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Toyota Recalls 242,000 Prius and Lexus HS250h for Braking Issues

Toyota Prius Regenerative Braking, Assisted by Brake Accumulator
Toyota Prius Regenerative Braking, Assisted by Brake Accumulator

Toyota has topped global markets in the hybrid vehicle category, selling over five million since the introduction of the Toyota Prius in 1997. Toyota recalls are probably just as well-known.

Perhaps the most famous Toyota recall was in regards to the unintended acceleration problem. Toyota has always stood behind its product, and judging by its history of recall programs versus just sweeping the problem under the rug, could be perhaps the most responsible of them all? The thing is, when you sell millions of vehicles a year and source parts from hundreds of manufacturers, there are bound to be discrepancies in quality that may not show up for years.

The last couple of years have seen various Toyota recall programs, including Toyota Prius electric water pump replacement, electric power steering replacement in various models, and even full frame replacement in some Toyota Tacoma and Tundra models.

As the saying goes, “The Germans invented rust and the Japanese went ahead and perfected it.” The Toyota Prius and Lexus HS250h are on the books for another recall this week for a defect in the brake pressure accumulator, which can develop a crack due to vibration. The recall applies to Prius models with production dates March-October 2009, about 81,500 here in the US, and HS250h models with production dates June-October 2009, about 5,000 here in the US.

Hybrid Braking Information: Because the brake pedal is not directly connected to the hydraulic system in a hybrid vehicle under normal operation, the brake booster is specially designed to develop brake pressure on its own, storing it in the accumulator. When the driver steps on the brake pedal, the brake booster approximates the proper brake pedal feel while commanding the hybrid system to go into regenerative braking. There is a delicate balance between judging driver intent and adjusting both regenerative braking and hydraulic braking to achieve the proper feel and braking performance.

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