Toyota is recalling nearly two million of its Prius hybrid cars worldwide because of a software fault that can make the car slow down or even stop while it's being driven.
Around half of the third-generation Prius cars being recalled are in Japan and over 700,000 are in North America, the carmaker said. In Blighty, the recall affects 30,790 registered Prius vehicles.
No accidents or injuries have occurred because of the fault, but Toyota said it had received field reports of the issue, including 11 reports in Europe.
"The software’s current settings could result in higher thermal stress in certain transistors, potentially causing them to become damaged. If this happens, various warning lights will illuminate and the vehicle can enter a failsafe mode," Toyota explained in a statement.
"In rare circumstances, the hybrid system might shut down while the vehicle is being driven, resulting in the loss of power and the vehicle coming to a stop. The driver will not experience any change in the vehicle's behaviour or performance prior to the problem occurring."
This is the third recall for the five-year-old version of the Prius, with the last one happening just last June for problems with the brake accumulator. The current recall is so that the control software can be updated. Toyota expects the update to take around 40 minutes to complete and owners will not be charged for it. ®