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Electronic Control Unit recall for Toyota Prius vehicles

Toyota advises that a number of its 3rd generation Prius vehicles are subject to a recall relating to the Electronic Control Unit.

The recall affects 1003 Prius vehicles sold new in New Zealand, manufactured between March 2009 and February 2014.

In affected vehicles the fault is a potential Electronic Control Unit (ECU) malfunction due to high operating environment temperatures.

If increased thermal stress occurs, damage could be caused. This would result in illumination of warning lights on the instrument panel. In most cases the vehicle would enter a fail-safe mode, resulting in reduced power. In limited instances, it is possible the system could shut down resulting in the vehicle stopping.

Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Customer Services Spencer Morris says the recalls are precautionary. There have been no reported instances of ECU failure in New Zealand related to this condition.

“Instances in New Zealand are extremely unlikely because New Zealand conditions mean engines don’t generally reach operating temperatures where this could be an issue.”

The required software upgrade to remedy the condition is being undertaken immediately however.

“Owners of vehicles affected will receive a notification letter and are advised to contact their Toyota dealer.” says Mr Morris. “The remedial action will take approximately one hour, and will be free of charge to customers.”

Toyota New Zealand’s safety policy is to support all Toyota vehicles regardless of importing channel, Mr Morris says, so used imports brought to our attention would also receive the upgrade if required.

Q&A

Toyota New Zealand announced on 12 Feb 2014 that a number of vehicles are subject to an ECU software recall. Affected owners will be sent a notification letter. To view official Media Releases, please click here. Frequently Asked Questions can be seen below.

Q.    Why have you recalled vehicles in New Zealand?
A.    As a precautionary measure, a number of vehicles are subject to a recall to enable a software upgrade.

Q.    What do I need to do?
A.    Toyota will send a notification letter to affected owners advising of the issue and asking them to make an appointment with their Authorised Toyota Dealer. We will provide a free software upgrade at minimal inconvenience at Toyota dealerships nationwide for affected vehicles

Q.    What models are affected?
A.    There are 1003 affected vehicles sold new in New Zealand subject to ECU recall. These are third generation Prius manufactured between the following dates:
Prius – March 2009 to February 2014

Q.    How do I know if my vehicle is subject to this?
A.    Toyota New Zealand will contact the current owners of the vehicles it has imported to advise them of the corrective actions required. In the interim, or if you have any concerns, you can contact an Authorised Toyota Dealer or our Customer Dialogue Centre to determine if your vehicle is affected using registration number.

Q.    My car is a used import, if it is affected, is it covered?
A.    Yes. Toyota New Zealand's safety recall policy is to support parts and labour costs of any new or used Toyota vehicle, irrespective of the importing channel.

Q.    What exactly is a recall?
A.    A vehicle safety recall is conducted by a vehicle manufacturer in the event of a component failure (or potential failure) that may prevent the driver from controlling the vehicle in a safe and proper manner. Examples of such components include brakes, steering, suspension, headlights and airbags.

Q.    What is wrong with my vehicle?
A.    In affected vehicles, there is potential for Electronic Control Unit malfunction due to high operating environment temperatures.

Q.    What would occur if this was an issue for my vehicle?
A.    If increased thermal stress occurs, damage could be caused. This would result in illumination of warning lights on the instrument panel. In most cases the vehicle would enter a fail-safe mode, resulting in reduced power. In limited instances, it is possible the system could shut down resulting in the vehicle stopping.

Q.    Have there been any serious incidents in New Zealand?
A.    None. Toyota is proactively providing a software upgrade to remedy the issue as a precautionary measure. Instances in New Zealand are extremely unlikely. This is because New Zealand conditions mean engines don’t generally reach operating temperatures where this could be an issue.

Q.    How long will it take to repair?
A.    Remedial action will take approximately one hour, and will be at no cost to customers.

Q.    How will my vehicle be fixed?
A.    An Authorised Toyota Dealer will inspect the vehicle and undertake the upgrade.

Q.    How much does it cost?
A.    It’s free. If an inspection or repair is necessary, this is done at no cost to customers.

Q.    If I have more questions who do I talk to?
A.    We are here to help, so please contact us or your preferred Toyota dealer.