Toyota recalls 5,000 Prius cars in Britain over flaws in the brakes

City A.M. Reporter
TOYOTA is recalling about 242,000 hybrid vehicles worldwide, including almost 5,000 in the UK, due to a brake design flaw, the car firm said yesterday.

Toyota is recalling its popular Prius model produced between March and October 2009, and the Lexus HS 250h made between June and October 2009, spokeswoman Shino Yamada said.

The recall affects 4,947 UK-registered third generation Prius vehicles.

The cars could experience greater stopping distances when braking because of a mechanical design flaw in a brake part, Yamada said.

That part, the brake pressure accumulator, could crack with fatigue and release nitrogen gas into the brake fluid, she said, adding that no accidents, injuries or deaths have been reported as a result of the defect.

Toyota is recalling 113,550 Prius vehicles in Japan. In the United States, it is recalling 81,570 Prius cars and 5,030 of the HS 250h.

The company will exchange the faulty part with a new one, which will take around three hours.

In 2010, Toyota, an leader in petrol-electric hybrid technology, recalled 433,000 hybrid vehicles including the Prius and HS 250h because of a braking software glitch.

In a hybrid vehicle, a battery captures energy from the brakes to supplement the combustion engine, boosting overall mileage, particularly in stop-go city traffic.