Not many people were surprised when late yesterday Toyota officially announced it would recall approximately 133,000 2010 model Toyota Prius vehicles. For more than a week, the auto manufacturer debated the merits of an official recall to update software in the vehicle’s anti-lock brake system (ABS). However, it was not as widely known that this recall also would affect Toyota’s luxury brand, Lexus, but this voluntary safety recall includes 14,500 Lexus Division 2010 HS 250h vehicles. The Lexus recall also involves a software update for the ABS.
Toyota will begin mailing letters to Prius owners included in the recall next week, and HS 250h owners within the next few weeks. Owners will only receive a letter if their vehicle is included in the recall. This recall follows reports of inconsistent brake feel or delayed brake action, which has resulted in several accidents, but no reported serious injuries or deaths.
And the hits keep coming. Included in this same recall announcement, Toyota says it will conduct a voluntary safety recall on about 7,300 early production 2010 model year Camry vehicles equipped with the 4-cylinder engine, to inspect for a power steering hose that may be in contact with a front brake tube. The contact could lead to a hole in the brake tube and cause a brake fluid leak, increased brake pedal stroke, and greater vehicle stopping distance, according to the company’s official news release. Owners of 2010 Camrys will be notified by mail beginning in the middle of February.
The company says it has changed its production method for the 2010 Prius, beginning last month, to improve the ABS response time. The same production change will be implemented for the HS 250h model later this month.
The latest announcement is the third official recall by an automaker that once enjoyed a pristine reputation in the U.S. for quality. Last September, Toyota recalled approximately 4 million vehicles nationwide for unintended acceleration, which it blamed on the accelerator pedal becoming entrapped in the vehicle floor mats. In January, the company issued a second recall, also for unintended acceleration, which it said was the result of a faulty accelerator pedal that could become “sticky” over time.
Currently, Toyota’s recalls are affecting more than 8 million vehicles spanning many year models and makes, including cars and trucks ranging from the manufacturer’s economy line through its luxury Lexus products.