Volvo will be recalling its new longer-range plug-in hybrid models due to a software error that can prevent the engine from starting, the NHTSA disclosed on Monday.

When the system requires max cooling of the electrical drive unit, the faulty software in the control module sets the cooling flow to zero. That causes the module controlling the inverter to produce no torque, which in turn tells the combustion engine not to start. A loss of propulsion while moving can also happen, increasing the risk of a crash.

The software issue affects 15,674 models that were introduced this year in Volvo’s plug-in hybrids with larger battery packs. The new Recharge T8 AWD models have an estimated range of 35-41 miles, with a longer range battery pack of 18.8 kwh. The rear motor in the affected vehicles is also larger, and the updated models have one-pedal drive capability. The affected plug-in hybrid models are the 2022-2023 Volvo S60, V60, S90L, XC60, and XC90.

Volvo acknowledged 39 reports related to the issue. In some cases, the vehicles wouldn’t start, and in other cases messages appeared in the instrument cluster warning of reduced performance or charging issues. Upon startup, a message may appear that says “Propulsion System Service Required”, and a second warning may appear with a turtle icon in the cluster and speeds will be limited to about 47 mph (75 kilometers per hour). If those warnings are ignored and the driver continues to drive, a “Stop safely” message will appear and the car will lose electric propulsion.

The vehicles are covered under warranty and a software update issued on Oct. 17, 2022 addressed the problem. Owners need to take their cars to the dealer to update the software. Notifications will be sent by mail as early as Dec. 8. For more information, contact Volvo customer service at 1-800-458-1552 or visit their recall website.

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