Innovation is sometimes subject to errors, and Toyota can confirm that, having the experience with their best-selling Toyota Prius.
After the floor mats that have been trapping accelerators, or the faulty gas pedals, defective braking systems and stalling engines, now the automaker has to perform repairs to the pumps that cool the hybrid system.
Around 650,000 Priuses are affected by the flaw, although there have been no deadly accidents related to the subject. Toyota claims this issue isn’t worth a recall, but the repair is merely a “customer satisfaction campaign”. There are 390,000 cars in North America, 180,000 in Japan and 70,000 in Europe to be fixed.
When the issue occurs, the car’s hybrid system switches off and the regular gasoline engine takes over, said Paul Nolasco, Toyota spokesman. The Priuses affected by the issue are made between 2004 and 2007 (the second version of the car).
Honda has also been accused of unintended acceleration and braking problems recently, and not only in its hybrid models. There are literally millions of these cars on the roads, but any safety issue has to be alarming enough because it can ultimately cause deaths.
If, for example, the hybrid system hadn’t automatically been switched off at the occurrence of the cooling issue, the batteries in the cars involved may have caught fire and that would have been a truly important problem… in 650,000 of them, at least.