More than 1 million Toyota Prius vehicles are being recalled due to the potential of an electrical short in the engine that could lead to vehicle fires.
The manufacturer announced the Toyota Prius recall on September 5, indicating the vehicles may be at risk of catching on fire because the wiring harness may rub against the Power Control Unit, wearing away the protective covering and causing an electrical short circuit.
Toyota’s internal investigation determined a portion of the wire harness could contact the cover at this connection and cause premature wearing over time. In this event, the electrical wiring would be exposed and potentially come in contact with outside elements. This could pose an electrical short hazard and cause a vehicle fire.
Toyota first learned of the issue following a report from a Prius owner in Japan who saw smoke come from the engine. The vehicle was inspected by a local dealer who determined the smoke was caused by a short circuit at the engine’s wiring harness.
To date, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not yet released details on whether any reports of fires, crashes or injuries have been reported within the United States.
The recall affects certain model year 2016 through 2018 Toyota Prius cars, Prius plug-in hybrid models and C-HR SUV models manufactured by Toyota Motor Corporation between June 2015 and May 2018.
According to Toyota, an estimated 192,000 recalled vehicles are registered in the United States. The remaining recalled vehicles were sold in the Japanese and European markets.
The manufacturer will begin notifying customers of the recall in late September by first class mail, and will provide information on how to schedule an inspection at their local deal. Dealers are being instructed to check the engine wire harness assembly and replace the wire harness assembly with a new one wrapped in a protective sleeve. If the wire cores are not exposed, dealers will install protective tape on the engine wire harness assembly. Both repairs will be performed free of charge to customers.
Customers with additional questions or concerns regarding the recall may contact Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331 or the Lexus Guest Experience Center at 1-800-255-3987.