Having withdrawn almost five million vehicles in May due to faulty airbag inflators, the world’s number one automaker has announced that it will recall a further 625,000 hybrid cars – this time in relation to a suspected software glitch. Of the total, approximately 340,000 are in Japan, 160,000 in Europe and the rest in North America, though there have been no reports yet of crashes, injuries or fatalities linked to the issue.
The danger for Toyota now is that its reputation for delivering safe and reliable products is
The faulty settings are believed to result in higher thermal stress in parts of the power converter, which could then damage the part and, in limited cases, shut the vehicle down. Only those with a Prius v or Auris Hybrid, manufactured in the period through May 2010 to November 2014 are affected, and drivers need only take their vehicles to their local dealer to update the software for both the motor/generator control ECU and the hybrid control ECU.
The danger for Toyota now is that its reputation for delivering safe and reliable products is in jeopardy, with millions of owners having been alerted in the past year to faults of various sorts. The impact has been dampened somewhat by the mere fact that rival brands have suffered the same fate, with Honda and GM having taken cars off the road also. The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study in May saw the automaker retain its title as the world’s most valuable car brand, although it was down two percent on the year previous to $28.9bn and slip-ups much like the software glitch threaten to sully Toyota’s hard-earned reputation.