Toyota Prius Stained with Brake Problems Too

Toyota admitted design problems with the brakes in its prized Prius, adding to the catalog of woes for the world's No. 1 automaker still reeling from a massive U.S. recall involving faulty gas pedals.

Toyota Motor Corp. spokeswoman Ririko Takeuchi said Thursday that Toyota discovered there were design problems with the antilock brake system and corrected them for Prius models sold since late January, including those being shipped overseas, The Associated Press reports.

According MarketWatch, Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday it was aware of concerns about the safety of its Prius hybrid and that it has modified the braking system to address the issue, according to reports.

The statement was made by quality general manager, Hiroyuki Yokoyama, following the release of Toyota's fiscal third-quarter earnings, which showed an above-forecast return to profit against the year earlier period.

Dow Jones Newswires cited the executive as saying Toyota first heard about complaints involving Prius brakes from dealers last autumn. He said the braking system was revamped in January and denied the company had tried to cover up the problem, according to the Dow Jones report.

Japanese stocks fell, led by record- high trading in Toyota Motor Corp. as the world’s biggest carmaker faces its worst recall crisis.

Toyota, Japan’s largest company by market value, lost 3.5 percent with 56.5 million shares changing hands, five times the daily average of the past year. After the market closed, the company raised its profit forecast. Honda Motor Co., Toyota’s nearest domestic rival, rose 2.6 percent after boosting its forecast. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan’s largest listed bank, sank 2.7 percent after saying bad-debt charges rose, Bloomberg reports.

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