Thursday, June 30, 2011

Toyota and Lexus Hybrids Recalled Over Stalling Issues

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A problem with the electronics of the hybrid system, which could cause certain Lexus RX 400h and Toyota Highlander Hybrid SUVs to lose power or stop running, is the reason behind the Japanese carmaker’s latest recall.

Toyota said about 45,500 Highlander Hybrid and 36,700 Lexus RX 400h vehicles from the 2006 and 2007 model years sold in the USA are affected by the voluntary recall.

According to the automaker, the Intelligent Power Module (IPM) located inside the Hybrid System Inverter contains a control board with transistors that may have been “inadequately soldered and could be damaged from heat caused by a large current flow during high-load driving”.

Toyota said if the transistors are damaged, then the various warning lamps will illuminate on the instrument panel and in most cases, the vehicle will enter a fail-safe driving mode, resulting in reduced power in which the vehicle can still be driven for short distances. In some cases though the power supply circuit fuse could blow bringing the vehicle to complete stop.

The company noted that it does not have the necessary replacement parts readily available but is working on obtaining them. Toyota said it will notify owners once the replacement parts have been “produced in sufficient quantities”.


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