Toyota’s all-new hi-tech hybrids have only just gone on sale, but a potentially dangerous issue has already arisen.
The Japanese giant has issued a recall for about 1300 hybrid Toyota Yaris hatches and Yaris Cross SUVs because of a potentially faulty transmission.
In its recall notice Toyota said an improper application of anti-corrosion oil in the transmission input damper could lead to slippage within the system during hard acceleration.
If this does happen it may cause a warning light to illuminate, which could cause the hybrid system to stop working.
This loss of power during hard acceleration could increase the potential for an accident.
Toyota will replace the input damper for all affected vehicles for free, and it will take approximately eight and a half hours.
All owners will be contacted by Toyota and asked to organise a time to visit their local dealership.
The pint-sized Toyota Yaris was surrounded by controversy when it launched earlier this year because of a sharp price rise of 44 per cent for its cheapest variant.
A range-topping hybrid version will cost potential owners about $35,000, which is a comparable price to much bigger machines.
Toyota also issued a recall for about 2300 petrol- and hybrid-powered Yaris Cross SUVs for a faulty rear centre seat belt.
In this case Toyota recall notice said: “The seatbelt may be damaged by the sharp edge of the metal seat belt anchor bracket during the impact of a collision, due to improper manufacturing of the bracket. If this were to occur, in the worst case, the seatbelt may be broken and not properly restrain the occupant.”
Toyota will contact affected owners and fix the vehicle free of charge. The procedure should take about 30 minutes.
This isn’t the first Toyota hybrid recall this year. The Japanese maker recalled about 6000 Prius and Corolla Hybrids in August.
In that case a software fault could cause the cars to lose power. Instead of putting the car into a fail safe mode, it will cut power completely, with the car acting as though it is in neutral.
Power steering and braking are still operational.
However, there is an increased risk of an accident and injury or death of vehicle occupants and other road users if this occurs.
Toyota’s hybrids have proven a massive success in Australia, especially the RAV4 Hybrid that often has a months long waiting list. In August Toyota sold more RAV4 hybrids than any other vehicle in the country.
Earlier this year Toyota announced that about one in four new cars sold was a hybrid during 2020. This number would surely be higher if the popular HiLux ute and LandCruiser four-wheel drive had a hybrid option.