On the heels of a recall and stop sale order on eight different Toyota models, the automaker has announced a global recall of its 2010 model Prius Hybrid, as well as the Lexus HS250h sedan—bringing the total number of recalled Toyotas to 8.5 million. The Prius is the top-selling hybrid vehicle in the world and Japan’s top-selling automobile. Some industry analysts believe that the Prius recall was triggered by Toyota’s fear of an even greater backlash if the company failed to respond, given consumers’ sinking confidence.
The brakes on the recalled cars sometimes show a delayed response, especially on snowy or bumpy roads. Toyota says that this delay does not mean the brakes are failing and that the driver should continue to press the brake. Toyota says that the brakes can be repaired with the installation of replacement software to control the antilock brakes.
Some have questioned how long it took Toyota to respond to complaints about Prius brake delays. The Japanese government has publicly rebuked the automaker for its failure to respond promptly and appropriately to consumer complaints. Reports are that 200 complaints were made about the problem in the U.S. and Japan before the recall was initiated.
Toyota’s President, Akio Toyoda, has apologized for the problems plaguing the company’s vehicles and has tried to assure consumers that these problems are being taking seriously and will be corrected. He also acknowledged that the company did not respond as quickly as it could have to consumer concerns about the brake problem, but he is determined that Toyota was regain consumer confidence.
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