The folks at Toyota have sounded the recall horn, summoning back a total of 82,200 Highlander Hybrid and Lexus RX 400h vehicles over concern about faulty wiring which could result in an inoperable vehicle.
The recall involves 45,500 Highlander Hybrids and 36,700 Lexus RX 400h vehicles, all from model year 2006-2007. The company says no other Toyota or Lexus vehicles are involved.
From the recall notice:
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 the subject vehicles 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 will illuminate on the instrument panel. In most cases the vehicle will 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 says it expects to begin notifying owners of recalled vehicles in mid-July. Owners will then have to make an appointment with an authorized Toyota dealer to have the IPM inspected and possibly replaced at no charge.
You can call Toyota Customer Experience Center (1 800-331-4331) or Lexus Customer Satisfaction (1 800-255-3987) for more information.