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Toyota will recall hybrids in Japan for braking problems

UPDATED at 12:05 a.m.

Struggling Japanese auto giant Toyota is recalling the 2010 Priuses in Japan because of braking problems, following a government-ordered investigation of the brakes.

No word yet on a recall for Priuses sold in the United States, where owners have filed more than than 100 complaints that the high-profile hybrid's brakes can feel squishy when braking is applied on bumpy roads, the company said moments ago.

Toyotal also is recalling the Lexus HS 250h sedan, the upscale version of the Prius, and the Sai, which is sold only in Japan.

Toyota president Akio Toyoda will hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon at the company’s Tokyo headquarters to discuss the Prius, a spokesman said, The Post's Blaine Harden reported from Japan moments ago.

The Japanese press has been reporting for days that Toyota has decided on a worldwide recall of the latest models of the Prius, which have sold briskly in Japan and the United States since they were rolled out last year. About 170,000 vehicles would be subject to the recall in Japan and about 103,000 in the United States, according to press reports.

The recall represents the latest image blow to Toyota, which had won a two-decade reputation for quality and reliability. In January, Toyota recalled 2.1 million vehicles, including the Prius, for sticking accelerator pedals. This added to a 3.8-million vehicle recall in September for what Toyota has said is an unrelated problem involving the accelerator pedal becoming trapped by the floor mat.

The U.S. Department of Transportation launched a formal investigation on the Prius brakes last week.

Click here to read an op-ed from Akio Toyoda in Tuesday's Washington Post. He writes:

"We also are putting in place steps to do a better job within Toyota of sharing important quality and safety information across our global operations. This shortcoming contributed to the current situation. With respect to sticking accelerator pedals, we failed to connect the dots between problems in Europe and problems in the United States because the European situation related primarily to right-hand-drive vehicles."

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By Frank Ahrens  |  February 9, 2010; 12:05 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Toyota Prius, Toyota recall update, toyota recall model and years  
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