We reported last week that Toyota was
once again circling
the drain, this time over braking issues with its Prius hybrids.
The company had received a number of complaints about the loss of
braking force in 2010 Prius hybrids when driving over bumpy or icy
At the time, Toyota acknowledged the
reports and determined that it would investigate the matter further:
In certain 2010
model year Prius vehicles, Toyota has received reports that some
customers have experienced inconsistent brake feel when the vehicle
is driven over potholes, bumps or slippery road surfaces.
currently in the process of confirming these reports and
investigating the vehicle driving conditions under which the reported
phenomenon occurs. It would be premature to comment until the
investigation has been completed.
It appears that Toyota's investigation
is now over and the company is taking steps to correct the issue that
affects Prius hybrids built before January 2010. As a result, 133,000
Toyota Prius hybrids and 14,500 Lexus HS 250h hybrids will be
recalled in the U.S. In total, over 400,000 hybrids globally will be
recalled due to update the ABS software.
“We’re committed to doing
everything we can – as fast as we can – to restore consumer trust
in Toyota, and these recalls are part of this effort,” said Toyota
Motor Sales CEO and President Jim Lentz. “We regret the
inconvenience this recall will cause to Prius and HS 250h owners, and
will do our best with the support of our dealers to make sure that it
is conducted in the most trouble-free manner possible.”
Lentz went on discuss that Toyota
prides itself on its safety record. “Our company is undertaking a
top to bottom review to ensure that our vehicles meet our own high
standards of safety and reliability, now and for the future. We are
taking steps to implement more stringent quality control across the
company, to investigate customer complaints more aggressively and to
respond more quickly to any safety issues we identify.”
In the mean time, Toyota is currently
blanketing the airwaves to reaffirm the buying public that its
cars are safe to drive and that it is committed to safety.
Interestingly, Ford has also announced
recall of its Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids for a similar
braking issues. The Ford announcement didn't get much attention with
of the focus being directed
at Toyota over the past three weeks.