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February 8, 2010 – Breaking News
Toyota Prius Brake Defect Recall To Be Announced
The Associated Press reported on February 8, 2010 that Toyota intends to recall 300,000 Priuses globally due to problems with the gas-electric vehicle’s brakes. A Kyodo News agency in Tokyo reported that the potential recall may be announced to both the U.S. and Japanese governments regarding the 2010 Prius hybrids that went on sale in May 2009. The recall is supposed to include approximately 270,000 of the hybrids sold in the two countries: 170,000 in Japan and 100,000 in the U.S. At least 100 Prius motorists in the U.S. have issued official complaints regarding their antilock brakes failing briefly while driving on bumpy or uneven roads. It is alleged that the brake problem caused four accidents and two minor injuries. The Japanese government has also received dozens of similar complaints.
As the world’s most popular gas-electric hybrid vehicle, the Prius may have a significant software glitch that is causing the brake problems. Reports state that Toyota has sold about 300,000 of these Priuses in 60 countries since last year and that any recall is likely to ultimately include most of those vehicles. While Toyota claims it has already fixed the vehicles that went on sale since last month, the automaker has also said that the brakes will work if the driver keeps pushing the brake pedal.
Within recent months, Toyota has already recalled over 7 million vehicles for repairs in the United States and other countries due to accelerators that can become stuck and floor mats that can get caught, thus limiting a motorist’s control over the gas pedal. While Toyota has fought to defend its reputation while consumers question the automaker’s promise of safety and quality, reports have stated that Toyota is still considering different options for handling Prius repairs in the U.S. The auto company may issue a complete safety recall or a service campaign in which Prius owners will be notified to have their vehicle taken in for repairs. Despite Toyota working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over how to address fixing the Prius brake problem, a remedy has yet to be made public for the Toyota Prius Brake Defect issue.
Defective and poorly designed auto parts, especially brakes, are serious issues that jeopardize the safety and well-being of motorists and passengers. Consumers trust car manufacturers to design, create, and market vehicles that are secure, reliable and free of defects. If you or someone you care for has been injured or killed in an auto accident involving a Toyota Prius and you believe defective brakes may have been the cause, the reputable and skilled auto brake defect lawyers at Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP, would like to speak with you. As national leaders in auto product liability litigation, the trial attorneys at Panish Shea & Boyle focus on obtaining full and just compensation for injured individuals and their families. The auto product liability attorneys at Panish Shea & Boyle are currently investigating crashes involving all Toyota vehicles; our attorneys can help you, call 877-800-1700 today for more information.
February 3, 2010
Toyota Prius Received Over 100 Brake Complaints
Toyota Prius Defective Brake Attorneys
On February 3, 2010, several news reports announced that complaints have been formally made in the United States and Japan alleging poor brake performance in the 2010 Toyota Prius hybrid. As one of the automaker’s most popular models, the new gas-electric Prius hybrid was introduced in May 2009 and is Toyota’s third best-selling model in the U.S. The new hybrid has not been included in the recent recall of about 4.5 million vehicles in the U.S., Europe, and China. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received over 100 complaints of suspected brake problems with the 2010 Toyota Prius. In addition, 14 complaints about the brakes have been filed in Japan since July of last year. One of the complaints in Japan related to an accident in July 2009 that injured two people after the Prius collided head-on with another car at an intersection due to the brakes “not working.”
As the latest potential Toyota auto part defect, the complaints of 2010 Prius brake malfunction appear to be connected to the car’s inability to brake appropriately when traveling along bumpy roads, frozen surfaces, or uneven terrain. A Toyota Motor Co. spokesman in Japan stated that when the driver steps on the brake, they do not experience the anticipated feeling of completely braking. When searching the NHTSA’s complaint database, similar complaints were found in the U.S. One 2010 Prius owner wrote, “When braking, if a pothole or bump in the road is hit, the car seemingly jerks forward/accelerates for a split second.” This particular motorist claims that their Prius has been driven for six months in which the described brake issue occurred about ten times.
Hybrid vehicles like the Prius have brakes that function differently than brakes in most other cars. While hybrids use standard brakes that implement friction from pads pushed against drums or rotors, hybrid vehicles also use their electric motors to help bring the car to a stop. The process of hybrids using electric motors to slow down the car generates electricity to recharge the batteries. One of the most appealing things about a hybrid vehicle is its alternate use of gasoline engine and electric motor, thus leading to increased fuel efficiency in slow speed traffic.
Amidst a succession of large recalls for unintended acceleration problems related to sticking gas pedals, 2.3 million Toyota vehicles were recalled on January 21, 2010. Shortly thereafter, on January 26, 2010, sales of the eight models involved in the recall were put on hold by Toyota. The first signs of gas pedal problems arose in November of 2009 when approximately 4.2 million vehicles were recalled due to floor mats supposedly causing accelerators to become stuck.