According to MSNBC, Toyota’s US-based spokesfolks are refusing to confirm a Nikkei report that Toyota has issued a recall of 270,000 2010 model-year Priuses for brake issues the company has already acknowledged. “We have no information on any decision to recall the Prius,” said Toyota Motor Sales USA spokesman John Hanson, who said the company is working with the NHTSA on a “preliminary evaluation” of the problem. According to another report, the recall (which will be filed “shortly”) involves 100k Priuses in the US market, with the remaining 176k in Japan.
While Toyota may or may not recall the Prius, Ford is not recalling its Fusion and Mercury Milan Hybrids for what appears to be a similar issue (poor transitions between regenerative and conventional brakes). Instead, Ford is instituting a “Customer Satisfaction Program” involving free software upgrades it says will fix the problem, which was first reported by Consumer Reports.
UPDATE: Ford responds with a press release after the jump.
UPDATE 2: While we sort some of these late-breaking developments out, here’s another spurious log for the fire: ABC News impugns “federal investigations were extremely limited in scope, after negotiations involving former safety investigators who had been recruited to work for Toyota’s Washington, D.C. office.”
UPDATE 3: Oy!
FORD CUSTOMER SATISFACTION PROGRAM
Ford is proactively announcing a customer satisfaction program to update the software of the regenerative brake system of some 2010-model Ford Fusion Hybrids and Mercury Milan Hybrids.
Dearborn, Mich., Feb. 4, 2010 – Today, we are announcing a customer satisfaction program to update the software of the regenerative brake system of some 2010-model Ford Fusion Hybrids and Mercury Milan Hybrids.
We have received reports that some drivers have experienced a different brake feel when the hybrid’s unique regenerative brakes switch to conventional hydraulic braking. While the vehicles maintain full braking capability, customers may initially perceive the condition as loss of brakes.
To be clear, the Fusion and Milan Hybrids’ brake system maintains full conventional brakes and full ABS function even as the customer sees visual indicators and hears a chime. The software threshold to transition from regenerative brakes to conventional brakes can cause the system to transition to conventional brakes unnecessarily.
The software upgrade will reduce unnecessary occurrences of the vehicle switching from regenerative braking to conventional hydraulic brakes.
Customers with affected vehicles will receive a notice in the mail. We are asking owners of affected vehicles to have vehicle software reprogrammed at dealers at no charge.
There have been no injuries related to this condition.