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82,200 Toyota, Lexus hybrid vehicles recalled

Toyota today voluntarily recalled 45,500 Toyota Highlander Hybrid and 36,700 Lexus RX 400h trucks from the 2006 and 2007 model years so it can inspect for a faulty part.

The Japanese carmaker said this morning that some models with the Intelligent Power Module inside the Hybrid System Inverter contains a control board with transistors that were "inadequately soldered." The transistors might be damaged as a result of heat caused by a large current flow during high-load driving. If this happens, warning lamps turn on on the instrument panel.

In most cases, the Highlander (pictured) and RX enter a "fail-safe driving mode." This results in reduced power that lets the Highlander and RX to be driven for short distances. In another scenario, the power supply circuit fuse could blow when the transistor is damaged. The vehicle is inoperable when this happens.

Toyota is seeking replacement parts right now. Owners will be notified when parts are obtained by the company.

Affected owners will be formally notified of the recall by first-class mail in July. After Toyota has secured replacement parts, it will send a second owner notification by first-class mail advising owners to make an appointment with a Toyota dealer for an inspection. If after an inspection replacement parts are needed, they will be provided free.

All affected vehicles were sold in the U.S.

Vehicle owners with questions can call the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331 or Lexus Customer Satisfaction at 1-800-255-3987.

Hawke Fracassa writes about the auto industry from Detroit for You can reach him at [email protected].

Image source: Toyota