Toyota Recalls More than 1 Million Hybrid Vehicles due Risk of Catching Fire

More than one million hybrid cars which may have an electrical fault are being recalled by Toyota.
Jessica Miley

Toyota is recalling more than one million cars due to a potential fire risk. The Japanese carmaker says the recall involves its Prius, Prius plug-in hybrid and C-HR SUV models. The recalled cars will undergo repair on an electrical problem, which if left unchecked has the potential to cause a fire.

Around 500,000 thousand of the recalled vehicles are based in Japan with 200,000 cars being recalled in the United States. The remainder of the defected cars are in Europe and other smaller markets.

US owners should receive recall notice in mail

US owners should expect to see a recall notice arriving by mail in the coming weeks. The cars are being recalled due to a problem with the wire harnesses that connect to the cars' power control units.

These have been found to wear away with use generating heat which can cause flames. "If sufficient heat is generated, there is an increased risk of a vehicle fire," a Toyota spokesman in Tokyo told CNN on Wednesday.

Toyota has not made comment as to whether anyone has been injured by the defect. Recalled cars will have their engine wire harness assembly inspected.

Vehicles, where the wire core is found to be exposed, will have a full engine wire harness assembly replacement. If upon inspection a wire core is not exposed, protective tape will be installed on the engine wire harness assembly.

Toyota will repair recalled cars free of charge

The affected cars were manufactured between June 2015 and May 2018. Customers who have their cars recalled are eligible for the problem to be fixed free of charge.

Affected customers will be notified by First Class mail however you can enter your vehicle identification or license plate number at Toyota's recall site to find out your car's status.

It isn’t the first time the Prius has experienced problems. More than 1.7 million of the vehicles were recalled in 2016 due to issues with the car's airbags an parking brakes.

Over the last few years, Toyota has also had to recall more than 20 million of its vehicles due to the Takata exploding airbag scandal. Toyota has manufactured the Prius since 1997 and was the world's first mass-produced hybrid car.

The popular family car is considered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) as among the cleanest vehicles sold in the United States, based on smog-forming emissions. The hybrid vehicle is a popular choice for consumers looking for fuel efficiency and green credentials that don’t have the ability to commit to a full-electric vehicle.

The 2018 model Prius Eco is ranked as the second most fuel efficient gasoline-powered car available in the United States without plug-in capability.