BREAKING: Toyota confirms Prius and Lexus HS 250h recall

Remember the Toyota Prius braking problem we’ve been talking about for some time now? Well, Toyota today finally announced that it will conduct a voluntary safety recall on approximately 133,000 2010 Toyota Prius units and 14,500 2010 Lexus HS 250h units to update software in the vehicle”s anti-lock brake system (ABS).

While in the U.S. that number totals 147,500, the worldwide recall involves 437,000 vehicles, including the Toyota Prius and Sai hybrid. The Sai is sold primarily in Japan.

“The ABS, in normal operation, engages and disengages rapidly (many times per second) as the control system senses and reacts to tire slippage,” Toyota said in a statement. “Some 2010 model year Prius and 2010 HS 250h owners have reported experiencing inconsistent brake feel during slow and steady application of brakes on rough or slick road surfaces when the ABS is activated in an effort to maintain tire traction.”

Toyota said that the production allocation for the 2010 Toyota Prius received the upgrade last month and that the HS 250h will get the upgrade this month.

The Japanese automaker said that it will begin mailing letters to Prius owners included in the recall next week and HS 250h owners within the next few weeks. Owners will only receive a letter if their vehicle is involved in the recall.

Check out the FAQs about the 2010 Toyota Prius and Lexus HS 250h Recall after the jump.

FAQs About the 2010 Prius/2010 Lexus HS 250h/Camry Voluntary Recalls

1. What is the problem with the 2010 Prius?

The anti-lock brake system (ABS) in the 2010 model-year Prius, in normal operation, engages and disengages rapidly (many times per second) as the control system senses and reacts to tire slippage. Some owners have reported experiencing inconsistent brake feel during slow and steady application of the brakes on rough or slick road surfaces when the anti-lock brake system (ABS) is activated in an effort to maintain tire traction.

2. How is Toyota responding to this Prius issue?

Toyota has responded to owner concerns with a running production change for the 2010 Prius that was introduced last month, improving the ABS system”s response time, as well as the system”s overall sensitivity to tire slippage.

The recall will allow Toyota dealers to perform this software update in the anti-lock brake systems of 2010 Prius vehicles sold prior to this production change.

3. Why does this only impact 2010 Prius models?

First- and second-generation Prius vehicles use a different ABS system and are not involved in this campaign.

4. What is the problem with the Lexus HS 250h?

The anti-lock brake system on the Lexus HS 250h shares similar component design to the 2010 Prius, so it has been included on this recall.

5. How is Toyota responding to this Lexus issue?

The software adjustment planned for the Lexus HS 250h production and dealer modification is being finalized and will be announced very soon.

6. How many vehicles are impacted?

This recall involves approximately 133,000 2010 model year Prius vehicles and 14,550 Lexus Division 2010 HS 250h vehicles.

7. What should 2010 Prius and Lexus HS 250h customers do if they experience this braking issue?

If a Prius or Lexus HS 250h owner were to experience this condition, pressing hard on the brake pedal will stop the vehicle safely.

8. Are these vehicles safe to drive until they get their update?

The vehicles are safe to drive because pressing hard on the brake pedal will stop the vehicle.

9. When can I get my vehicle fixed?

Toyota will begin sending letters to Prius owners included in this recall by mail next week and Lexus HS 250h owners within the next few weeks to let them know when to bring their vehicles into a dealership. Owners will only receive a letter if their vehicle is involved in the recall.

10. How long will it take for a dealer to repair my vehicle?

The software update should only take approximately 30 minutes to install, depending on technician workflow.

11. Is the repair covered by warranty? Will drivers have to pay any money out of pocket for this work?

Toyota will cover all repair costs associated with this work.

12. Is this recall related to the ongoing Toyota recalls associated with sudden unintended acceleration?

No, this recall is unrelated to the ongoing recall of Toyota vehicles for sticking gas pedals and floor mat entrapment issues.

12. Where can I get more information on this recall?

Information for Toyota customers can be found at www.toyota.com/recall and at the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.

Information for Lexus customers can be found at lexus.com and at the Lexus Customer Assistance Center at 1-800-255-3987.

– By: Omar Rana