In November 2012, Toyota announced two recalls that affected 2.77 million Prius vehicles worldwide due to a manufacturing defect in the steering intermediate extension shaft. The splines that connect the extension shaft may wear out over time if owners forcefully turned to the full left or full right position while driving at slow speeds. Additionally, about 350,000 of the recalled vehicles had a defect in the electric water pump that helps circulate coolant through the hybrid components.
Now Toyota has issued another recall of approximately 242,000 gas-electric hybrid vehicles due to faulty brakes. According to Reuters, the United States recall involves 81,570 Prius cars and 5,030 Lexus HS 250 vehicles from the 2010 model year that were manufactured between March and October 2009. Approximately 117,000 vehicles are being recalled in Japan, in addition to 30,000 in Europe and smaller numbers from other countries.
According to an announcement on Toyota’s official website, “[t]he involved vehicles are equipped with a brake pressure accumulator that may develop a fatigue crack on an internal part due to vibration.” Owners should immediately identify whether or not the recall affects their hybrid vehicle, as the company has received about 90 complaints of the need to apply extra pressure to the brake pedal for proper function.
Toyota will notify owners via first class mail about the recall and encourage them to take their vehicle to a dealer for an inspection of the brake booster pump assembly. Dealers will replace faulty parts at no charge to the owners. Individuals can obtain more information about the recall at www.toyota.com/recall or at www.lexus.com/recall. Additionally, owners may call the Toyota Customer Experience at 1-800-331-4331 or Lexus Customer Satisfaction at 1-800-255-3987.