Toyota apologises for car recalls

Crisis-hit Toyota is apologising for massive recalls of its vehicles with full-page, black-and-white adverts on major Japanese newspapers.

The advertisements read: "We apologise from the bottom of our hearts for the great inconvenience and worries that we have caused you all."

The newspaper notice came after the world's biggest car maker started to fix braking faults on two problem hybrid models - the Sai, sold only in Japan, and the Lexus HS250h, also sold in North America. The fix on the Prius - a full hybrid electric mid-size car - began last week.

Owners have been notified to bring their cars to Toyota and Lexus dealers as the firm struggles to retrieve its safety and quality reputation in the market.

Toyota Motor Corporation president Akio Toyoda was due to give more updates on the recall, as the firm faces increasing pressure to come clean over defects.

Mr Toyoda has been asked by the US government to appear at a February 24 congressional committee hearing, which would examine the problem of sticky accelerator pedals behind an earlier global recall.

Over the past four months, as many as 8.5 million vehicles were recalled by the Japanese car giant due to problems with sticking accelerator pedals, floor mats trapping accelerators and faulty brake programming.

Copyright © Press Association 2010