A CNN article reports Toyota Motor Co. recently announced a “limited service campaign” that will fix cooling pumps on around 378,000 North American Prius hybrid vehicles. John Hanson, a spokesman for the car manufacturer, was careful to explain that this latest setback “is not considered a safety issue,” CNN reports.
However, this latest announcement is just another delay in Toyota’s attempt to repair their image after the rash of negative publicity over braking and acceleration problems in their vehicles.
According to the article, “Air can leak into water pumps that cool parts of the electric drive systems on model year 2004 through 2007 Priuses. Excess air in the cooling system can allow bubbles to form which can, in turn, inhibit cooling.”
CNN goes on to explain that the hybrid’s cooling system “is separate from the cooling system for the car’s gasoline engine. Hybrid cars such as the Prius have both a gasoline engine and electric motor.”
When the cooling system malfunctions and car sensors detect overheating of the electric drive system, “a warning light will come on alerting the driver to the problem,” CNN reports. Hanson further explains in the article that when this occurs, the car enters a “safe mode,” reducing total driving power.
CNN quotes Hanson as he explains that if you see this malfunction occur, “‘You will notice that the car will not go as fast as it used to go, and you will see an indicator light.’”
The article explains to consumers that “Owners of model year 2004 through 2007 Priuses have until November 2013, to have the water pump replaced at no cost.” However, CNN is careful to point out that “Priuses built after the 2007 model year and other Toyota and Lexus hybrid models do not use the same water pump, and therefore are not involved in the campaign.”
Although the manufacturer is quick to explain that this latest product issue is not life-threatening, the company could still suffer from this additional negative publicity. Beginning in September 2009 with unintended acceleration problems, Toyota’s recall eventually grew to 4.3 million cars worldwide. Even the company’s best-selling models, Camry and Corolla, were included in that initial recall.
If you or a loved one owns one of the affected Toyota models and have experienced problems with sudden unintended acceleration or stuck accelerators, contact Newsome Law Firm and fill out a case evaluation form today. Our team of attorneys has experience specific to complications associated with automobile recalls. Not only can they give you the legal guidance you need, they can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Valdes-Dapena, Peter. (November 30, 2010) “Toyota to fix 380,000 Priuses in North America.” Retrieved December 8, 2010 from CNN Money.