Problem with fuel cell output voltage prompts worldwide recall of Toyota’s flagship FCV
Toyota is to recall every Mirai fuel cell vehicle (FCV) that it has sold to fix a voltage problem.
The company said that under some very specific driving conditions – under heavy acceleration after a long downhill drive using cruise control – the fuel cell boost converter could deliver more output than the system is rated for.
A relatively slow uptake of the vehicle means that the recall should not be an unwieldy job. Toyota says it has sold 2,840 Mirai models since it started production at the end of 2014, and that the issue can be solved by a free software update that will take dealers about 30 minutes to perform.
In the US, the cars are only on sale in California as it is the only state with enough hydrogen fuelling stations.
However, given the nascent state of the technology, it is not perhaps the image of the “Mirai” (future) Toyota wanted to project. It may also arm other automakers – especially battery EV pioneers such as Tesla – with ammunition, given that the software in many digitally connected cars can be pushed to them over 4G or the internet, removing the need to visit a dealership.
Toyota has been vocal in its support for fuel cell cars and its opposition to electric vehicles, although last year it announced it may produce an EV by 2020.