The Toyota Prius hybrid was discontinued in India ahead of BS6 emission norms
Toyota Kirloskar Motor has issued a recall notice for its Prius hybrid compact passenger car in India. Interestingly, only four units (manufactured between 31 March 2013 and 9 November 2015) come under the recall since the Japanese automaker could sell only extremely limited numbers in the country. It was not actually a market failure since the company brought down only a few examples (CBU) upfront.
Back in February 2017, the company had launched the pre-facelift fourth-gen ‘XW50’ Toyota Prius at an ex-showroom price of Rs 38.96 lakh. It was eventually discontinued ahead of BS6 emission norms. Toyota Kirloskar Motor has never made a formal announcement on this but removed it from the official Toyota Bharat website.
The model coming under the recall is the third-generation ‘XW30’ model which made its global debut back in May 2009. It is most likely the Prius version that would come to an average automotive enthusiast’s mind when one hears the name.
According to an official statement, the third-gen Toyota Prius might not enter a ‘failsafe driving mode’ in the unlikely event of an error in its hybrid system. If this happens, the car may lose power or stall. Power steering and braking systems would remain active but such an instance during relatively high speeds could result in a crash (still an extreme case).
Data shows that most Prius units sold in India went to hotel & travel businesses rather than private buyers. Regardless, every customer has received the notification for a ‘Power Management ECU reprogram’. The fix is free of cost and can be carried out at any major Toyota dealership. In theory, the fix would require only a few hours’ time but the ongoing COVID-19 crisis might come in the way. While dealerships in ‘red’ COVID-19 zones are completely inoperational, those on ‘green’ and ‘orange’ function in controlled conditions. Service backlogs caused by initial lockdown protocols could be another hindrance.
The last Toyota Prius model (2017MY) on our market employs a 1.8-litre VVT-I four-cylinder engine coupled to an electric motor rated at 71bhp and 163Nm. The ICE unit makes 97bhp @ 5,200rpm and 142Nm @ 3,600rpm. Put together, the powertrain is good for roughly 120bhp. This is sent to the front axle via a CVT.
At the moment, Toyota Kirloskar Motor has only got the Camry Hybrid as an electrified product. On the other hand, the brand’s subsidiary, Lexus India has a near-complete lineup of hybrid models.