Some Toyota hybrids could stop in their tracks because of an electrical problem leading to a blown fuse, the company warned early this morning.
About 45,500 Highlander Hybrids and 36,700 Lexus RX 400h vehicles in the U.S. are being recalled because their hybrid system's Intelligent Power Module may not have been put together properly, Toyota explained.
Incorrectly-soldered transistors on control boards could heat up and the power supply fuse could blow, shutting down the hybrid system causing the vehicle to coast to a stop, Toyota says.
In less-severe cases, warning lamps could light up and vehicles may go into fail-safe driving mode with reduced power. As a result, they can only be driven for a short distance afterward. This most recent recall only affects certain 2006 and 2007 model year vehicles, the automaker says.
Earlier this month, still more hybrid car buyers were hit with bad news: more than 100,000 Priuses worldwide are being recalled because of a steering problem.
Toyota doesn't have the parts it needs to fix its latest problem, but once it does, it will notify individual owners of the recall, likely in mid-July and provide free inspections and repairs.
Until then, owners can check their vehicle identification number (VIN) with Toyota's database to see whether their car is among those being recalled.
As of late February of this year, Toyota had recalled about 14 million vehicles since 2009, largely because of accelerator pedal problems, according to The New York Times.
And in April, Toyota recalled 214,000 RAV4s and 94,000 Highlander and Highlander HV vehicles for airbag sensor problems and another 51,000 of its Tundra trucks to inspect their rear drive shafts, according to the company.