Toyota to recall 2.4 million hybrid vehicles over stalling issue

The Toyota Prius

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 includes Prius and Auris models, covers vehicles produced between October 2008 and November 2014.

The company is contacting all known owners of the affected cars; it's also possible to check a vehicle using the license plate or VIN via the Toyota recall database.

To address the issue, it said in a statement, Toyota is actively developing the latest software which will take approximately two to three months to develop for most of the involved vehicles.

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The defect occurs in "rare situations", Toyota said.

While the car's power steering and braking still function, a stall at high speeds could increase the risk of a crash, the company said.

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

The problem identified arises when the cars fail to enter "failsafe driving mode as intended".

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The Prius and Prius V vehicles may contain a software fault in their ECU.

A failsafe mode created to engage in the event of a hybrid system fault may not kick in because of a software glitch, causing the vehicle to stall, according to a company statement.

Should this occur, the vehicle could lose power and stall, although functions such as the power steering, brakes and lights would still work. "All auto owners are encouraged to routinely check their vehicle identification number (VIN) for any open recall on Nhtsa.gov/recalls".

In 2016, Toyota announced the recall of 3.37 million vehicles globally over problems with air bags and a fuel emission control unit.

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