Friday, October 14, 2005

Toyota's Priuses recall was caused by software glitch

In May some owners reported cars going haywire - warning lights on the dashboard would suddenly all flash and the gasoline engine would die. The driver was usually able to get the car off of the road on electric power alone and restart it.

The problem was traced to a software bug in the car's computer brain. Repairing the glitch is fairly routine and not related to the hybrid system itself. The fix takes about two hours.

The gas-electric power plant saves fuel and barely pollutes - with still good performance. EPA list Honda's two-seat hybrid Insight the first and Prius the second most fuel-stingy car this week.

Toyota sold 53,991 Priuses in the 2004 model year and 81,042 through September of this year, Autodata reports. The Japanese automaker has vowed to build about 100,000 this year as high gasoline prices lure buyers.

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