Toyota will send out a letter to about 75,000 Prius owners asking them to take their vehicles to their dealer to fix a potential software glitch, according to Reuters. Some Prius drivers have reported sudden stalling or stopping. According to Toyota, "if the gasoline engine stalls, the electric motor in the vehicles will have enough power to allow the driver to pull the vehicle over and away from the traffic."
The software update is free and is intended for 2004 and 2005 Prius models. While the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration started an investigation into the problem several months ago, but a government recall has not been issued. Still, it is better to be safe than sorry, even though only a minimal number of Prii have experienced the problem.
It is also important to note that at last report, there have been no reported injuries or accidents from the potential software problem. As hybrid cars are an emerging technology, such software bugs really aren't surprising, and are becoming more common, even in conventional vehicles.
---Original story below
According to reports, at highway speeds the engine either shut down or stalled, but there have been no reports of accident, damage, injury or death.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Wednesday that its preliminary investigation would involve about 75,000 Prius cars from the 2004 and 2005.
There was a "programming error" found in the computer systems of 23,900 Prius cars sold that required a service notice recently, but it is unknown whether the "error", driver error, or some other issue is the problem.
The NHTSA is investigating the situation to determine if further analysis is necessary, not necessarily a recall.
Overall, the Prius has received extremely high reliability and customer satisfaction rankings.