After receiving an eruption of complaints about the third-generation Prius hybrid vehicle, Japan's Ministry of Transportation has ordered Toyota Motor Corp. to launch an investigation. Toyota's woes are certainly worsening as it is already facing recalls of 8.1 million vehicles in five continents.
Toyota spokeswoman Ririko Takeuchi said that the company, since the end of last year, has known about the braking complaints on the Prius in Japan and North America. She didn't elaborate on when the directive was issued and how Toyota plans to respond.
She can't give a figure on exactly how many complaints have been filed, she only said that most were filed since the end of last year. Takeuchi said that the complaints were mostly about the "unusual feel" drivers felt when pushing the brake in bumpy or icy conditions.
Toyota is currently under fire for the massive recall of its cars due to unintended acceleration. The total number of cars recalled so far -- 8.1 million vehicles worldwide -- is more cars than it sold last year.
Having the latest generation Prius included in this list is a huge blow. The Prius went on sale in the United States, Europe and Japan last year. The popularity of this car is largely due to its environmentally friendly technology.