DOT 25-10
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Contact: Olivia Alair
Telephone: (202) 366-4570

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Transportation learned today of a third Toyota recall involving 2010 Prius hybrids and Lexus HS 250h vehicles experiencing brake system problems. Some 2010 Camrys prone to brake fluid leaks have also been recalled.

"Last Thursday, NHTSA opened a formal investigation of 2010 Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles in response to consumer complaints about braking difficulties, and today, Toyota has acknowledged a safety defect," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "When I spoke with Toyota President Akio Toyoda last week, he assured me that his company takes U.S. safety concerns very seriously. The U.S. DOT will remain in constant communication with Toyota to hold them to that promise. In the meantime, if you are concerned about your car's braking performance, contact your Toyota dealer."

The DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced last week that the agency is opening a formal investigation of the 2010 Toyota Prius hybrid to look into allegations of momentary loss of braking capability while traveling over an uneven road surface, pothole or bump. The Office of Defects Investigation had received 124 reports from consumers, including four reports alleging that crashes occurred. Investigators have spoken with consumers and conducted pre-investigatory field work.

NHTSA recommends that owners contact Toyota dealers immediately if they notice changes in their braking performance.

Loss of braking is most likely to occur when traveling over an uneven road surface, pothole or bump. If this occurs, the agency advises owners to continue to firmly press on the brake to stop the vehicle. As an extra precaution, drivers can leave extra stopping distance while awaiting their recall notice.

NHTSA is continuing its formal investigation into the Prius braking problem and remains in constant communication with Toyota to ensure all possible defects in these vehicles are addressed and remedied as quickly as possible. Currently, NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation has received 124 reports from consumers, including four reports alleging that crashes occurred.

Today’s announcement marks the third recall announced by Toyota over the past few weeks. NHTSA advises owners of vehicles affected by any of the recalls to contact their local dealership if they detect a problem. For more information, consumers should visit www.nhtsa.gov or call the NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.