Patrick Rall's picture

Toyota to repair 650,000 Prius models for high heat risks

Toyota has announced that they will repair over 650,000 Prius hybrids due to a concern over cooling system failures but the Japanese automaker is vehement that this is not another Toyota recall.

According to multiple sources including the Associated Press and Reuters, Toyota will voluntarily replace the coolant pump on 2004-2007 Prius models due to over 300 complaints in Japan of cooling system failures along with 28 reported cooling system failures outside of Japan. When the cooling system fails, it could cause the Prius to lose power as temperature climbs and with prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures, the lifespan of the hybrid components could be compromised.

Although a mechanical failure requiring an automaker to call back cars to dealerships to be fixed for free sounds an awful lot like another Toyota recall, the company insists that this is not a recall – as the mechanical failure is not one that would require a required recall and there is no safety risk caused by the overheating issue. However, when you look at all of the details of this announcement, it sure sounds like a recall in every way shy of government requirements and an inherent safety risk.

Of the 650,000 Prius hybrids included in this new non-required Toyota recall, roughly 378,000 are found in the United States, 180,000 are in Japan, 70,000 are in Europe and the rest are scattered around the globe. Toyota has not offered a definite timeframe as to when the owners of these 650,000 Prius hybrids will be instructed to bring their green car back to a dealership for the free repairs but this is likely to show up as another dent in Toyotas now-fading reputation for quality.


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