Japanese giant automaker Toyota has announced a recall for 1.9 million Prius Hybrid cars sold globally from 2010, out of which 167 units are sold in India. The recall is for replacing faulty software in car that may result the car into going in ‘limp-home mode’ (fail safe mode) and stalling suddenly in the middle of the road.
Now that’s not a good news when you own an expensive car and it might stall in middle of road shutting all its systems and when you didn’t do anything un-usual. Though no such accidents are reported yet in India, the company has taken positive note and recalled 1.9 million vehicles globally including 167 units in India.
The recall process will start from today where Indian subsidiary Toyota Kirloskar Motors (TKM) will call customers and carry out repair process free of cost. The total process is supposed to take 1-1.5 hour. In Sept-2013, Toyota also recalled approximately 133,091 hybrids from 2006-2010, including the Highlander and Lexus RX 400h models. This recall was also regarding limp-home mode which may result stalling suddenly by switching off all hybrid systems and entering into limp-home model.
What is limp-home mode?
Limp-home mode is basically to limp car to your home / safe place in worst case when car ECU detects some potential failure with sensors. Limp Mode is implemented in hardware and will very rarely ever occur, this mode is not intended to let you start the vehicle or to drive home, it is intended to keep a vehicle running long enough to allow it to be stopped at a place of safety. But a vehicle will not usually start in Limp Mode. Manufacturers use various terms for this mode and is also known as fail safe mode or backup mode.
Toyota has been taking such steps since 2011 for safe cars in India. In 2011, the company recalled 41000 units of Etios and small car Liva in India to replace faulty inlet pipe to fuel tank. Las year, Toyota recalled Altis diesel sedan for faulty drive shafts and then another batch of Corolla to rectify defective airbags as a part of a global recall.
Since industry body SIAM initiated a voluntary recall policy in July 2012, automobile companies in India are active in recalling vehicles in case of safety issues.