Toyota Recalls Prius, Lexus Hybrid For Faulty Brakes
We picked this up as reported on the NBC News site… Two of Toyota’s high-profile hybrid models, notably including the best-selling Prius, are being recalled due to brake problems, according to the Japanese maker. In all, about 87,000 vehicles are impacted, including Toyota Prius hatchbacks and Lexus HS 250h hybrids sold during the 2010 model-year. The maker does not say how many of each model are covered by the recall.
The problem is the result of a brake pressure accumulator that may develop a fatigue crack due to vibration. That would lead to the loss of at least some brake pressure. Toyota said it has received no reports of accidents or injuries related to the problem. The incident follows an earlier recall of some fourth-generation Toyota Prius models due to problems with electronic brake software programming. That issue impacted the way the popular hybrid melded its regenerative braking system — used to recapture energy to recharge its batteries – and the car’s traditional, hydraulic brakes. That earlier problem could create a sense that the brakes would briefly release during an aggressive stop, according to owners who first reported that earlier problem on TheDetroitBureau.com. While the Toyota Prius has faced a few safety-related issues over its more than a dozen years on sale in the U.S., it has generally proved one of the maker’s most reliable product lines. It is also one of its better selling models – and the most popular hybrid in the world. In the U.S., it has routinely outsold all other gas-electric models combined. So, the recall comes as a bit of an embarrassment. The Lexus HS 250h, however, proved to be one of the weaker members of the luxury marque’s line-up despite sharing most of the underpinnings of the Prius. Toyota plans to notify owners of both hybrid models directly in the weeks to come. It will ask them to visit dealers for an inspection and, if necessary, a replacement brake actuator will be installed at no charge. Prius owners can immediately find out more, meanwhile, by visiting www.Toyota.com/recall, or calling 1-800-331-4331. Lexus owners, meanwhile, can check out www.Lexus.com/recall, or call 1-800-255-3987.
Yes, you heard that right…the two companies are looking into using tomato fibers for making automobile parts! They’re testing the durability of this idea in relation to car wiring brackets and storage containers. Something like this is obviously very bio-friendly, as it employs tomato skins.
All new cars and light trucks, since 2008, have come equipped with a tire pressure monitoring system. The TPMS system detects when a tire becomes under-inflated and lights up a warning light on the dash. So what’s the big deal? Well, under-inflated tires can be a real safety concern. First of all, they don’t handle properly, and that can lead to an accident. And second, under-inflated tires can overheat and cause the tire to come apart, which can also lead to an accident.