Toyota recalls Prius over concerns about braking
Toyota Ireland last night announced that it is recalling all 58 Prius hybrid cars sold here since November to carry out remedial work on brake software.
It did so amid fresh reports that the company's, and the world's, best-selling car, the Corolla, is being reviewed by a US authority after driver complaints about steering.
The Prius recall followed a widely anticipated announcement from Toyota Motor Europe. The modification will be made to the software used to manage the vehicle's Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS). Any Prius sold here before November is not affected by the recall.
The decision was made after reports in the US of an inconsistent feel to brakes during slow and steady braking on bumpy or slick road surfaces when the ABS is working.
Toyota said the modification would involve a change to the ABS program in the vehicle's Electronic Control Unit (ECU), so that response time and the system's overall sensitivity to tyre slippage would be improved. It takes around 40 minutes and only requires standard test equipment.
The company last night insisted there had been no incidents linked to that element reported here and said other Toyota or Lexus models were not affected by the recall.
Customers are to be immediately informed of the recall by letter. They will be asked to contact their dealership to have the work carried out. Toyota owners with concerns can contact their local dealer or ring the helpline on 01-4190222.
Meanwhile, news that the Corolla is being reviewed by the US after driver complaints about steering means the company could be heading for a fourth safety crisis.
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it was investigating complaints of steering difficulties on 2009 and 2010 Corollas.
Toyota has recalled more than eight million cars in recent weeks over potentially defective accelerator pedals and floor mats.
In Japan, Akio Toyoda, the group's president and grandson of the founder, conceded: "Toyota is not an omnipotent, failure-proof company."
TOYOTA CITY A JOYLESS PLACE: PAGE 31