The Associated Press is reporting that a top Japanese business newspaper (that we don’t understand because our Japanese reading comprehension really sucks) says that Toyota will recall 270,000 Prius hybrids over complaints about “inconsistent” braking. Consistently being able to brake, of course, is something you tend to want in a car. The braking problem is unrelated to the floor mat and the “sticky pedal” issue.
The AP says that Japan’s top business newspaper, Nihon Keizai, is reporting the imminent recall, but that Toyota has not confirmed it yet.
Takayuki Fujimoto, a transport ministry official, said the government has yet to receive a recall notice from Toyota. Toyota cannot announce a recall in Japan until it notifies the ministry.
Toyota spokeswoman Ririko Takeuchi said Friday that Toyota had not yet decided whether to recall the Prius.
“Nothing has been decided on whether we will recall or not,” Takeuchi said.
We took a look at NHTSA’s complaint database and found these descriptions of the problem. The basic idea is that if you hit a bump your brakes might not work.
Toyota’s spokesperson also told the AP that they are investigating two other vehicles that use the same brakes as the Prius in question — the Lexus HS250h hybrid, which went on sale in September in the U.S. and the Sai which is sold only in Japan. The AP says that another Japanese media outlet has announced that these cars will be recalled as well, but that too has not yet been confirmed.
We took a look at the NHTSA complaint database but there were no similar braking complaints about the Lexus Hybrid. There was, however, one about someone’s cruise control going haywire and refusing to stop accelerating even after it was shut off, which is, you know, comforting.