Toyota, which is a stalwart of excellence in the automotive world, has recalled the 2022 model year Prius in the United States over a very simple problem involving bad programming. As it happens, the ECU software may falsely detect an error, therefore shutting off the hybrid system.
According to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the company received the first report alleging warning lights illuminating on a subject vehicle in Japan in July. The dealer found a diagnostic trouble code indicating “monitoring processor unexpected operation,” which can mean a lot of things in the programming world. However, the supplier, as in the Denso Corporation responsible for the substandard fuel pump fitted to millions of recalled cars, couldn’t find any problem with it.
Toyota had to investigate the root cause themselves, and guess what? They identified that a validation check occurs on the transmission shift position signal and that the ECU logic in the subject vehicles would set the aforementioned DTC after this signal fails the validation check once.
In other words, the ECU may incorrectly determine the shift position signal as erroneous if the shifter position status happens to be changed during an approximate 0.1-millisecond window in which the hybrid vehicle ECU validates that signal. Over in the United States of America, Toyota is aware of one field report, zero warranty claims, zero accidents, and zero injuries.
8,411 vehicles are called back in total, of which approximately 250 are currently held in dealer inventory. These Priuses (or Prii as Toyota calls them) were produced between early June 2021 and August 2021. Customers will be notified of the recall by first-class mail on November 20th, and obviously enough, dealers will update the software to rectify this condition.
As a brief refresher, the Prius for the 2022 model year is available from $24,525 excluding taxes, the same price as the 2021 model. Level up to the Prius Prime plug-in hybrid, and you’re looking at $28,220 at the very least.