Toyota to fix 650,000 Prius hybrids for heat risk
DETROIT/ TOKYO: Toyota Motor Corp will pay to fix about 650,000 Prius models worldwide for a coolant pump glitch that could cause the topselling hybrid to overheat and lose power, the automaker said.
The repair campaign covers Prius cars for the model years 2004 to 2007. The bulk of the cars, or 378,000 units, are in the United States.
The Japanese automaker said it had not received any reports of accidents or injuries from problems with the pump, which circulates coolant for the hybrid system.
Major automakers, including Toyota, often conduct repair campaigns that are separate from safety recalls filed with U.S. regulators in cases where they determine that a defect does not present a safety risk.
Toyota said the design of the electric water pump let air bubbles enter the system, slowing coolant circulation and allowing the hybrid's components to heat up.
The heating up of the components could trigger a warning light. If left unattended, the Prius could overheat and drop into a "fail-safe" mode where engine power would be reduced, Toyota said.
Toyota said it would begin notifying owners of the Prius repair campaign in the United States in early December.
The automaker has used a different pump design on the Prius hybrid since that time and uses a different type of pump for other hybrids, Toyota spokesman John Hanson said.
Toyota will cover the cost of the repairs, including more than $100 in labor for each Prius fixed at a U.S. dealership.
The repair campaign on one of the best-known Toyota vehicles comes at the end of a year in which the top global automaker has struggled to distance itself from a damaging series of recalls and concerns about its quality management.
Since last November, Toyota has recalled about 14 million vehicles worldwide, including about 11 million in the United States.
Moreover, The world's biggest automobile company Toyota Motor Corporation has finally seems to realize the growing importance of the Indian automobile mass market. The Japanese giant which is present in the country through a partnership with Kirloskar group had been successful with its few products like sedans Corrola and Camry and the famous utility vehicle Innova. But now finally it is entering the mass market with its Etios launch which will be unveiled in the sedan version first and the hatchback version later.
Toyota Corp President Akio Toyoda is flying down for the event on Wednesday which is seen as a very important event for Toyota in India along with its partner Kirloskar group. Toyota Kirlsokar Motors (TKM) is pulling out al stops to make Etios a success.
While the bookings for sedan start from December 1, the bookings for hatchback will begin from March.
According to agency reports, TKM's Deputy Managing Director (Marketing) Sandeep Singh has stated that bookings for Etios sedan would begin on December one with delivery to start from January one. But it also reported that Singh declined to talk about the price of Etios before the launch but said the sedan would compete with the likes of Swift Dzire and Tata Manza and the hatchback with Hyundai i20, Maruti Swift, Ford Figo and Polo of Volkswagen.
The reports stated that TKM targets to sell 70,000 units of Etios in the first year. "We are very excited about the launch. -Bloomberg