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Toyota recalls 82,200 hybrid Highlander and Lexus SUVs

By: · June 29, 2011

Toyota announced today it is voluntarily issuing a recall for more than 80,000 of its Highlander Hybrid and Lexus RX 400h sport utility vehicles sold in the U.S. The SUVs contain faulty electronics that may cause the vehicles’ hybrid drive systems to fail.

In its recall notice, the fault lies specifically in the Intelligent Power Module (IPM) installed in the 2006 and 2007 model year versions of the hybrid SUVs. Transistors were improperly soldered onto the IPM’s circuit board and could be damaged from heat during “high-load driving.”

If the transistors fail, dashboard warning lights will appear and the SUV should enter a “fail-safe” driving mode, allowing the driver to operate the vehicle for short distances at reduced power. In very few cases, Toyota warns, the fault could also cause a power supply fuse to blow which will cause the hybrid drive system to shut down and the SUV will coast to a stop.

Toyota says it is currently trying to obtain replacement parts to fix the faulty IPMs and will begin to notify owners affected by this SUV recall in mid-July. Once there are a sufficient number of parts, Toyota will send a second mailing, alerting owners to bring their Highlander Hybrid and Lexus RX 400h SUVs in for inspection and, if necessary, free IPM replacement.

For more information, Toyota owners can check Toyota’s website (www.toyota.com/recall) and call the Toyota Customer Experience Center (800-331-4331). Lexus customers have similar options at www.lexus.com/recall and Lexus Customer Satisfaction (800-255-3987).

Toyota Announces Voluntary Safety Recall of Certain 2006 and 2007 Model Year Highlander Hybrid and RX 400h Vehicles [Toyota Press Room]
Toyota recalls some Highlander, Lexus vehicles [Reuters]
Toyota recalls Highlander, Lexus RX to fix faulty hybrid drive [USA Today]

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