Toyota is recalling some 1.9 million Prius cars worldwide, around 700 of them in Ireland, because of a computer problem that could cause the vehicle to stop.
The recall affects the hybrid ultra-green Prius model manufactured between March 2009 and February 2014.
The company, which has had a number of recalls in recent years including some involving the Prius, said there had been 11 incidents in Europe of the computer problem but there had been no accidents or injuries.
It said the latest incident involved a possible issue with the software “used to control the boost converter in the intelligent power module”.
The boost converter is required when driving with a high system load, for example when accelerating hard from standstill.
The company said today: “Toyota has identified that the software setting could lead to higher thermal stress occurring in certain insulated-gate bipolar transistors in the boost converter which may lead to them deforming or being damaged.
“Should this happen, warning lights may be illuminated and the car is likely to switch to ‘failsafe’ operation. It can still be driven, but with reduced power. In limited cases the hybrid system may shut down, causing the vehicle to stop. The driver will not experience any change in the vehicle’s behaviour or performance prior to the problem occurring.”
Toyota added that the issue would not occur in other of the company’s hybrid vehicles as these used different systems.
The recall will involve an update of the control software