Toyota RAV4 Prime, Lexus NX PHEV recall: Don't charge in cold weather

Certain 2021 and 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime and 2022 Lexus NX 450h+ plug-in hybrids are being recalled, and in the meantime owners are being advised not to charge their vehicles in cold temperatures.

The recall affects 43,442 vehicles built between Nov. 25, 2019, and May 27, 2022. Vehicles in this group could have a faulty current-rectifying module within their DC-DC converters that may have been damaged during production by a supplier. The damage could result in a short circuit, according to the NHTSA.

If the module fails and a short circuit does occur, current from the 12-volt battery will continue to flow through the module, generating excessive heat that could damage components outside the DC-DC converter or create a fire risk, according to the NHTSA.

2022 Lexus NX 450h

2022 Lexus NX 450h

Dealers will replace the DC-DC converter free of charge, but for now Toyota is advising owners not to charge their vehicles when the ambient air temperature drops below 41 degrees Fahrenheit. With the U.S. in the midst of a sweltering summer, that shouldn’t be an issue in most parts of the country for the next few months.

Toyota is unable to estimate of the percentage of the recalled vehicles that actually contain a damaged DC-DC converter, but has not identified any new vehicles in dealer inventories that are part of the recall population, according to the NHTSA. The automaker has issued a stop-sale order for certified pre-owned RAV4 Primes, however.

Introduced for the 2021 model year, the RAV4 Prime is about perfect in that all of its numbers for efficiency, range, and performance are so impressive. It’s good off-road, too. The Lexus NX 450h+ was introduced for 2022, sharing a platform and powertrain with the RAV4 Prime.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE

The RAV4 Prime was recalled earlier this year due to a stalling issue, but that was software related. The NX 450h+ was recalled twice last year, once for missing welds that also affected hybrid and gasoline NX models, and once for a stability control software issue that affected a number of other Lexus and Toyota models.

The RAV4 Prime been a very strong seller and limited by Toyota’s supply at some points. Launched in summer 2020, supplies were initially limited. As those supplies grew, the RAV4 Prime became the quickest-selling new car (based on how long vehicles spent on dealership lots) in March 2021 as Toyota met pent-up demand.

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