Toyota under fire from fresh quality complaints about its popular Prius hybrid

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 25, 2010

Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius hybrid is under investigation over complaints of slipping brakes. Toyota revealed that it had previously conducted a software fix to address this problem but it didn't inform customers of the change. Toyota said that it is unsure of how to handle the thousands of Prius cars that were delivered to owners before the fix was made.

This problem is seen in the third-generation Prius, which started selling in the US, Japan and Europe last year.

Transportation agencies in the US and Japan have received numerous complaints of the car's brakes giving way under certain conditions. Japan's Ministry of Transportation has asked Toyota to investigate the problem.

This might lead to a recall if a defect is discovered. Since July, the ministry has received 38 complaints. In the online database at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at least 102 brake-related complaints have been submitted for the car.

At a press conference, Toyota Managing Officer Hiroyuki Yokoyama explained that the slipping feeling is a result of a lag time in the shift between the car's regenerative braking system and the antilock braking system.

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