Japan’s giant carmaker Toyota has announced a major recall of its latest redesigned Prius hybrid sedan to fix a parking brake glitch.
The company said in a statement on Wednesday that it is recalling 340,000 units of the Prius globally, including 212,000 in Japan and 92,000 of the 2016 and 2017 models in the US.
The balance would be recalled in Europe, Australia and other regions, Toyota added in its statement.
The company said the parking brake cable can disengage unexpectedly, causing the brakes to stop working properly. So if the car is left in any gear other than park, it could start rolling away, and possibly crash, reported the Associated Press.
"On the involved vehicles, there is a possibility that the parking brake could become inoperative," read part of the statement as reported by the USA Today. "If this occurs and the driver exits the vehicle with the transmission in a gear other than ‘Park’ while the ignition is on, the vehicle could roll away, increasing the risk of a crash."
A Toyota spokeswoman told Reuters that no accidents had been reported in Japan in connection with the glitch. She, however, declined to comment on whether any accidents had occurred overseas.
Toyota Motor Corp admitted receiving reports of crashes, injuries and deaths, but refused to give details, saying it was still looking into the reports, added a related report by the Associated Press.
Toyota ranks third among the world’s top 10 car manufacturers with the most vehicles recalled.
The world’s top two are Honda (above 13 million cars) and General Motors (above 10 million cars). Toyota’s record is above 8 million cars.