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October 19, 2005

Toyota Recalls 75,000 Prius Hybrids for Software Glitch

Toyota Motor Sales announced on October 13th that it will carry out a voluntary recall of about 75,000 Prius hybrids sold in the United States due to a software problem. Certain 2004 and early 2005 model year Priuses could enter a "fail-safe" mode that shuts down the engine, allowing only limited operation using the electric motor. The problem, caused by a software error in the Electronic Control Module (ECM) system, triggers up to five warning lights while shutting down the engine. However, the electrically powered brakes and steering will continue to function normally, and the electric motor will provide enough power to allow the driver to pull the vehicle over and away from traffic. Once the vehicle is stopped, the driver may be able to restart the engine by pushing the start button. Beginning in late October, Toyota will send notification letters to owners of the involved vehicles and will reprogram the ECM systems at no cost. See the Toyota press release.

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