver that the current recall described in this story does not include the Prius Plug-In. Recall information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had erroneously said it was included.
Toyota is recalling 975,000 cars in the United States for stalling and airbag problems, the company said on Friday.
Prius hybrids can stall without warning due to a software error that won’t detect powertrain problems and correspondingly won’t place the car in a “limp home” mode that restricts speed. This is the third time Toyota has tried to fix this defect since February 2014, when it recalled 698,457 Prius models from 2010–2014 for ECUs with faulty transistors that could disable the electric motor or inverter. Toyota then updated the software. In July 2015, Toyota recalled 108,624 Prius V models from 2012–2014 for the same issue and again updated the software. The new recall involves all cars from both previous recalls, and Toyota will try a third time with another update. Toyota did not say how many customers reported stalling incidents, whether there were accidents, or when customers could bring in their cars for repair. The plug-in model and the Prius C are not included in the recall, Toyota said.
The automaker is recalling another 168,000 sedans, trucks, and SUVs for more ECU problems that can shut off some or all of the airbags. The 2018–2019 Tundra, Sequoia, and the 2019 Avalon have faulty software that can disable the airbags upon engine start. Frontal, side, knee, and curtain airbags are all affected in these vehicles. Toyota did not say if owners would see an airbag warning light on the instrument panel or if it knew of any reported accidents. Filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration were not available.
In September, Toyota recalled 192,000 Prius models from 2016–2018 for electrical shorts and engine fires. In November 2017, Toyota recalled the 2012–2015 Prius Plug-in for fuses that could similarly shut down the entire car while driving. In October 2016, Toyota recalled 91,585 Prius hybrids from 2016–2017 due to parking brakes that could fail to engage.
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