7 Feb 2010

Toyota to recall Prius for brake glitch says report

7:32 pm on 7 February 2010

The Japanese car maker Toyota, which has recalled more than eight million vehicles around the world for problems with accelerators, has decided to recall its new Prius hybrid sold in Japan to fix a braking software glitch.

A Japanese newspaper the Yomiuri reported safety regulators in both the United States and Japan are investigating breaking problems with the Prius cars, Japan's top-selling car last year and an icon of green design that has lifted the public image of Toyota.

The world's biggest automaker had already told its car dealers about the braking recall decision, the Yomiuri newspaper said.

Toyota was expected to announce the recall early next week after it consults the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation, the newspaper said.

Toyota New Zealand has written to the owners of 260 Prius vehicles, saying a glitch with the hybrid vehicle's braking system doesn't make the model unsafe.

Since its launch last May, Toyota has sold over 300,000 of the newest version of the Prius worldwide, including around 200,000 in Japan, 103,200 in the United States and 29,000 in Europe.

Episodes of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles have been linked to up to 19 crash deaths in the United States over the past decade.

Toyota's president Akio Toyoda apologised on Friday for safety problems.

"I would like to take this opportunity to apologize from the bottom of my heart for causing many of our customers concern after the recalls across several models in several regions," Mr Toyoda told a news conference in Nagoya.