Toyota Announces Repair Bulletin for 2004-2007 Prius, over Cooling

The Toyota Prius has seen its fair share of ups and downs over the last year, seeing unintended acceleration and other recalls.  Now, Toyota has announced a Repair Campaign.  While not a safety recall, it’s still a fairly serious issue.  From the press release, it looks like some 378,000 Priuses in the US can develop an issue with the hybrid drive’s cooling system.  Click past the jump for more details and the press release.

Hybrid batteries require cooling to keep them in their optimal operating temperature, so any automaker who produces a hybrid car needs to add a second cooling system.  On the 2004-2007 Prius, apparently a fault in the water pump for the hybrid cooling system can allow air bubbles to be introduced into the cooling fluid, which leads to hotter components and eventually the car goes into “fail safe” mode, which reduces engine power.  The check engine light will illuminate as well, a secondary indication of a moderate to severe problem.

According to Toyota, the repair campaign will begin in early December, 2010.  Owners who bring their vehicles in will have their water pumps replaced with a newly-designed one, free of charge, so long as they schedule that appointment before November 30th, 2013.  As a side note, no accidents or injuries have been reported as a result of the water pump issue.

This is another fault with a Toyota product, and isn’t going to do any good for their already tarnished reputation.  I would expect more hybrid buyers to consider the offerings from Ford, Nissan and others, as an alternative to the immensely-popular Prius.

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by John Suit

Source: Toyota

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