Prius brakes cause Toyota trouble

Brake problems have become the latest issue to hit car maker Toyota, after it received more than 100 complaints about Pruis hybrid cars in Japan and the US.

Recently, Toyota had to recall eight of its best-selling US models when it emerged a faulty accelerator pedal could stick and pose a safety risk, which brought sales in its biggest market to a standstill.

Although Prius models were not included in the recalls, which have been extended to China and Europe, the US National Highway Traffic Administration said it had received about 100 complaints concerning the petrol-electric hybrid's brakes. People were injured after two cases led to crashes.

Almost 4.5 million Prius models have been sold since the car's US and Japanese launch in May 2009, but Japanese authorities said they received 14 brake problem complaints since last July.

Transport ministry official Masaya Ota said two people were hurt in an accident last July, when a Prius had a head-on collision with another car,

He said: "The Prius driver in the accident told police that a brake did not work. Other Prius drivers also complained brakes were not so sharp."

Mr Ota added that all the vehicles subject to complaint were about the new model, which were made in Japan.

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