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.

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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

DISCUSSION

Technozilla
Technozilla

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.