Toyota Calls Back Thousands of Prius Cars for Stalling

Got a Prius? Be careful ...

On October 13, 2005 Toyota Motor Corp. announced that it was in the process of notifying 75,000 Prius owners in the United States of a software glitch that can cause the hybrid cars to suddenly stall or shut down with little or no warning at all. It usually happens at between 35 and 65 mph.

For months Toyota has been investigating reports of stalling in the 2004 and 2005 Prius models. Some of the malfunctioning Prius cars had to be towed to the shop before they could even be restarted. Toyota had previously been blaming problems on a "software glitch" in the Prius computer system.

The problem may cause warning lights in the vehicles to come on prompting the Prius to enter a fail-safe mode that will cause the gasoline engines to stall. Toyota says that the electric motor in the vehicles have sufficient power to allow the driver to pull the vehicle over and away from traffic.

The vehicles involved in the Toyota service action are from the 2004 and 2005 model years. Toyota sold 53,991 of the Prius in 2004 and 81,042 so far this year. Toyota says this is not a recall but is sending letters to Prius owners asking that they take the cars to a dealership for free (of course) repairs.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened an investigation into the problem after receiving a number of complaints about the hybrid vehicles stalling or stopping unexpectedly, often on highways.

Toyota identified a "programming error" in the computer systems of 23,900 Prius cars last year and sent owners a service notice advising them to bring the cars into dealers for an hour-long software "upgrade."

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Known nationwide as a leading Lemon Law attorney, Ronald L. Burdge has represented literally thousands of consumers in "lemon" lawsuits and actively co-counsels and coaches other Consumer Law attorneys. From 2005 through 2018, attorney Ronald L. Burdge has been named as the only Lemon Law Ohio Super Lawyer by Law and Politics magazine and Thomson Reuters Corp., Professional Division. Burdge restricts his practice to Lemon Law and Consumer Law cases. The Ohio Super Lawyer results are published annually in the January issue of Cincinnati Magazine. Ronald L. Burdge was named Consumer Law Trial Lawyer of the Year 2004 by the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the nation's largest organization of consumer law private and government attorneys. "Your impact on the auto industry has been magnified many times over because of the trail you blazed for others," stated NACA's Executive Director, Will Ogburn. Burdge has represented thousands of consumers in Ohio, Kentucky and elsewhere since 1978 and is a frequent lecturer to national, state and local Bar Associations and Judicial organizations. Burdge is admitted to Ohio's state and federal courts, Kentucky's state courts, and Indiana's federal courts. Other court admissions are on a "pro hac" temporary, case by cases basis.