Toyota has recalled model year 2012 through 2015 Prius Plug-In hybrids over an issue related to the EV drive mode. Toyota says that the Prius' EV mode relies on a fuse that has a fault. The fix is a simple replacement of the fuse with an improved on that will not have the fault.
The defect manifests itself only in a certain scenario. The owner must operate the Prius in EV mode repeatedly operated under high-load driving conditions, such as during a long drive in a hilly area. Toyota says, "If the fuse malfunctions, warning lights and warning messages will illuminate."
When it happens, the vehicle can usually still be driven, but with reduced power. In limited cases, the hybrid drive system could shut down, resulting in the loss of motive power.
Thankfully, power steering and braking will not be affected. As with all such cases, NHTSA considers a loss of power dangerous while driving at higher speeds because it can increase the risk of a crash.
As with every recall in America, Toyota is required by federal law to contact owners by snail mail and to repair the issue at no cost to the vehicle's owner. Those Prius Plug-In owners who wish to see if they own one of the 39,000 cars affected by the recall can check right now by using Toyota's Recall Lookup service. All you need is your VIN, which is located in various places on your car, but is most easily found on most state registration forms.
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