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Toyota forced to recall Prius -

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Already reeling from the recall of more than 8 million of its cars, Toyota has now been forced to
recall its flagship vehicle - the Prius. The recall of the revolutionary hybrid will be global,
affecting 400,000 vehicles around the world.

Transcript

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Toyota has been forced to recall its flagship car the Prius at a time when
it's already reeling from the recall of more than 8 million of its vehicles.

Tonight's recall of the revolutionary hybrid will be global, affecting 400,000 vehicles around the
world, including more than 2,000 Prius hybrids in Australia.

It's the latest blow to Toyota's much cherished reputation for quality as North Asia correspondent
Mark Willacy reports from Tokyo.

MARK WILLACY, NORTH ASIA CORRESPONDENT: Bowing to pressure Toyota today officially filed for a
recall of the Prius.

It's a massive blow to the company's pride and prestige. The Prius is Toyota's biggest seller in
Japan, the company's most popular hybrid and the car the company is betting its future on.

AKIO TOYODA, TOYOTA PRESIDENT (excerpt from press conference, translated): We will recall about
400,000 cars worldwide. We will deal with this matter promptly in order to satisfy customers in the
United States, Europe and other countries as quickly as possible.

MARK WILLACY: Complaints about temporary brake failures drove the decision to issue the Prius
recall.

In Australia the recall will affect 2,300 of the latest model hybrids. Toyota Australia will
contact its Prius customers by mail this week. And the company says it will take up to an hour to
fix the so-called software glitch with the Prius anti-lock brakes.

It's just the latest headache for the world's leading car maker. After a global mass recall of
other models because of problems with sticky accelerators and slipping floor mats.

Despite having recalled 9 million vehicles around the world Toyota's troubles are far from over.

The company is facing legal action in the United States over the Prius as well as a formal
investigation by US authorities over the safety standards of its other vehicles.

For the grandson of Toyota's founder the challenge now is to rebuild the company's once prized
reputation for quality and safety.

AKIO TOYODA (excerpt from press conference): Let me assure everyone that we'll redouble our
commitment to quality as a lifeline of our company, with myself taking the lead.

MARK WILLACY: With that in mind Akio Toyoda will pack his bags for the United States to try to win
back trust in the world's biggest car maker.

Mark Willacy, Lateline.