Toyota hit by over 100 Prius brake complaints
CTV.ca News Staff
Published Wednesday, February 3, 2010 8:42PM EST
The Toyota Motor Corp. has one more headache to deal with amid reports of brake problems with the popular Prius hybrid gas-electric car.
The Japanese automaker has already been dealing with massive recalls and plant shutdown related to a sticky accelerator in a number of its models. Executives this week announced a strategy to fix the problem which has sent the world's largest automaker's sales into a slump.
But Wednesday's news opens up a new set of troubles for the company. The Prius is not yet part of the recalls that extend to Europe and China and cover 4.5 million vehicles.
About 100 complaints about the Prius have been filed in Japan and the United States, where Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak weighed in on the issue.
Speaking to reporters, Wozniak claimed his 2010 Toyota Prius accelerates when put into cruise control – and with no added pressure to the break pedal. He said the problem may found in the car's software.
Wozniak took his claim to several media outlets, and according to the Los Angeles Times, a Toyota spokesperson eventually reached out to him, and said the company would examine his car.
In the U.S., the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has received dozens of complaints about the brakes in the latest Prius model. Two of those complaints involved crashes that resulted in injuries.
Japan's Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry said Wednesday it had registered 14 complaints since July.
One of the possible causes of the braking problems, according to the Kyodo News Service, is that a sensor in the system that controls braking power receives a strong shock that causes a malfunction.
Typically, the result is a sudden reduction of braking power while slowing down on bumpy roads.
The Japanese transport ministry has ordered Toyota to investigate the problems.
With files from The Associated Press