Breaking: Toyota to Recall Prius Hybrid

Breaking: Toyota to Recall Prius Hybrid

According to Japan’s Nikkei News, Toyota will recall 270,000 of its 2010 Prius models due to an issue with the car’s braking system. Unrelated to past Toyota recalls, the Prius uses a unique combination of traditional mechanical braking and sophisticated regenerative braking, which is used to recharge the car’s hybrid battery.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as well as Japanese authorities have registered over 100 complaints about the car’s brake system, where owners say they experienced a brief loss of braking capability when traveling over bumpy or icy roads. Toyota has admitted it knew of a problem that caused a brief loss of braking during the transition from the car’s regenerative braking to its traditional friction braking. Toyota refers to this as “slight unresponsiveness” and says it usually lasts less than a second.

Toyota has said the issue has been solved on all models produced since late January but no recall has been ordered for models built before that time.

Toyota spokesman Tom Hanson has said he has no information regarding the recall of the Prius model. Earlier today the Japanese automaker released a statement saying that it, “is aware that NHTSA has opened a Preliminary Evaluation centered on owner complaints of a braking issue with the 2010 model year Prius. Toyota will cooperate fully with NHTSA’s investigation.”

  • Kenneth Deviney

    If regenerative braking activates first, the generator that is the wheel motor may not produce voltage high enough to initate braking at a very slow speed. An alternator on a vehicle sometimes does not produce until a speed above idle is reached. This may explain the the braking problem.