Ever since the whole “unintended acceleration” fiasco, automakers have been voluntarily recalling a record number of cars this year. Toyota, trying to nip a coolant problem with the Prius, has recalled 650,000 of the hybrids worldwide.
Of those 650,000 recalled Prius, 378,000 were sold in the U.S. and the affected model years are 2004-2007. The problem seems to stem from the water pump, which pumps coolant and water through the radiator and into the engine block, absorbing heat and keeping the engine cool. Alas, the water pump on the affected cars can cause air bubbles to occur in the flow, disrupting the circulation and increasing the possibility of engine and hybrid system overheating. No injuries or accidents have occurred from the problem, and even if the engine were to blow because of the water pump, it is unlikely to cause any kind of accident as the car will simply go into “limp” mode.
Toyota will of course fix the water pump for free. Seems like a bit of an over reaction, though I’m curious, have any of you Prius owners experienced any sort of over-heating problem?
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.