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On February 4, Toyota expanded its company investigation of the Prius breaking system problems to a "cousin" of that car, the Toyota Lexus hybrid. Despite the early reports from Japan yesterday, at this time no recalls are planned for either the Prius or the Lexus.
According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, a Toyota spokesman says that the breaking systems on the Prius and Lexus are quite similar. In fact, the mechanical parts that compose the breaks in the 2010 Prius are identical to the ones used in the Lexus. The difference between the two systems lies in the software. "If you've got an issue with the Prius, then you are going to look at the [Lexus] HS 250h too," said Toyota representative Brian Lyons. "The two cars have the same components, so we are looking at both cars despite the difference in their software tuning."
The Times reports that the Japanese government has ordered Toyota to investigate the possible problems with the Prius breaking system after receiving 14 complaints about the performance of the car's breaks. In the U.S., the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has received more than 100 complaints about the Prius breaks. Two of the NHTSA complaints and one received by the Japanese government involved reports of accidents resulting in injuries.
At this time, company has not received any complaints about the breaking system in the Lexus, which is built in Japan. The Lexus HS 250h has been sold in Japan since last July and in the U.S. since last September.