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Apology from Toyota chief

TOKYO (AP) - Toyota's president apologized today for the automaker's global recalls and promised to beef up quality control by setting up and leading a special committee.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda says the automaker is still deciding what to do to fix braking problems with the popular Prius gas-electric hybrid.

Toyoda, grandson of Toyota's founder, spoke at a hastily called news conference in Nagoya, Japan.

The automaker has acknowledged the new Prius that went on sale in May of last year has braking problems. Toyoda did not announce a recall, but Toyota said this week it was considering one.

Criticism has been growing that Toyoda, the grandson of the company's founder, has largely been invisible amid the automaker's worst crisis since it was founded.

Meanwhile the tarnish to Toyota's image continues to spread.

Japan's leading business newspaper reports a brake problem is prompting the automaker to recall 270,000 Prius hybrids.

Toyota is also investigating possible brake problems with its luxury Lexus hybrid and the luxury Sai sedan, also a hybrid. That's in addition to millions of recalls over gas pedal problems.


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