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Toyota faces US inquiry into Prius

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Car giant Toyota faces a US government inquiry into the safety of its flagship hybrid Prius model which may be recalled from the US and Japan.

The company is reportedly preparing to recall 270,000 of the models over a braking problem, although a spokesman said it had not yet decided about the move.

The congressional review follows 124 reports from drivers about problems with the brakes, including four of crashes, to US transport officials. No such accidents were reported in the UK and none of the models will be recalled there, said Toyota.

But the company is now investigating possible brake problems with its Lexus HS250h hybrid as a precaution because it used the same brake system as the Prius. No complaints were received about the Lexus model.

The firm is already recalling 180,000 other vehicles in the UK and millions more around the world due to faulty accelerator pedals.

Toyota would be notifying Japan's transport ministry and the US Department of Transportation of the Prius recall, said Japan's top business newspaper, Nihon Keizai.

© Press Association 2010