TORRANCE, CA – Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. is recalling approximately 45,500 Highlander Hybrid and 36,700 Lexus RX 400h model-year 2006-2007 vehicles sold in the U.S.
The Intelligent Power Module (IPM) located inside the hybrid system inverter contains a control board with transistors. Certain transistors on the control boards in some of these vehicles were inadequately soldered and could be damaged from heat caused by a large current flow during high-load driving, Toyota said. If this were to occur, various warning lamps would illuminate on the instrument panel. In most cases the vehicle would enter a fail-safe driving mode, resulting in reduced power in which the vehicle can still be driven for short distances.
In limited instances, the power supply circuit fuse could blow when the transistor is damaged. If the fuse blows, the hybrid system will stop and the vehicle will coast to a stop.
Toyota is currently working on obtaining the necessary replacement parts. Once the replacement parts are available, the automaker will notify owners. Meanwhile, owners of the involved vehicles will be notified of the recall by mail this month.
Once the replacement parts have been produced in sufficient quantities, Toyota will send a second letter advising owners to make an appointment with an authorized Toyota dealer to have the IPM inspected and, if necessary, replaced at no charge.