Report: Toyota to Recall Prius Hybrid

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TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. will recall 270,000 Prius hybrid vehicles over brake problems in the U.S. and Japan, a leading newspaper said Friday.

The recall would affect the new Prius hybrid model, which went on sale in the U.S. and Japan in May 2009, Japan's top business newspaper, Nihon Keizai, reported.

It said Toyota would soon notify Japan's transport ministry and the U.S. Department of Transportation of the recall.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK also said Friday that Toyota was considering a recall of Prius hybrids in the U.S. and Japan.

Takayuki Fujimoto, a transport ministry official, said the government has yet to receive a recall notice from Toyota. Toyota cannot announce a recall in Japan until it notifies the ministry.

Toyota spokeswoman Ririko Takeuchi said Friday that Toyota had not yet decided whether to recall the Prius.

"Nothing has been decided on whether we will recall or not," Takeuchi said.

More than 170,000 of the new Prius models have been sold in Japan. Around 103,000 have been sold in the U.S. since last May.

Toyota acknowledged Thursday design problems with the brakes in its prized Prius, adding to the catalog of safety woes at the Japanese automaker as it reels from global recalls of nearly 4.5 million vehicles for faulty gas pedals.

Toyota said it had corrected problems with the antilock brake system in Prius models sold since late last month, including those shipped overseas.

But the company said it was still deciding what steps to take to fix the problem in Prius cars sold in Japan and overseas before late January.

A total of about 180 complaints about braking problems in the Prius — the world's top-selling gas-electric hybrid — have been reported in the U.S. and Japan.

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