Now It's the Brakes on the Prius, as Toyota Recall Spreads to Japan

The Japanese government asks the car maker to investigate brakes on 2010 Prius.

Feb. 3, 2010 — -- The Japanese government has called on Toyota to investigate a number of complaints about the 2010 Prius in North America and Japan, potentially spreading the carmaker's largest recall ever to its home country.

"We have been notified by some of our dealers in North America and Japan that customers are contacting them about issues with the brakes," Toyota spokesperson Paul Nolasco told ABC News about the Prius reports. "They experience an inconsistent brake feel when going over bumpy roads, over potholes or slippery surfaces."

The Traffic Safety and Recall department in Japan has received 14 notifications about the 2010 Prius since July 2009, including one accident report due to "unsmooth brakes," according to the Ministry's Kenji Sugai.

"While I was trying to park the car at home, I stepped on the brake pedal but didn't stop and I ran into my house," read the details of a complaint as translated on the Ministry of Transport's homepage.

"When the vehicle in front made a sudden stop, I stepped on the breaks but it didn't work and I hit the vehicle in front," reads another report.

The 2010 model year, or third generation, Prius in question is made in Japan and was not previously named on recall lists.

On Tuesday in Nagoya, about 2 hours by bullet train from Tokyo, Toyota executives addressed the recall in Japan for the first time.

Executive Vice President Shinichi Sasaki recapped details to reporters about sticking gas pedals and pedal entrapment and the fix what was announced by Toyota in the United States on Monday.

"We do not have a single claim regarding problems on electronics," Sasaki said as translated in response to further questions surrounding the cause of the recall. "We will continue to investigate if there are any claims and handle it with the best technical ability."

These massive recalls are a devastating blow for Toyota, a symbol of national pride and the epitome of Japanese excellence in manufacturing.

"When there is an issue like this where the drive towards excellence of a Japanese company is brought into question there is a feeling of humiliation among the corporate leaders, among the members of the corporation," Jamie Metzl, Asia Society Executive Vice President told ABC News earlier. "And even among member of Japanese society as a whole. So this issue of the Toyota defects is a big big deal for Japan."

Still, many Japanese stand by the brand.

An advertiser who declined to give his name said he will keep his money in Toyota.

"Toyota will be ok, I trust them," he said. "My family all uses Toyota."

Miki Toda contributed to this report

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