The hits keep coming for owners of Toyota vehicles. First, the major car manufacturer announced that some of its car mats were causing brake pedals to stick on some models and that the mats should be removed from the cars. Then Toyota announced it was recalling eight million vehicles worldwide because faulty brake pedals were causing numerous reports of sudden and unintended acceleration. Now Japanese news outlets and the New York Times are reporting that Toyota will likely announce this week that it plans to recall more than 300,000 third-generation Prius hybrids to fix a brake problem, adding yet another scar on a car manufacturer that until recently had a near-stellar reputation for reliability and customer satisfaction.
Toyota’s prized Prius has earned the car manufacturer bragging rights as the “most efficient hybrid” since it was introduced three years ago. But some Prius owners have reported that the brakes can momentarily stop working after the car hits a bump. The issue has been blamed for several accidents, but no deaths.
When reports of the Prius brake issue first surfaced late last December on a small automotive site, TheDetroitBureau.com, Toyota downplayed the complaints, putting blame on drivers’ inexperience with anti-lock brakes. Last week, Toyota did a swift turn-about, announcing it was in the process of confirming the reports and investigating the driving conditions in which the problems occurred. By week’s end, Toyota admitted there was a defect, and that weeks earlier it had already found and fixed the problem. As for the 300,000 vehicles that rolled off the assembly line with defective brakes, a recall announcement from Toyota is expected as early as today.