toyota executive vice president mitshuhisa kato

Toyota Executive Vice President Mitsuhisa Kato poses with a Toyota new Prius at the Toyota showroom in Tokyo. Pic: AP

Japan: Toyota to recall 340,000 Prius cars due to brake defect

TOYOTA is issuing a recall in the U.S., Japan, and Europe of hundreds of thousands of gas-electric hybrid Prius cars after receiving reports of a brake defect that could result in fatal accidents.

The Japanese automotive company has not released details of the reports, but said they included crashes, injuries, and deaths. 212,000 of the cars are in Japan, 94,000 in North America, and 17,000 in Europe.

The parking brake cable is at risk of disengaging, which will cause the brakes to stop working properly – this can lead to the car rolling away if it is left in any gear other than park and possibly crash.

SEE ALSO: Japan: Can Toyota’s ‘baby’ robot Kirobo Mini trigger broodiness in young couples?

CNN Money likened the issue to Fiat Chrysler’s recall in April for 1.1 million cars and SUVs due to a similar gear selector flaw. The defect caused the death of Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin, who died after his 2015 Grand Cherokee rolled down his driveway towards him and pinned him to an iron fence.


The problematic Prius cars involved in the recall were models manufactured between August 2015 and October 2016 in Japan.

USA Today quoted Toyota spokesman Victor Vanov as saying in an email: “Alleged crashes, injuries, and fatalities are reported in many ways to many different organizations.”

Toyota said in a statement on its website: “Toyota dealers will add clips on the top of the brake cable dust boots to prevent the cable from becoming inoperative at no cost to customers.”

Owners of the recalled vehicles will receive a notice of the recall starting in November.

Additional reporting by Associated Press