Software glitch leads to Toyota Prius mass recall

9 Feb 2010

Car manufacturer Toyota announced today that it is to recall more than 400,000 hybrid cars globally, including its new 2010 model Prius as well as the Lexus Division 2010 HS 250h, due to braking problems.

The voluntary safety recall of the Prius and Lexus HS 250h is being carried out to update software in the vehicle’s anti-lock brake system (ABS), says Toyota US, with no other Toyota, Lexus, or Scion vehicles involved in this.

The global recall for the Prius is for the latest, third-generation model built before 27 January, 2010, and involves 8,500 cars in the UK, 200,000 in Japan, and 133,000 of this Prius model in the US.

“The recall will allow Toyota dealers to perform the software update on 2010 Prius vehicles sold prior to this running production change. Only Prius vehicles produced since May 2009 and all HS 250h vehicles are subject to this recall,” Toyota said in a statement.

“This recall will consist of a software upgrade in the anti-lock braking system. The procedure will be carried out free of charge and will take approximately 40 minutes using standard test equipment in use at all authorised Toyota service centres,” said Toyota UK on its official blog.

First and second-generation Prius vehicles use a different braking system and are not involved.

While Toyota says that to date there have been no accidents linked to this braking fault, the recall is being taken “in response to reports of inconsistent brake feel during slow and steady braking on bumpy or slick road surfaces when the anti-lock braking system (ABS) is actuated”.

Cars with this problem are still safe to drive and at no time is the driver left without brakes, said the company.

By Marie Boran