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08 December 2023

Toyota suspends production of Lexus, Sai hybrids

Toyota suspended production of two hybrid models on Saturday as it develops a fix for those vehicles' faulty brakes amid massive recalls, a company spokeswoman said.

The world's biggest automaker has stopped producing the Sai sedan and the Lexus HS250h in Japan at least through February 20, Toyota spokeswoman Mieko Iwasaki said. It had yet to be decided whether production would resume on February 21.

The company did not say how much the suspension would dent its production. Local media reports have said it would reduce the company's output by more than 2,000 vehicles.

Toyota on Tuesday expanded its global recall to more than 400,000 of its newest petrol-electric Prius as well as the plug-in Prius, the Sai and the Lexus HS250h, which use the same braking system.

Toyota dealers in Japan have started fixing software problems that can make brakes slow to respond in the Prius. Repairs for the the Sai and Lexus HS250h are expected to start in March, Iwasaki said.

Production of the Prius is continuing as Toyota redesigned the braking system for Prius cars produced since last month.

Toyota, which in 2008 dethroned General Motors as the world's biggest car maker, has now pledged to fix 8.7 million vehicles worldwide, more than its entire 2009 global sales of 7.8 million vehicles.

Toyota faced new woes in the United States on Friday with another recall -- this time involving its Tacoma trucks -- after President Barack Obama warned carmakers not to drag their feet on beefing up vehicle safety.


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