Toyota recalling fuel-cell Mirai vehicles

Mirai was Toyota's first mass-market hydrogen fuel-cell car

Afp February 15, 2017
Mirai was Toyota's first mass-market hydrogen fuel-cell car. PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO: Toyota said Wednesday it is recalling all the Mirai fuel-cell vehicles it has sold globally due to a software glitch that can shut off its hydrogen-powered system.

The auto giant said it would call back about 2,800 Mirai vehicles made between November 2014 and December 2016 to repair the defect.

Toyota launched Mirai -- which means "future" in Japanese -- in late 2014 as it looked to push further into the fast-growing market for environmentally friendly cars.

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Mirai was its first mass-market hydrogen fuel-cell car, after Toyota scored a win with the top-selling Prius hybrid, which combines a regular engine and rechargeable electric battery.

Separately, Toyota on Wednesday launched a new plug-in model of its Prius, after the first version sold poorly following its 2012 release.

The new model can run in electric-only mode -- unlike the original Prius -- at higher speeds and longer distances than the previous version, Toyota said.

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Fuel cells, meanwhile, work by combining hydrogen and oxygen in an electrochemical reaction, which produces electricity. This can then be used to power vehicles or home generators.

But a lack of hydrogen refuelling stations has been a major hurdle to bringing fuel-cell cars into the mainstream.

The Mirai was launched with a relatively expensive 6.7 million yen ($58,000) price tag.


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