TOKYO (AP) - Toyota said Tuesday it is recalling 170,000 Prius
hybrid cars in Japan for braking problems and will soon disclose
details of its global plans for a fix.
The automaker will hold a news conference at its Tokyo office
Tuesday to outline details of the braking problem, including plans
for a possible recall in the U.S.
Toyota Motor Corp. said it will inform the Japanese Transport
Ministry later in the day it is recalling the 2010 Prius
gas-electric hybrid that went on sale last year.
Also being recalled are two other hybrid models - the Lexus
HS250h sedan and the Sai, which is sold only in Japan.
U.S. safety officials have launched an investigation into
problems with the brakes.
The braking problem for the third-generation remodeled Prius is
the latest safety woe for Toyota, which is already trying to fix
problems in millions of vehicles recalled for other defects,
including a sticky gas pedal.
The automaker has fixed the programming glitch in Prius models
that went on sale since last month, but had done nothing yet on the
cars sold before then, according to Toyota.
There have been nearly 200 complaints in Japan and the U.S. of
drivers experiencing a short delay before the brakes kick in - a
problem that can be fixed with a software programming change. The
delay doesn't indicate a brake failure.
The problem is suspected in four crashes resulting in two minor
injuries, according to data gathered by the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration, which is investigating the matter.
Toyota says it's cooperating with NHTSA's investigation.
Toyota said its plug-in hybrid is also being recalled, but that
is still a largely experimental model for rental and government use
in limited numbers, and isn't for mass commercial sale.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)