Toyota recalls 2.4 million hybrid vehicles due to stalling problems

The Toyota Prius

Japanese auto giant Toyota has announced a recall of more than 2.4 million hybrid vehicles worldwide because of a fault in their systems that could cause them to lose power.

The recall, which covers vehicles sold in Japan, North America and Europe, affects 55,519 Prius, Prius+ and Auris models in the United Kingdom built between October 2008 and November 2014. See the chart below.

The recall is meant to address situations in which the failure of a specific component, coupled with hard acceleration, could cause the vehicle to lose power rather than enter a fail-safe driving mode.

Toyota Ireland said they will be contacting all affected customers directly by mail to arrange to have their vehicles checked.

Japan's transportation ministry said Toyota had reported three malfunctions locally related to the issue, but no accidents.

"If this occurs, the vehicle could lose power and stall".

"There have been no incidence of injury or accident in Australia because of the fault", a Toyota spokesperson told 9NEWS.

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Satoru Takada, an analyst at Tokyo-based research and consulting firm TIW, said the impact of the recall couldn't be assessed immediately but it "at least raised concerns as Prius is Toyota's leading brand".

"While power steering and braking would remain operational", Toyota says, "a vehicle stall while driving at higher speeds could increase the risk of a crash".

When it comes to buying a new auto, you'll be looking for a vehicle that you can rely on.

Auto owners of Prius, Prius + and Auris hybrid models are advised to ensure the software on their vehicle is updated - but drivers do not need to do anything just yet.

Vehicles sold in China, Africa, Oceania and other regions are also affected.

Affected drivers will be sent a letter asking them to book in their vehicle for a software upgrade at their nearest Toyota retailer. Those problems were also fixed by software updates to vehicles' motor electronic control units (ECUs) and hybrid drive ECUs.

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