Toyota Motor Corp. is preparing a recall of the Prius hybrid car in Japan as early as Tuesday, followed by similar steps in the United States, Europe and other markets, according to several news agencies, all citing multiple sources
Toyota, which has earned a reputation as the green-vehicle front-runner with the fuel-sipping Prius, has said it is discussing with safety authorities worldwide how to fix a software glitch that delays braking on the model in certain road conditions.
Right now, many Toyota owners are angry, scared and feeling “in the dark” about this massive recall going on. What exactly should you do if you own one of the millions of Toyotas recalled for the floor mat problem or the sticking gas pedal problem?
“The recalls and other technical problems besetting Toyota in the last few weeks highlight the risks of relying on electronics instead of the mechanical rods and cables that controlled vehicles for most of the 20th century,” writes industry observer Peter Svensson.
Such advancements bring many benefits, but the worry is that the car is a computer on wheels that could freeze up and potentially crash. Computer celebrity Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has said his Toyota Prius sometimes accelerates on its own.
“Toyota says that a software glitch is to blame for braking problems on the brand-new 2010 Toyota Prius,” according to industry observer Jamie Lendino, but hasn’t issued a general recall yet.
“We would want to be given a little time,” Hiro Yuki Yokoyama, Toyota’s managing officer, said according to CNN.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into 124 reports from consumers that their Toyota Prius vehicles momentarily lost braking ability while traveling over uneven roads, potholes or bumps. Four of the reports involve crashes.
Accelerators in cars can get trapped under floor mats or become stuck on their own and fail to return to the idle position. Toyota has recalled eight top-selling models, involving 2.3 million cars in the U.S. alone.