Toyota recalling Prius in Japan

A Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius is on display at the automaker's showroom in Tokyo, Friday, Jan. 8, 2010. The Japan Automobile Dealers Association said Friday that the Toyota Prius, a gas-electric hybrid, was No. 1 in its ranking of sales by vehicle models - with 208,876 Prius cars sold in 2009, nearly three times the numbers sold the previous year. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

February 9, 2010 3:06:53 AM PST
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.


Car companies other than Toyota are offering incentives for consumers trading in their Toyotas.


  • Jeep $1,000 trade-in cash bonus for Tundra, Tacoma and Sienna owners who purchase or lease

    Ford Lincoln Mercury
  • $1,000 cash on Ford, Lincoln and Mercury. Also includes owners of Honda, Lexus and Scion products.

  • $1,000 off Elantra, Elantra Touring and Sonata

    Buick Cadillac Chevrolet GMC
  • $1000 off a cash purchase, 0% financing for 60 months or waiver of 3 lease payments. Applies to current GM brands: GMC, Buick, Chevy, Cadillac.


    Toyota expands recall news release:

    Frequently Asked Questions about the recall

    Recall details from Toyota

    Toyota owners who have questions or concerns should contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.