In its second recall in one day, Toyota announced Tuesday that it plans to recall just over 7,300 2010 Camrys for a brake defect. The problem, if not fixed, could result in leaking brake fluid, and make it more difficult for a driver to stop the car.
Earlier Tuesday, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda announced the company had recalled 437,000 Prius and Lexus vehicles, the latest in a series of recalls that affect nine million cars worldwide.
The issue with the Camrys, according to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is a power steering hose that is too long and can rub up against a tube for the left rear brake. That could cause the brake tube to wear through, leading to a leak of brake fluid.
In the documents, Toyota says the problem was discovered during an inspection and it hasn't seen evidence of this happening on the road. The automaker says that Camry owners will get recall notices in mid-March and that all fixes should be done by the end of March.
Also today, NHTSA said it is reviewing a number of complaints about the steering on 2009-2010 Toyota Corollas. In a statement, the government said this is standard procedure with complaints and that as of yet, no official investigation has been opened.
At the same time, NHTSA has received a number of complaints about possible steering problems with 2009 and 2010 Corollas. "We are reviewing steering complaints with the Corolla," said NHTSA in a statement, "to determine if a safety defect investigation is warranted, as is standard procedure with all complaints."
The first recall announced Tuesday related to a software problem that controls the antilock braking system includes the 2010 model Prius and Lexus HS250h in North America.
Toyota spokesperson Ririko Takeuchi told ABC News 155,000 vehicles will be recalled in North America including 139,000 3rd generation Prius and 16,000 Lexus models.
"Let me assure everyone," Toyoda said from the company's global headquarters, "that we will re-double our commitment to quality as a lifeline of our company with myself taking the lead."
In Japan, four hybrid models will be recalled – the 2010 Prius, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid, the Sai model sold in Japan and the Lexus HS250h. The latter three models were introduced in the country last year.
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) will notify hybrid owners of the recall in Japan beginning today. Corrective programming to fix the ABS software program is expected to start Feb. 10 in Japan. The fix process is estimated to take about 40 minutes per vehicle. Details to notify owners in the US were not yet available.
Toyota Executive Vice President Shinichi Sasaki presented a detailed technical explanation of the brake problem during the press conference that lasted about two hours.
The executives advised customers with cars not already fixed to brake firmly as they said the problems have been from customers braking too softly.
"If you are riding on a vehicle before the counter measure," Toyoda said as translated, "and experience this release feeling, in that case, please apply further force on the brakes and it's safe."
TMC has repeatedly denied withholding information from the public about the global recalls. When asked by ABC News when, specifically, Toyoda first heard of the Prius problem he said as translated, "I cannot recall the exact month and day when we were notified first. I constantly receive all sorts of information. The department of quality control closely reviews each aspect to guarantee the quality. If you ask when, the answer is this year."
Toyoda Strives to Gain Back Customer Loyalty
Toyoda, who plans to visit the US to address Toyota employees about the situation, said he has not yet fixed his own Prius.
When asked by ABC News if any Toyota officials would be held responsible for the global recall Toyoda said, "In regards to responsibility, Toyota's responsibility is that we have to truly cooperate together to regain the trust of our customers."
"I don't personally believe Toyota is failure proof," Toyoda said as translated, " But when we receive inquires or reports from customers we make sure that all of those things are corrected and modified, (we) implement improvement so that we can provide better products for our customers. We have done that in the past and we will continue to do so in the future as well."
"We will do everything in our power," Toyoda said in English, "to gain the confidence of our customers."
Miki Toda contributed to this report.