The government has begun an investigation into complaints about faulty brakes on the Toyota Prius, said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood according to the L.A. Times. Nearly two and a half million Toyota vehicles have been recalled so far.
Sudden acceleration has been the main problem for Toyota vehicles; the owners of the cars have been asked to abide by the recall.
According to the L.A. Times, LaHood said that “the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will continue to hold Toyota’s feet to the fire to make sure that they are doing everything they have promised to make their vehicles safe. We will continue to investigate all possible causes of these safety issues.”
Toyota showed appreciation for the concern, but offered a solution, claiming also that the cars are safe: “We want to make sure our customers understand that this situation is rare and generally does not occur suddenly. In the rare instances where it does it occur, the vehicle can be controlled with firm and steady application of the brakes.”
LaHood said that they won’t let up on their pressure of Toyota to fix the brake and accelerator problems.
A spokesman for the Transportation department clarified Lahood’s remarks by stating that owners should contact their dealerships and arrange a fix for the problem.
Amidst LaHood’s advice to stop driving the faulty cars, Toyota’s stock dropped noticeably. Wednesday’s stock ticker showed that shares dipped $4.12 to $74.09 in midday trading and at one point dipped as low as $71.90.
Rebecca Lindland, director of the autos group for IHS Global Insight, an economic forecasting firm said that due to possible lawsuits regarding prospective accidents related to the faults, LaHood had no choice to make those comments.
In regards to the brake problem, Japan’s transport ministry tallied 14 complaints of such on the Prius models. They have asked the US to investigate the problem as well.
The situation has been described as “chaotic,” and the best course of action to help alleviate such chaos seems to be to at least have your Toyota checked by a certified mechanic to avoid any possible problems.