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270,000 Prius Hybrids May Be Recalled for Faulty Brakes

Feb 4, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP

Only hours after acknowledging that there is a design flaw in the brakes with some Prius hybrids, media outlets are reporting that Toyota is about to recall 270,000 of the vehicles in the U.S. and Japan. According to the Associated Press, the Prius recall will involve the third-generation Prius launched in May.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has also launched an investigation into the Prius brakes, which reportedly temporarily stop working on bumpy or slippery roads.  The NHTSA said today that  it has received 124 reports from consumers about the Prius brakes, including four reports of crashes.

Toyota has acknowledged that it had already corrected the brake problem for Prius models sold since late January. Earlier, Toyota’s manager in charge of quality, Hiroyuki Yokoyama, blamed the problem on the Prius’ two braking systems, saying a glitch sometimes prevented the car from transitioning smoothly between the two.

Despite several news organizations in Japan reporting an impending Prius recall, a spokesperson for Toyota told the Associated Press that it was "too soon to call at this point."  

A possible Prius recall couldn't have come at a worse time for Toyota, which just last month recalled 2.3 million vehicles due to accelerator pedals on those vehicles becoming stuck in a depressed position, causing unexpected and unsafe acceleration. That recall followed one in September for floor mats on approximately 4.2 million vehicles which were allegedly causing accelerator pedals in the vehicles to become stuck in the depressed position, leading to uncontrollable and rapid acceleration of the vehicle.

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