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Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) technology has numerous advantages over conventional vehicles, from standpoints of fuel economy, energy independence, and environmental concerns. Effective solutions for HEVs have been expanding their applications over highway vehicles, such as sedans and sport utility vehicles, into a variety of traditional vehicles. HEV systems applied to off-highway heavy-duty vehicles, which are operated by an engine, a generator, and traction motors, are investigated in this paper. This paper explores the use of a direct ac/ac converter for off-highway heavy-duty HEVs, which can directly drive traction motors from the generator with no intermediate dc conversion. In addition, a phase-redundant matrix converter structure with a backup leg and a control scheme is proposed to guarantee reliable and safe vehicle operations by providing continuous disturbance-free operations against converter faults. Fault-diagnosis techniques using line-to-line and phase voltages are presented not only to detect system malfunctions but to locate a failed switching device among 18 switching components as well. Appropriate reconfiguration structure and control actions with accurate knowledge about fault occurrence can avoid propagation of fault, which may lead to a catastrophic system failure.