Of a total of about 2.43 million vehicles affected, 94% are the Prius and its derivatives, with the hybrid version of the Auris compact hatchback making up the remainder, Toyota spokesman Jean-Yves Jault said by email Friday. About 1.25 million of the cars are in Japan and 830,000 in North America, he said. Vehicles in Europe, China and other regions are also affected.
It is the second recall for the Prius in the space of a month, with the previous one involving more than 1 million hybrid cars due to the risk of fire. The vehicles in the current recall had been called back before, in February 2014 and July 2015, for a related issue, Jault said.
Shares of Toyota (TM) were little changed at the close of trading in Tokyo.
A failsafe mode designed to engage in the event of a hybrid system fault may not kick in because of a software glitch, causing the car to stall, according to a company statement. If that happens at higher speeds, there is increased risk of a crash. The company had received three reports in Japan related to the issue as of the end of September, but wasn’t aware of any crashes in the country, Jault said.
It’s one of the largest recalls for Toyota unrelated to Takata Corp. airbags or 2009’s unintended acceleration crisis. In 2016, Toyota also recalled some 2.87 million cars including the Prius for leaky fuel tanks, and a further 1.43 million mainly Prius vehicles for non-Takata airbags.