The rise of the electrified vehicle has brought with it a whole slew of new safety issues. Where conventional automobiles present the risk of collision, fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, and other dangers, hybrids and electric vehicles add the potential for electrocution into the mix.
Few know that better than Toyota, which makes more hybrids than most any other manufacturer in the business. And it’s recalling nearly 200,000 Prii (as it has officially pluralized the Prius name since holding a contest in 2011) for just that issue.
The source of the problem, according to Toyota, is an engine wire harness coming into contact with the cover, causing an electrical short circuit and potentially starting a fire. The issue affects an estimated 192,000 examples of the Prius from the 2016 through 2018 model years in the United States, all of which are being called in to have those wires checked. If the core of the wire is exposed, it’ll be replaced with a new wire harness assembly with a protective sleeve. If the wire core is found not to be exposed, technicians will install protective tape instead.
With over 65,000 units sold last year, nearly 99,000 the year before, and almost 114,000 the year before that, the recall ostensibly affects the lion’s share of Prii on the road in the United States. The manufacturer hasn’t said how many (if any) fires have ignited as a result of this issue, or if anyone’s been hurt as a result. But one way or another, it’s a potential problem that owners will want to get fixed.