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Toyota recalls popular Prius hybrid

By The Los Angeles Times
Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Toyota Motor Corp. on Wednesday announced a vast global recall of its popular Prius hybrid to fix a software glitch that could cause the car to stall.

The Japanese automaker also enacted a recall of about 260,000 RAV4 sport utility vehicles, Tacoma trucks and Lexus RX350 SUVs sold in the United States to address a separate issue.

The Prius recall includes 1.9 million vehicles sold from 2010 through 2014 model years.

It involves about 1 million cars in Japan, about 700,000 in North America and the rest from Europe and other regions.

Toyota said it will update software in the electronic controls of the car.

The software's settings could create heat in some of the transistors in the circuits of the car, damaging the parts. When this happens, warning lights on the dashboard activate. In rare circumstances, the hybrid system might shut down while the vehicle is being driven, creating a sudden stall.

The automaker said it knows of no accidents or injuries resulting from the problem.

Toyota sold more than 234,000 Priuses in this country last year, making it one of the top-selling passenger cars.

In the other recalls, Toyota will update software on certain 2012 RAV4s, 2012-13 Tacomas, and 2012-13 Lexus RX350 models in order to address an electronic circuit condition that can cause the vehicle stability control, antilock brake and traction control functions to intermittently turn off.

“Toyota is trying to be more transparent and more aggressive than other automakers with recalls. But it doesn't seem to be that big of deterrent for consumers,” said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst with auto information company

“I don't think there is that big of an impact from something like a software update,” Caldwell said. “It is not a recall where there are crashes or people are dying.”



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