Toyota has announced a recall for select 2020 Toyota Highlanders. On models with a 3.5.-liter V6 engine, the Engine Control Unit (ECU) might have an error that could cut off the fuel supply during start-stop. The recall, which affects up to 38,810 vehicles, is expected to start April 24, 2020.
Toyota filed an official Defect Information Report with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on March 19, 2020, declaring an issue with the ECU on certain 2020 Highlanders. These Highlanders have a start-stop feature that shuts the engine down and restarts it while a vehicle is temporarily stopped. Due to a programming error in the ECU, the fuel system might malfunction during start-stop, and the gas might not make it to engine.
No fuel means no go, so Toyota issued a safety recall due to the risk of the vehicle stalling out while in use. Toyota states, "Whether the issue in each case will lead to a vehicle stall while driving at higher speeds depends on the driving patterns and vehicle conditions." Should this occur, the Highlander will make an audible chime, and many warning indicators will show up on the dash.
Lucky for Toyota, the fix does not require any physical part replacement. Toyota will notify affected customers and will reflash the ECU to remove the error. For more information, visit NHTSA Campaign No. 20V162000.