Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling about 242,000 of its Prius and Lexus hybrid vehicles due to issues with their braking systems. According to a news report in The Associated Press, the recall involves about 233,000 Prius vehicles manufactured between March and October 2009 and about 9,000 Lexus HS250h models made between June and October 2009. Toyota officials said the brake pressure parts in the vehicles are made of a weak material that could crack due to vibrations, slowing response times.

So far, no accidents or injuries have been reported as a result of these brake defects. About 91,000 of these recalled vehicles were sold in North America and another 30,000 were sold in Europe. Toyota had to issue millions of vehicles in 2009 and 2010 for a series of problems including faulty breaking, sticky gas pedals and faulty floor mats, which caused the vehicles to accelerate suddenly and unexpectedly.

The Danger of Brake Defects

A vehicle’s brake system is probably one of the most important safety features when it comes to keeping drivers and vehicle occupants safe on the road. Being able to stop promptly and safely can save drivers from accidents or from hitting other vehicles or pedestrians. Often, we see that vehicle recalls involving brake defects are not issued until problems have been spotted or injuries and deaths have occurred as a result.

Sometimes, brake failure can occur without warning. However, often, there are a few telltale symptoms when it comes to brake problems including difficulty stopping, pulling to one side, spongy feeling on the brakes, brake pedal vibration and unusual sounds coming from brakes such as squeaking, clicking or grinding. Brake defects can cause accidents, which could result in catastrophic injuries or even fatalities.

Auto Product Liability Issues

Auto product defects may occur as a result of a mistake made during the manufacturing process or as a result of design flaws. Often times, we also see that automakers use inferior or substandard parts to save money and maximize their profits. Anyone who has been involved in a car crash would be well advised to preserve the vehicle in its current, crashed condition so it can be thoroughly examined for defects, malfunctions and other evidence. Injured victims or families of deceased victims can file an auto product liability claim seeking compensation for damages. An experienced auto product liability lawyer will stay on top of the investigation and help injured victims and their families pursue justice and fair compensation for their significant losses.