Because of a braking problem, Toyota is recalling 242,000 of its Prius and Lexus hybrid
cars made between March and October 2009.
The Japanese automaker said it received more than 90 complaints from owners who said they needed to step more heavily on the brake pedal than they were used to, according to CNN Money.
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A Toyota spokeswoman said nitrogen gas was leaking into the brake fluid, reducing the effectiveness of the brakes. There were no reports of accidents or injuries, she said.
Most of the Toyota recalls – 117,000 – are in Japan. In North America, 91,000 cars are being recalled, and in Europe, 30,000.
Of the recalls, 87,000 of them are Pruis models, which the company puts on a pedestal as the gold standard for hybrid cars. The Pruis is the world's best-selling hybrid. The recalled model is a third-generation Prius.
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., said it would inspect the brake booster pump assembly on the Prius and Lexus HS 250h vehicles and replace it if necessary at no cost to the customer. Owners of the recalled vehicles will receive a notification by first class mail.
The world's biggest automaker, which used to pride itself on its reliability and safety, has taken a hit recently with a series of recalls that have affected millions of vehicles in recent years. This past April, the company recalled 1.7 million cars worldwide, including its popular Corollas, Matrix models, and Tundras, because of airbag problems.
Last October, Toyota recalled more than 7 million vehicles because of a power window problem that posed a fire risk, according to CNN.
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