Toyota is recalling certain 2014 and 2015 Prius V hybrid wagons to fix an improperly-calibrated airbag occupant classification system (OCS).
The OCS determines whether the front passenger seat is occupied, and if so, by a passenger of sufficient weight to require airbag protection. If that is not the case, the passenger airbag is shut off.
In the affected Prius V wagons, the system may not have been calibrated properly, meaning the airbag may not deploy during a crash--creating a greater risk of injury.
Toyota dealers will recalibrate the OCS free of charge.
2015 Toyota Prius V
The recall is expected to begin February 15.
Prius V hybrids affected were built between November 7, 2013 and January 7, 2015--about 5,000 cars altogether.
Note that the 2015 model of the Prius V was updated with revised styling and some feature changes, but is otherwise identical to the 2014 model.
Both years feature the same EPA-rated fuel economy of 42 mpg combined (44 mpg city, 40 mpg highway).
2014 Toyota Prius V
Since the 2015 model has only been on sale since December, the recall most likely includes relatively few of the very first examples of this updated version to be sold.
The Prius V wagon is the largest of the four models in the Prius lineup, which also includes the classic Prius Liftback, the Prius Plug-In Hybrid, and the Prius C subcompact hatchback--all rated at 50 mpg combined.
Owners can contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331 for more information on the recall.
In addition, information on the recall can be found at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Safercar.gov website under ID number 15V013000.