Toyota Motor Corporation is recalling all of the 1.9 million newest-generation Prius hybrid vehicles worldwide because of a programming error that would cause their gas-electric hybrid systems to shut down. According to a report in The New York Times, roughly half of the recalled Prius vehicles are in Japan while 713,000 are in North America and 130,000 are in Europe. Company officials say they are unaware of any accidents or injuries relating to this problem.

The Japanese automaker said problems in software settings on the newest Prius generation, which first went on sale in 2009, could stress and damage transistors. This could set off warning lights and prompt the vehicle to power down as part of a fail-safe mode. In some cases, the hybrid system might shut down as the vehicle is being driven result in loss of power and the vehicle coming to a stop. Owners will need to take the vehicle to a dealer to fix the problem.

Toyota’s Quality Control Issues

Quality problems have continued to plague Toyota for the last several years especially after its recall of more than 10 million vehicles for sudden acceleration in 2009 and 2010. Last month, Toyota halted the sale of several popular models including the Corolla and Camry over concern that about 30,000 new vehicles were equipped with faulty or malfunctioning heated seats. Toyota has also paid billions of dollars in fines and settlements over its handling of the recalls related to sudden acceleration issues. The Japanese automaker is nearing a deal with the Justice Department to settle a four-year criminal investigation into the way Toyota disclosed complaints relating to the sudden acceleration issues. Many private lawsuits still remain.

Dangers of Stalling Vehicles

Although Toyota officials say no accidents or injuries have been reported, stalling vehicles can pose significant dangers. If you own one of these recalled vehicles, please take it to your dealer right away to make the necessary fixes. In the case of recalls, all repairs or adjustments should be made free of charge. If you have been injured as a result of these or other auto defects, please contact an experienced auto product liability lawyer to better understand your legal rights and options.

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