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By Mark Kleis

Toyota has announced that it will be fixing a total of 650,000 Prius vehicles worldwide due to a coolant pump issue that can lead to overheating.

The majority of the 650,000 vehicles named in the fix, some 378,000, are located in the U.S. market according to Reuters. The vehicles in question are model years 2004 through 2007.

Toyota clarified that this latest problem is not a safety recall, nor was it mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Rather, the Japanese automaker identified a problem with the system that can allow air bubbles to enter the water pump system, which can in turn reduce circulation and cause the gas-powered engine to overheat.

Should the issue begin to arise the could is programmed to notify the driver of the engine temperature issue, and if ignored, will enable a “safe mode” to reduce power and heat production.

Toyota plans to begin the repair campaign in December.



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Toyota Prius in Big New Service Action--But It's Not A Recall

In the latest recall to affect its Prius hybrid hatchback, Toyota says it will fix nearly 400,000 cars to correct a cooling-pump flaw.

The Wall Street Journal reports Toyota will repair some 650,000 Prius hybrids worldwide, including 390,000 in the U.S. The vehicles could overheat as a result of the flaw.

Toyota says it's not forced to recall the vehicles, but is doing so to keep its customers satisfied. The company has yet to release details on the service action in the U.S., but the number of cars involved suggests it's the second-generation Prius that is affected.

The Prius has been involved in some of Toyota's biggest recalls in the past year, including those for sticking accelerator pedals and loose floor mats in 2009. The Prius also has been recalled for reprogramming for its anti-lock brakes.

In all, Toyota has recalled more than 8.5 million vehicles in the past two years.

A new MPV version of the Prius is expected to bow at January's 2011 Detroit auto show.



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Toyota to fix 650,000 Prius hybrids for overheating risk

November 30, 2010 06:01 CET

DETROIT/TOKYO (Reuters) -- Toyota Motor Corp. is to cover the cost of repairs to 650,000 Prius cars worldwide, that have a coolant pump problem that could cause the hybrid to overheat and lose power, the automaker said. The repair campaign covers Prius cars for the model years 2004 to 2007. The bulk of the cars, or 378,000 units, are in the United States. 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 Japanese automaker said it had not received any reports of accidents or injuries from problems with the pump, which circulates coolant for the hybrid system. 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. The automaker has used a different pump design on the Prius hybrid since 2007 and uses a different type of pump for other hybrids, Toyota spokesman John Hanson added.

Recalls and quality issues

The repair campaign on one of the best-known Toyota vehicles comes at the end of a year in which the automaker has struggled to distance itself from a damaging series of recalls and concerns about its quality management. Since last November, Toyota has recalled about 14 million vehicles worldwide, including about 11 million in the United States. Major automakers, including Toyota, often conduct repair campaigns that are separate from safety recalls filed with U.S. regulators, in cases where they determine that a defect does not present a safety risk. Toyota said it would begin notifying owners of the Prius repair campaign in the United States in early December. Toyota will cover the cost of the repairs, including more than $100 in labour for each Prius fixed at a U.S. dealership.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101130/ANE/311309997/1186#ixzz16mTqvHqY

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