Toyota‘s popular Prius model is now officially under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for potentially faulty brakes. In a statement released by the NHTSA, it said it will launch a formal investigation into whether the popular hybrid has a brief loss of braking capability when traveling over bumpy or icy roads.
This announcement may, however, be a moot point as Toyota has already admitted to knowing there was a problem with the brakes on the 2010 Prius (a model previously unaffected by any of Toyota’s other recalls). Toyota has said it knew of a problem that caused a brief loss of braking during the transition from the car’s regenerative braking (which serves to power-up the car’s hybrid battery) to its traditional friction braking. Toyota refers to this as “slight unresponsiveness” and says it usually lasts less than a second.
The NHTSA has received over 100 complaints about the Prius’s brakes, including four where crashes resulted.
Toyota has said the issue has been solved on all models produced since late January but has yet to issue a recall for all 2010 models built and sold before that point. The NHTSA’s investigation is likely to ensure a recall.
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