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Toyota Motor Corp Wednesday issued a recall covering all 1.9 million of the third-generation Prius cars sold worldwide, due to a programming glitch in their hybrid system.
The affected vehicles were manufactured between March 2009 and February 2014. Toyota said that 997,000 Prius cars are in Japan; 713,000 in North America, with another 130,000 in Europe. No accidents have been reported related to the defect, Reuters reports.
Toyota said the problem was in the software used to control the boost converter in a module that is part of the hybrid system.
"The setting of the software could cause higher thermal stress in certain transistors within the booster converter, and these transistors could deform or become damaged as a result," Toyota said.
"This will result in various warning lights being illuminated, and will probably cause the vehicle to enter a failsafe mode," it said, noting that the car can be driven but with reduced driving power.
In limited cases, the hybrid system could shut down, causing the vehicle to stop, possibly while it is being driven, Toyota said.
Hard to believe, but, the latest action would be the third recall for the current, five-year-old Prius, most recently in June last year for problems related to the brake accumulator. The Prius is one of Toyota's best-selling models, and has become synonymous with the fuel-saving hybrid technology.
Toyota, the world's top-selling automaker, does not disclose cost estimates for recalls. Consumers will decide whether it's worth the cost of ownership, or, whether they've had too many bumps in the road.