Toyota has confirmed it will recall some 650,000 of its Prius cars globally, thanks to a faulty coolant pump that can cause the hybrid system to shut down in order to prevent overheating. When the car's computer deactivates the hybrid system, the petrol engine will continue to operate on its own.
Because the car will still operate safely in such a scenario, the recall is being described as more of a "customer satisfaction campaign," Toyota's Paul Nolasco said in Tokyo this week.
In Australia, the campaign will affect 6566 second-generation Prius cars, built between August 2003 and May 2007. Toyota Australia has received no customer reports of overheating cars, and none of the new third-generation Prius cars are affected.
Toyota is footing the bill for the fix, and while local owners will not be contacted until replacement parts arrive in February, owners affected in the meantime should contact their local Toyota dealer.