Toyota Recalls Prius Models Over Stalling Malfunction
Toyota is recalling nearly 1 million Prius vehicles over concerns about engine stalling. The move marks the Japanese car maker’s third attempt to fix a software bug that can cause vehicles to stop without warning.
“If the hybrid system shuts down unexpectedly, it can increase the risk of a crash,” Toyota said in a recall notice filed with the National Highway Transit Safety Administration.
A software glitch in Prius hybrids may cause some vehicles not to be able to notice powertrain problems, according to Car and Driver. That means the cars won’t automatically restrict speeds when those problems arise. The result may be “excessive voltage” causing the system to shut down without first entering failsafe mode.
“A hybrid system that shuts down without entering a failsafe mode could result in the vehicle losing motive power while driving at higher speeds, increasing the risk of a crash,” Toyota said in the recall announcement.
Toyota has notified owners and dealers of the issue and is offering a software upgrade meant to fix the bug. That follows similar attempts to fix the problem in 2014 and 2015. The new recall includes the vehicles that were part of the previous recalls, a range of 2010-2014 models.
Legal Protections for California Car Buyers
The Prius recall is the latest example of how undetected defects can make certain cars dangerous to everyone on the road. The good news for car buyers in California is that state law provides some legal protections in the event you get stuck with a lemon.
The California Lemon Law requires car makers to repair various defects and other problems with the vehicle while it’s under warranty. If that doesn’t work, the manufacturer is obligated under the law to compensate the owner for the purchase price and/or down payment and financing charges, as well as other expenses like car rentals, towing and repair costs. The manufacturer may also offer to replace the car instead.
The law applies to both new and used cars, if repair attempts happen during the vehicle’s warranty period. The number of opportunities the manufacturer has to be given to fix the problem before invoking the law depends on the type of defect and the specific safety concerns it poses.
Talk With an Experienced California Lemon Law Lawyer
If you’re a California car owner driving a lemon, it is vital that you consult an experienced lawyer to consider your rights an options. The attorneys at the Bickel Law Firm have represented hundreds of clients in defective vehicle cases across the state. We understand the significant stress that can come with haggling with car dealers and manufacturers. Our lawyers work aggressively to resolve these cases for the people that we represent.
Our offices are conveniently located in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with an attorney.