Toyota’s problems continued to snowball this week as the car maker announced a recall of 437,000 of its hybrid models, including the popular Prius, due to concerns with the brake system.
Along with the Prius, the worldwide recall involves the Toyota Sai (sold primarily in Japan) and the Lexus HS250h. Sales of the Sai and the Lexus Hs250h will be discontinued until a fix is in place.
Initially, Toyota described the problem as “a momentary delay in braking when the car was driving over slippery or bumpy surfaces, such as ice or rutted roads.” This week president of Toyota sales in the U.S., Jim Lentz, described the problem as “a change in braking feel.” The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it was opening a formal investigation into the braking problems, stemming from complaints from 125 Prius owners. However, no recall plans have been confirmed yet.
According to a recent article on Forbes.com, a group of two dozen law firms are attempting to bring a class action lawsuit against Toyota Motor Corp., alleging its vehicles have cost consumers billions of dollars in lost value because of the recalls. Kelley Blue Book and other automotive guides have warned that Toyota’s recalls are reducing the value of its vehicles. A hearing is scheduled for March 25 in U.S. District Court in San Diego where a panel of judges will decide whether to consolidate the suits into a single national class-action suit.