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U.S. Transportation Dept. opens probe of 2010 Prius brakes

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U.S. Transportation Dept. opens probe of 2010 Prius brakes

Neil Roland

Automotive News -- February 4, 2010 - 9:35 am ET

UPDATED: 2/4/10 10:35 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said today that it is opening a formal investigation of the 2010 Toyota Prius Hybrid to determine whether the vehicle suffers momentary loss of braking capability while traveling over bumpy surfaces.

NHTSA, an agency that is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, has received 124 consumer complaints, including four reports of crashes. Investigators have interviewed consumers and completed pre-investigative field work, the agency said in a statement.

The braking investigation comes on top of a much broader federal investigation of problems with unintended acceleration in a host of Toyota vehicles. Toyota Motor Corp. issued recalls of more than 9 million vehicles worldwide in October and January.

A Toyota spokeswoman said today the company is aware of NHTSA's initiation of the probe.

"Toyota will cooperate fully with NHTSA’s investigation," spokeswoman Cindy Knight said in an e-mail.

"Some customers have experienced inconsistent brake feel when the brakes are applied slowly and the ABS is activated driving over potholes, bumps or slippery road surfaces. The brakes are responding slightly slower than usual, but if the brakes are applied further, the vehicle is controlled."

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100204/OEM/100209942/1290#ixzz0eaEhL9Tw

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