The public eye does not look favourably on issues surrounding software fixes since the diesel scandals became known. Now, Toyota is facing a court order from angry owners in Los Angeles, who had turned in their cars for a safety recall, and received them back with a worse fuel economy.
The initial problem was an overheating issue, which was fixed with a software update. While that worked, the hybrid’s fuel economy dropped enough that owners were in a position to legally sue. Furthermore, there are allegations, that the software fix not only causes reduced performance, but also does not fully address the overheating issue.
The lawsuit alleges that Toyota “concealed from consumers that the software reflash decreased the fuel efficiency — defeating the very purpose of owning these hybrid vehicles”. While Toyota has not directly publicly addressed the claims, they will defend the Prius in court.
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