It shouldn't come as a surprise that Toyota Motor Corp. would decide to recall its new Prius hybrid in Japan over a braking software glitch, according to a dealer. US and Japan safety regulators are investigating braking problems with the Prius, which is Japan's top-selling car last year and an icon of green design. The US and Japan are the Prius's biggest markets.
Last week, Toyota had said that it will make a final decision on whether to issue a recall or voluntary repair as soon as possible. The dealer, who declined to be identified, said the recall could be announced within the next few days.
Since the latest Prius was launched worldwide last May, more than 300,000 units of the new Prius worldwide have been sold.
This figure includes about 200,000 in Japan, 103,200 in the United States and 29,000 in Europe. Toyota has so far recalled over 8 million vehicles around the world for problems with unintended acceleration.
Last Friday, the company's president Akio Toyoda apologized for the safety problems at a news conference in Nagoya, Toyoda. He said that the company would make an announcement on the Prius soon.
Meanwhile, Ford Motor Co. last week rolled out a software patch for consumers to address similar problems with braking on the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan models.
Ford said that only dealers were notified of the problem in October (not the public) because it did not believe the glitch represented a brake failure.