Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid recalled over stalling issue


Toyota is recalling certain 2021 RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrids to address an issue that could cause vehicles to stall in cold weather.

The affected vehicles have hybrid-system software that could trigger a shutdown of the powertrain while driving in EV mode in cold temperatures “if the accelerator is rapidly pressed to further accelerate the vehicle,” according to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). However, that’s dependent on “the battery parameters and the vehicle operating mode at the time,” the report said.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE

The recall encompasses 16,679 vehicles, but not all were sold in the U.S., the NHTSA noted. The recall population is based on a production period range during which the software in question was installed.

So while this issue appears to apply to a very specific set of conditions and vehicles, Toyota is being cautious. Dealers will install updated software free of charge. Starting February 27, Toyota expects to begin mailing letters detailing when to set up appointments.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE

While this remedy does require a dealership visit, over-the-air updates have the potential of updating such software-based issues without a trip to the dealership, as demonstrated by other brands like Polestar and Volvo, which used them to resolve a 2021 propulsion system recall. The RAV4 Prime isn’t capable of over-the-air updates, though.

The 2021 model year was the first for the RAV4 Prime, which boasts an impressive EPA-rated 42 miles of electric range and 38 mpg in hybrid mode, plus a charge mode that can actually help boost mpg. Strong demand and limited production mean it’s been flying off dealer lots since it arrived.

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