Toyota Is Recalling Millions of Prius Hybrids to Fix a Software Bug

Illustration for article titled Toyota Is Recalling Millions of Prius Hybrids to Fix a Software Bug

Toyota is recalling 1.9 million Prius hybrids to fix a serious bug in the engine control unit which can cause transistors to overheat—and potentially cause the hybrid system to shut down while driving.


The bug can see the car revert to failsafe mode in the case of overheating, and it can still be stopped—but it sure needs fixing. The bug affect the third-generation Prius. There are reportedly 700,00o affected vehicles in the US, compared to just under a million in Japan and, all told, Reuters reports the overall figure to be 1.9 million.

The problem can be solved in 40 minutes at a dealer by installing a software patch. Sadly, though, it can't be done over the air—like on a Tesla—so that means that each and every owner will have to stop in for the update. That's a lot of work for Toyota to undertake, but it's also likely to tarnish the image of the world's best-known hybrid. [Toyota]

Image by The Listener under Creative Commons license



Ugh. I hope there never comes a time when the car's software is so buggy that it can speed up o its own and not brake. DARPA seems to have that sort of software.

My 2006 Mazda5 had the well known "transaxel problem". Basically the automatic gear would make a very loud "clunk" noise when going into first. This started happening right after the guarantee expired. To this day I am convinced that it was written in the software intentionally.