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Toyota Recalls Some Hybrids Citing Concerns About Vehicle Fires

Toyota Prius model years 2016 through 2018 have been recalled by the manufacturer for potential fire risks.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Toyota Prius model years 2016 through 2018 have been recalled by the manufacturer for potential fire risks.

Toyota announced a voluntary recall of certain hybrid models, including certain Prius cars, Wednesday. The manufacturer cited a risk of vehicle fires as the reason for the announcement.

In a press release the company said about 192,000 Prius vehicles from model year 2016 through 2018 are believed to be affected in the United States. They are part of a larger global recall of about one million hybrid vehicles that are believed to be susceptible to an electrical defect.

"A portion of the wire harness could contact the cover at this connection and wear over time, causing an electrical short circuit, which can generate heat. If sufficient heat is generated, there is an increased risk of a vehicle fire," according to the release.

Toyota said the majority of affected vehicles are located in Japan with about 550,000 known to have potential defects.

Owners of affected vehicles can receive maintenance to resolve the issue free of charge.

"If a wire core is exposed, the engine wire harness assembly will be replaced with a new one that includes a protective sleeve. If a wire core is not exposed, protective tape will be installed on the engine wire harness assembly," Toyota explained in the release.

Owners can also expect to receive letters in the mail by late September requesting that they bring in their vehicle for the specified maintenance. This mailing should be completed within 60 days of the manufacturer notifying National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the recall, according to Toyota.

Until then concerned customers can enter their Vehicle Identification Number or license plate information at Toyota.com/recall or nhtsa.gov to stay updated on recall information.

Affected vehicles in the U.S. do not include the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, Prius Prime, Prius c or Prius v. However, the global recall does include Prius Plug-in and the SUV crossover C-HR Hybrid models, according to a Toyota spokesperson.

Toyota said it can not comment on whether or not any of the vehicles it manufactured have caught fire as a result of the electrical defect.

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Cameron Jenkins