Toyota boss apologises for recall


Toyota's president today apologised for the car company's global recalls.

Akio Toyoda, grandson of the company's founder, also promised to improve quality control by setting up a special committee he would head himself.

He said the car maker was still deciding what to do to fix braking problems with the popular Prius gas-electric hybrid.

Toyota has acknowledged the new Prius that went on sale in May last year has braking problems but Mr Toyoda did not announce a recall.

Some owners of the 2010 Prius have reported their brakes do not always engage immediately when they press the brake pedal, or that the brakes have an inconsistent feel.

The problem has been fixed with a software programming change for Prius vehicles sold in Japan and overseas since late January, but not for vehicles sold before then.

It follows a global recall announcement last week over accelerator pedals that could potentially stick. The models involved include the IQ, Aygo with automati transmission, Yaris, Corolla and Auris (though not 1.4-litre petrol versions), Verso and Avensis.

Toyota Ireland has revised down the number of cars affected by the recall in Ireland. Originally estimated at 26,000, the firm now says the specific number is 18,130. It has also added a feature to its website where concerned owners can use their car's registration number to check if it is part of the recall.

The reduction in recalled cars is largely due to fact that right-hand drive RAV4 models and manual versions of its Aygo small car are no longer involved.

It says the problem originated with accelerator pedals supplied by American firm CTS. The firm's engineers have created a small steel reinforcement for the pedal mechanism that will be inserted in the recalled cars to prevent it sticking.

These parts are due to arrive in Ireland next Wednesday, the same day as letters will be issued to owners. The repair is expected to take 20 minutes per vehicle. Toyota owners with queries about the recall of the braking issue with Prius models can contact a Toyota helpline at 01 4190222.