Motor company Toyota is to conduct a voluntary safety recall involving approximately 45,500 Highlander Hybrid and 36,700 Lexus RX 400h vehicles sold in the US.
According to the company, the Intelligent Power Module (IPM) located inside the Hybrid System Inverter in some of the subject vehicles contains certain transistors that were inadequately soldered and could be damaged from heat caused by a large current flow during high-load driving.
If this were to occur, various warning lamps would illuminate on the instrument panel. In most cases, the vehicle would then enter a fail-safe driving mode, resulting in reduced power in which the vehicle could still be driven for short distances. In limited instances, the power-supply circuit fuse could blow when a transistor is damaged. If the fuse blows, the hybrid system would stop and the vehicle would coast to a stop.
Toyota is currently working on obtaining the necessary replacement parts for the IPM. Once they have been produced in sufficient quantities, Toyota will send a notification to the vehicles owners to make an appointment with an authorised Toyota dealer to have the IPM inspected and, if necessary, replaced at no charge.
In the interim, owners of the involved vehicles will be notified of the recall by post in mid-July 2011. No other Toyota or Lexus vehicles are involved in the recall.