TOKYO -- Toyota Motor Corp. is considering a recall of its popular 2010 Prius hybrid in the United States and Japan to address complaints about slipping brakes after transportation authorities in both countries ordered investigations.
"We are thinking of a recall and currently discussing it with the Transportation Ministry," said Junji Ogata, Toyota's general manager in charge of recalls. Toyota is weighing a recall in both the United States and Japan but has not made a final decision, he said on Thursday.
"We'd like to make a decision as soon as possible," Ogata said.
Ogata later clarified that Toyota was discussing various measures to address the brake issue in the Prius. He did not elaborate on what the additional options would be, but said Toyota would have to consult with the Transportation Ministry before issuing any recall.
The eventual response might not even entail a recall, a Toyota spokesman said.
Earlier in the day, Japan's Nikkei business daily reported that Toyota had already decided to recall the 2010 third-generation Prius. The world's biggest carmaker was expected to file the recall with agencies in the United States and Japan shortly, it said.
About 270,000 cars would be affected, according to the Nikkei.
A Transportation Ministry official said Toyota hadn't filed a recall by late Feb. 5.
"We are in talks with Toyota as to whether this thing would lead a recall or not, whether this thing is a defect or not, if it is dangerous or not,” the official said.
The official said he didn't know how many cars would be involved.
The action comes as Toyota battles fresh complaints that the Prius suffers from momentary lapses of braking capability, especially on slippery or bumpy surfaces.