— A Toyota Prius intelligent power module (IPM) recall and warranty extension weren't good enough for a California driver who filed a lawsuit against the automaker.
According to the lawsuit, 2010-2016 Toyota Prius cars have defects in the hybrid systems that cause the cars to stall, including while traveling at highway speeds.
The lawsuit references a 2014 Toyota warranty extension (ZE3) for about 711,000 model year 2010-2014 Prius cars nationwide. The extension involves the intelligent power module (IPM) located inside the inverter assembly and covers failure of the IPM and other internal inverter components potentially damaged by IPM failure.
This condition is indicated by diagnostic trouble codes P0A94, P324E, P3004 or P0A1A.
If any of those codes exist, Toyota says various warning lights will illuminate and the car will enter fail-safe mode, also called limp-home mode.
To qualify for the warranty extension, Prius owners must have had repairs made under a 2014 IPM recall.
Toyota recalled nearly 700,000 model year 2010-2014 Prius cars in 2014 because of the intelligent power modules (IPMs) with sensors that can become damaged by high temperatures.
As mentioned in the warranty extension, the recall described warning lights activating and the Prius going into limp-home mode. Toyota also said the hybrid system could completely shut down and cause the Prius to stall.
The recall, which began in March 2014, saw Toyota dealers update software for the motor/generator control and hybrid electronic control units. For a vehicle that had already experienced a failure of the inverter before the software update, the dealer replaced the inverter assembly.
The plaintiff says Toyota's previous actions didn't solve the IPM problems because the automaker wanted to save money on parts, and the software Toyota used allegedly did nothing but cause more problems.
According to the plaintiff, the software update affected the ability of the cars to accelerate properly. Calling the Toyota Prius recall a "sham," the plaintiff says drivers, occupants and others on the roads are at risk because the automaker took the cheap way out.
The California lawsuit also alleges replacing the IPM can cost thousands of dollars and replacing one bad module with another faulty IPM does nothing to help the car.
Included in the proposed class-action are current and former California owners and lessees of 2010-2016 Prius cars who paid their own money related to the intelligent power modules.
The Toyota Prius IPM lawsuit was filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court of California - Jevdet Rexhepi, et al., v. Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc.
CarComplaints.com has complaints submitted by owners of the Toyota Prius cars named in the IPM lawsuit.