Faulty Electronics Force Toyota to Recall C-HR, Plug-in Prius Hybrids

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
faulty electronics force toyota to recall c hr plug in prius hybrids

Late last week, Toyota announced it will conduct separate U.S. safety recalls of around 28,600 C-HR crossovers from the 2018 model year and approximately 39,900 Prius Plug-in Hybrids from 2012-2015.

For the affected C-HRs, there’s a possibility that the electronic parking brake might not operate properly. Toyota claims there is a chance the parking brake won’t disengage after it is applied. There is also a chance the faulty electronics might prevent it from being applied in the first place, which is a little more serious. In addition to creating a possible rollaway risk in certain situations, the automaker says it would be in noncompliance with a federal safety standards.

The issues affecting the Prius specifically deals with plug-in models. Affected units may have a faulty fuse that can malfunction if the car is operated in “EV mode” under sustained high-load driving conditions (i.e. perpetually uphill or carrying a lot of extra weight). If the fuse does go, drivers will be treated to a dazzling array of warning lights and warning messages.

Toyota claims a busted Prius may be able to operate under its own power — but will act crippled. However, there is a chance the hybrid system could shut down entirely and leave owners stranded by the side of the road. Fortunately, steering and braking should not be affected, so there’s no chance of the vehicle coming to a screeching halt on the expressway. Still, it’s probably best to pull off swiftly and safely before calling for a tow truck.

Toyota will issue an update for the C-HR’s electronic control unit software before the end of the month. Meanwhile, Prius owners will have to to wait until January to get their notification in the mail. Obviously, the fixes will be covered by the manufacturer. If you’re curious if your vehicle is one of the models affected, you can input your VIN into the NHTSA recall database or contact Toyota directly.

[Image: Toyota]

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3 of 5 comments
  • Wheatridger Wheatridger on Nov 20, 2017

    I'm glad my C-MAX has a manual parking brake. It's a car that strokes a nice balance between traditional analog & advanced digital features. It's not all in on the 21st Century that way, like this Toyota, and neither am I.

    • Brettc Brettc on Nov 21, 2017

      That's why I plan to buy one. It's a practical design (unlike the C-HR), gets decent fuel economy, and still has things like knobs for the radio and a normal parking brake. Plus they're cheap because it's too much of an oddball vehicle for most people.

  • Conundrum Conundrum on Nov 20, 2017

    Electronic parking brake, the solution to a question that nobody asked except cost accountants. No chance of modulating the braking force by how hard you tug on the lever. No, she's all or nuttin - kerang, yup, she's cast off the hawser, Mary! We're under way. But look at the console space we save, the PR doughheads keen, and darn me, well yes, there might be a few more square inches to store used Kleenex on. Life changing, that. Suitable for the digital crowd, ooh look, on/off. Sublety, wherefore art thou? Most suitable for the kind of people who find the C-HR kinda cute.

  • Luke42 I'm only buying EVs from here on out (when I have the option), so whoever backs off on their EV plans loses a shot at my business.
  • Dusterdude When there is a strike the union leadership talk about “brothers and sisters “ . They should give up that charade . Bottom line is they are trying to wring out every last penny they can and could care less ( putting it politely) about the future of the industry 5 - 10 years+ down the road
  • Ronin They all will back off, because the consumer demand is not there. Even now the market is being artificially propped up by gov subsidies.
  • Keith Some of us appreciate sharing these finds. Thank you. I always have liked these. It would a fun work car or just to bomb around in. Easy to keep running. Just get an ignition kill switch and you would have no worries leaving it somewhere. Those OEM size wheels and tires are comical. A Juke has bigger wheels!
  • Ollicat I have a Spyder. The belt will last for many years or 60,000-80,000 miles. Not really a worry.