Parking brake flaw prompts Toyota to recall 340,000 Priuses worldwide

Andrew Hard
Digital Trends
Toyota wants to help you pay for a new Prius — can you ‘Getaround’ that idea?
Hot on the trail of a $10 million investment in the Getaround car-sharing service, Toyota is allocating 500 new Prius models in a San Francisco pilot program. Anyone in San Francisco who owns a Prius or Lexus C200h can get in on it.

Toyota is recalling 340,000 Priuses worldwide due to a parking brake issue that could potentially cause accidents. The flaw can cause the brake to fail, increasing the risk of rollaways, but Toyota has not reported any incidents thus far. The recall pertains to 2016 and 2017 Prius models produced between August 2015 and October 2016.

“On the involved vehicles, there is a possibility that the parking brake could become inoperative,” Toyota said in a statement. “If this occurs and the driver exits the vehicle with the transmission in a gear other than ‘Park’ while the ignition is on, the vehicle could roll away, increasing the risk of a crash.”

Most of the recalled vehicles reside abroad, with 212,000 affected Priuses registered in Japan and 17,000 in Europe. There are 92,000 cars in the United States, though, and the tragic story of actor Anton Yelchin’s death in a vehicle rollaway incident (involving a Jeep Grand Cherokee) is still fresh in our minds. Toyota says it will notify owners of the affected vehicles by mail starting in November, and dealers will be standing by to fix the issue at no charge. According to the brand, the only remedy needed is the installation of new clips on the parking brake cable dust boots. Drivers can check their vehicle’s status by going to Toyota’s dedicated recall website and entering their VIN.

Related: Toyota brings the backseat driver to the dashboard with driver-assistance tech

It’s not all bad news on the Toyota front, however. At a joint news conference in Japan on Wednesday, the automaker revealed it has begun partnership talks with Suzuki. Though there’s nothing tangible to announce yet, the potential business marriage would give Suzuki access to Toyota’s comparably massive research, development, and production capabilities, while also granting Toyota insight into building smaller, more inexpensive cars for markets like India. We’ll be following the story closely as it develops, so for all your automotive news, keep your browsers tuned to DT Cars.