— A worldwide Toyota Prius and Prius v recall has been issued for about 752,000 cars that were designed to enter fail-safe modes when hybrid or inverter system faults occur.
The 2013-2015 Toyota Prius and 2014-2017 Toyota Prius v cars may experience hybrid faults that do not cause the cars to enter failsafe modes as designed.
The cars weren't included in a Prius recall announced in 2018 that included about 2.4 million vehicles worldwide. Toyota says they weren't part of the 2018 recall because the cars were originally equipped with a version of software with improved thermal management.
The software is used to control the boost converter in the intelligent power module (IPM) inside the inverter assembly of the Prius hybrid system.
Driving under high loads, such as applying nearly full throttle from a stop and then gradually accelerating to full throttle could cause higher thermal stress in specific transistors in the IPM, damaging the transistors.
Warning lights and messages will be activated, and it's possible an abnormally high voltage may exceed the limits of the software and IPM circuits.
The Prius is designed to enter a failsafe mode, but in this case the hybrid system will instead shut down while driving. Power steering and braking won't be affected, but a car that suddenly shuts down while in motion is a dangerous situation.
There are about 267,000 recalled Prius and Prius v cars in the U.S. and more than 11,500 in Canada.
Toyota dealers will update the hybrid system software once owners are notified by the end of August 2020. Toyota will also repair or replace the inverters if they have failed with specific hybrid system faults.
Toyota Prius and Prius v owners with questions should call 800-331-4331. Toyota's recall numbers are 20TB10 / 20TA10.