Mirai suffers from a software glitch that could cause some problems for drivers
Toyota has issued a recall of 2,843 units of its Mirai. The Mirai is the first time Toyota has used a hydrogen fuel cell to power a customer vehicle. The automaker has found some modest success with the new car and has been demonstrating the capabilities of the Mirai in many prominent markets. Some had expressed concern over the Mirai’s use of hydrogen fuel, largely due to the volatility of hydrogen itself, but the recall has little to do with the vehicle’s fuel cell system.
Glitch is able to force a shutdown of the Mirai’s systems
The automaker has discovered a software glitch that would allow the output voltage of the vehicle’s fuel cell system to exceed its maximum levels. This would force an entire system shutdown, leaving the vehicle unable to operate. According to Toyota, there have not yet been any incidents caused by the software glitch, but the automaker is keen to ensure that the problem is fixed before any serious problems occur. In relatively small markets, like the United Kingdom, drivers are being contacted individually. Their vehicles will receive a software update that is expected to resolve the issue.
Software issues are not new to the auto industry
Fuel cell vehicles are very similar to other cars in that they use software to manage and monitor their various components. The Mirai is not the first vehicle to experience software issues, but it may be the first fuel cell vehicle to encounter this problem at this stage of production. Toyota believes that the problem is rather small, though certainly one that must be given appropriate attention. Once the software update is completed, drivers will be able to use their vehicles once more.
Fuel cells are gaining more attention, but batteries remain on top
The Mirai has been praised as the most efficient fuel cell vehicle currently available to consumers. The car can travel more than 300 miles on a single tank of hydrogen fuel, beating similar vehicles being offered by other automakers. Despite the high efficiency of the fuel cell vehicle, battery electrics remain the focus of the auto industry as a whole, largely because batteries tend to be less expensive than fuel cells and they benefit from an established infrastructure.