US probes Camry hybrids for power brake problem (Update)

Jan 27, 2014
In this Nov. 4, 2007, file photo, unsold 2008 Prius hybrid sedans sit on a lot at a Toyota dealership in the southeast Denver suburb of Centennial, Colo. U.S. safety regulators are investigating complaints that power-assisted brakes can fail at times in Camry gas-electric hybrids. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

U.S. safety regulators are investigating complaints that power-assisted brakes can fail at times in Camry gas-electric hybrids.

The probe covers about 30,000 of the midsize cars from the 2007 and 2008 model years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has 59 complaints about intermittent loss of power-brake assist. The agency says the problem happens without warning. It causes increased stopping distances and requires more pedal pressure to stop the car.

Two crashes have been reported but no injuries. The agency says 24 incidents happened at speeds of 40 miles (65 kilometers) per hour or more. It says the number of complaints is increasing, with 55 percent received in the past eight months.

Investigators will try to find the cause and determine if the cars should be recalled.

Toyota spokesman John Hanson said the company is cooperating with NHTSA.

One Camry owner complained to NHTSA in June that the dashboard brake warning lights came on and his brakes failed while approaching a pedestrian crossing. "I did a sharp evasive turn and hit the curb hard in an attempt not to run over pedestrians in the crossing!" the driver wrote. The dashboard lights then disappeared and brakes functioned normally, the owner wrote.

The car was taken to a dealer, who at first found no trouble codes in the Camry's computer. After further testing, the dealer said there was a problem with the brake control computer, the driver wrote. "Toyota is behaving immoral not recalling the faulty parts that in many cases cannot even be diagnosed," the driver wrote.

Explore further: MIT team's wireless Vital-Radio could follow breathing, heart rate at home

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Team develops faster, higher quality 3-D camera

Apr 24, 2015

When Microsoft released the Kinect for Xbox in November 2010, it transformed the video game industry. The most inexpensive 3-D camera to date, the Kinect bypassed the need for joysticks and controllers by ...

Researchers finding applications for tough spinel ceramic

Apr 24, 2015

Imagine a glass window that's tough like armor, a camera lens that doesn't get scratched in a sand storm, or a smart phone that doesn't break when dropped. Except it's not glass, it's a special ceramic called ...

Classroom acoustics for architects

Apr 23, 2015

The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) has published a free online booklet for architects to aid in the application of ANSI/ASA S12.60-2010/Part 1-American National Standard Acoustical Performance Criteria, Design Requirements, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.