Toyota to Voluntarily Fix 378,000 Prius Hybrids for Overheating Problems

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Toyota's US division has issued what it describes as a "limited service campaign" (and not a recall…) on approximately 378,000 U.S-spec Prius hybrids from the 2004 and 2007 model years to resolve a potential problem with the water-pump that can cause the cars to overheat.

“The water pump is part of a system designed to cool the hybrid powertrain components and is separate from the engine cooling system” said John Hanson, Toyota Motor Sales National Manager of Environmental, Quality and Safety Communications. “A fault in the water pump can cause air bubbles to build up and disrupt the flow of coolant, which can lead to overheating”.

The company said an “on” check engine light can signal the problem. If the car is driven further the temperature of the hybrid components can reach a critical level and the vehicle will enter “fail-safe mode” to prevent damage.

Oddly enough, the Japanese automaker pointed out in a press statement that the issue is being treated as a "customer support campaign" and not a "recall" as the company "determined it is not a safety issue” and it “has not received any reports of accidents or injuries related to this condition."

Owners will be notified by mail in early December and Toyota dealers will replace the water-pump for free, as long as customers arrange for service before November 30, 2013. Clients who have had their water-pumps replaced because of this condition are going to be reimbursed.

For detailed information customers can call the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-888-270-9371.

By Csaba Daradics