Toyota Calls Back RAV4 SUVs Over Scary Software Glitch
Toyota is recalling nearly 17,000 RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid sport utility vehicles, citing a software glitch that could potentially cause the vehicles to unexpectedly shut down while driving.
The issue arises when a driver is using EV mode in cold temperatures and suddenly presses the accelerator pedal, the company explained in a news release. This could cause the battery voltage to drop below a safety threshold, triggering a warning message before shutting down the hybrid system and, eventually, the vehicle.
“The Hybrid Vehicle Control ECU (HEV-ECU) in the subject plug-in hybrid electric vehicles contains software that could cause the hybrid system to shut down after driving continuously in ‘EV mode’ in cold temperatures and then the accelerator pedal is rapidly pressed to further accelerate the vehicle, the company said. “System shut down with a loss of motive power at higher speeds can increase the risk of a crash.”
The recall covers certain 2021 Rav4 Prime SUVs produced between November 2019 and June 2021.
Toyota said the first report of the defect came from Europe but acknowledged that it has also received at least five warranty claims over the issue in the U.S.
The company told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it will notify owners of recalled vehicles by early April. The company is asking owners to take their vehicles to a local dealer for inspection and a software update, free of charge.
Other Toyota Recalls
These kinds of serious safety recalls are, unfortunately, old hat for Toyota and other major car manufacturers. They call back millions of vehicles combined every year, citing a wide range of defects that put everyone on the road at risk.
Toyota, for instance, last year recalled nearly half a million Highlander SUVs and other vehicles. The company said a separate software glitch could inadvertently disable the electronic stability control system, increasing the risk of a crash.
The automaker also announced last year that it finally came up with a fix for faulty fuel pumps in a wide range of cars, which had previously prompted the recall of 3.3 million vehicles. The problem could cause cars to stall unexpectedly, increasing the risk of an accident, the company told federal regulators.
How the California Lemon Law Works
Fortunately, Toyota and other car owners in California have some important rights and options under the state’s lemon law.
Formally known as the Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, the lemon law requires Tesla and other auto manufacturers to perform a wide variety of repairs on cars while they are under warranty. It also forces manufacturers to buy back (or replace, in some situations) cars that they cannot or simply refuse to fix.
Talk with a California Lemon Law Attorney
If you are a car owner or lessor stuck with a lemon or locked in a dispute with a manufacturer over repairs, the lemon law attorneys at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help.
Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a lawyer today.