Toyota Owners Experiencing Overheating Electrical Systems
April 15, 2019—Jordan Felo was headed home not long ago in his 2010 Toyota Prius, when the vehicle suddenly lost power and slowed to a crawl, reported Los Angeles Times.
Felo had taken the Prius to a Toyota dealer a few weeks earlier for a 2018 safety recall. New software was installed to fix an overheating problem in the electrical power system. Yet when Felo hit the accelerator pedal, an inverter overheated and fried itself. Customer experiences raise questions about the adequacy of Toyota's attempts over the last five years to stop overheating in the Prius electrical system.
Originally, Toyota issued a safety recall in 2014 to address the inverter defect in model years 2010-14, an attempt to fix the problem on about 800,000 cars in the U.S. by modifying software that controls the hybrid electrical system. One of Toyota’s largest dealers in southern California, Roger Hogan, told the manufacturer in 2017 that he was seeing inverter failures on vehicles that had received the software modification, according to the report.
There was a second recall in Oct. 2018. The Prius is designed so that if the inverter fails, the car enters a fail-safe mode, known as limp-home, in which it can move slowly out of traffic to “enhance safety,” the company statement said. The 2018 recall was aimed at fixing the vehicle’s potential failure to enter limp-home, the company said in both its statement and a regulatory filing.