Hybrid SUV Recall: Toyota and Lexus Vehicles Affected
Toyota announced a hybrid SUV recall on Wednesday in order to correct a problem that impacts the affected vehicles' gasoline-electric power systems, causing them to lose power or stop running completely.
The recall covers the Highlander Hybrid and Lexus Rx400h models sold in the United States during 2006 and 2007.
No other models are affected.
The recall is tied to inadequate transistor soldering on the Intelligent Power Module (IPM) control boards, which the Detroit Free Press reports can lead to wire damage in high-load driving conditions that generate extreme heat.
Cars that experience a problem will be alerted via a warning lamp on the dashboard, according to Toyota. Vehicles will also either enter fail-safe driving mode, permitting the car to drive short distances on reduced power, or, if a transistor blows, cruise to a complete stop.
There have been no reports of accidents.
Repairs for the recall cover about 45,500 Highlander Hybrid and 36,700 Lexus Rx400h vehicles, but customers involved in the hybrid SUV recall will not be alerted until mid-July, when the company expects to start scheduling service appointments.
Dealers will inspect the parts and install a replacement at no charge to the customer.
The delay is a result of March's Japanese earthquake and tsunami, from which many of Toyota's primarily parts supplies are still recovering. Additionally, the Wall Street Journal reports that the company wishes to have enough replacement parts before it begins service.