Toyota Recalls Prius, Lexus: An Additional 437,000 Vehicles

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda, in his second press conference since Friday, announced the company recalled an additional 437,000 vehicles worldwide.

The recall 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.

VIDEO: Nearly half a million of the hybrid cars are pulled off the road.
Toyota Recalls Prius Worldwide

"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.

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