Toyota to recall 242,000 hybrid cars because of braking problems


TOKYO – Toyota Motor will recall 242,000 Prius and Lexus hybrid cars globally because of a braking problem, the company said Wednesday, adding that it was not reported to have caused any accidents.

Drivers of the two models, manufactured between March and October 2009, have complained they needed to step more heavily than previously on the brake pedal.

A company spokeswoman in Tokyo said a materials weakness was leading to cracks that allowed nitrogen gas to leak into the brake fluid, affecting the efficacy of the brakes.

No accidents have been reported, but the company has received more than 90 complaints from customers worldwide, she said.

Toyota will recall 117,000 units in Japan, 91,000 in North America, 30,000 in Europe and 3,000 in Asia-Pacific, she said.

The incident is the latest in a long line for Toyota, which has had to recall millions of vehicles over the last few years, sullying a reputation it once enjoyed for safety and reliability. AFP


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