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Toyota Recalls Prius, Plug-in Prius, Sai and HS250h in Japan Over Braking Issues

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announced a recall related to the software program that controls the antilock braking system (ABS) in current-model Prius, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, Sai and HS250h sold in Japan. (Earlier post.) The recall, for which TMC submitted notifications on Tuesday to Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, pertains to approximately 223,000 vehicles.

Worldwide, Toyota has sold about 400,000 of the hybrid vehicles subject to the recall announced in Japan. The company says it will take “remedial measures” as soon as possible in the United States, Europe and in other regions.

Models Recalled in Japan
ModelTypeProduction period of recalled vehiclesUnits
Prius DAA-ZVW30 20 April 2009 - 27 January 2010 200,000
Prius PHV DLA-ZVW35 25 November 2009 - 5 February 2010 150
Sai DAA-AZK10 2 October 2009 - 8 February 2010 11,000
HS250h DAA-ANF10 10 June 2009 - 8 February 2010 12,000

Drivers of the four models subject to the recall can experience reduced braking performance resulting in increased braking distance when their vehicles switch to hydraulic braking-only to activate ABS (which is used to stabilize handling on slippery surfaces, such as snowy and icy roads) at slow speeds, according to the company. Both a hydraulic braking system and a regenerative braking system work in unison in ordinary driving conditions.

Applying increased pressure to the brake pedal when ABS has taken effect will yield the intended braking performance. Toyota said it is undertaking the recall in the interest of ensuring customer confidence and peace of mind, and says that its corrective ABS software programming will resolve the problem.

TMC will begin notifying owners through its dealers today, and dealers will begin conducting the corrective reprogramming, which is expected to take approximately 40 minutes per vehicle, on 10 February.

Let me assure everyone that we will redouble our commitment to quality as the lifeline of our company. With myself taking the lead, all of us at Toyota will tackle the issue in close cooperation with our dealers and with our suppliers. Together, we will do everything in our power to regain the confidence of our customers.

—TMC President Akio Toyoda


Henry Gibson

Just put a catalytic converter on a Model T and you will have the clean relatively unsafe travel that most people enjoy now. We must now require that no airplanes be built that will crash in mid Atlantic or off the Coast of Lebanon. Nuclear design regulation techniques can be used. With enough regulations no planes can be built and no planes can fly since they must be safe enough to that there are no deaths from air crashes ever. Automobiles can come next. It does not matter that a TATA NANO is already far safer than a motorcycle; none are sold in the US. ..HG..


I find it impressive that the company and its President view this problem so personally. Toyota is a good car company with an excellent reputation. The fact that they have had cascading failures that is more perception than actual mechanics - is tough on them.

I am grateful for the company that took the risk to introduce the Prius hybrid vehicle. And stuck with it until it became a standard for eco-cars. I look forward to Toyota's introduction of the plug-in Prius and wish them continued success in the future.

Their actions and apology - speak volumes to their integrity.

R River

Paradigm shift:

Before: Toyota - Good, Domestics - Bad...
Now: Toyota - untrustworthy, GM skeptical but improving, Ford - Good

Remember the demographic for Toyota is that of Buick 20 years ago - 55 to dead. These people abhor change and avoid risk. This will effect them long term. When a respected in the know guy like Steve Wozniak can diagnose his Prius problems, this trumps the biased media.

Personally, I can't stand the UAW and their BS, but this is exposing the nasty little habit of Japanese secrecy in engineering and the only if they think of it first. This issue and the acceleration problems are a Japan engineering issue at TMC. Not floor mats of N. American supplier issues. Akio should have known closing NUMMI was going to be an issue, especially since Japan imports will replace a good amount of the production.

Can't wait to see the venue that Akio chooses for his ritual suicide!!

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