Photo: Flickr, CC
If you own a Toyota Prius with a model year between 2004 and 2007, you should probably keep an eye on the mailbox for a letter from Toyota. The company has announced a voluntary recall of 650,000 Prius hybrids (about 390,000 are in North America, 180,000 in Japan and 70,000 in Europe, according to Toyota) to fix the cooling pump. This is a preventive measure; the pump could overheat and cause a loss of power, but so far there hasn't been any reports of accidents or injuries caused by it.
Photo: Flickr, CC
Toyota said the design of the electric water pump let air bubbles enter the system, slowing coolant circulation and allowing the hybrid's components to heat up.
The heating up of the components could trigger a warning light. If left unattended, the Prius could overheat and drop into a "fail-safe" mode where engine power would be reduced, Toyota said. (source)
This recall should have a much smaller impact on the company than last year's massive recall (even though the braking/sudden acceleration problems were probably turned into something much bigger than they actually were by collective hysteria - a lot of them were probably caused by human error).
Here's some of our previous coverage on this:
Toyota Recalls 3.8 Million Vehicles, Including Prius Hybrids
Toyota to Recall the 2010 Prius in U.S. and Japan for Braking Problems
Kaizen Fail: Toyota Recalls 437,000 Hybrids Worldwide, Mostly 2010 Prius Models
More on Green(er) Transportation
Nissan is Licensing Fuel-Saving ECO Pedal to Other Automakers
EPA Found that Gas Mileage Improved 7% to Record-Breaking 22.4 MPG In 2009 Car Fleet
Chevrolet Cruze Eco Rated at 42 MPG on Highway (And It's Not a Hybrid)
Toyota Unveils the Prius PLUS Performance Package
Toyota is Turning Old NiMH Batteries Into New Batteries
Nissan Launches the Fuga Hybrid in Japan (Coming to US as an Infiniti in 2011)