Toyota’s Camry Hybrid Brake Issues Conjure Familiar Concerns

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Toyota‘s (NYSE:TM) infamous unintended acceleration issues from the past couple of years will surely resound throughout automotive history as one of the darker moments in the industry’s past, but recent reports revolving around the company’s Camry Hybrid sedan indicate that its hybrid problems may not yet be put fully to rest.

The Associated Press is reporting that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has 59 complaints about intermittent loss of power-brake assist from Camry models, noting that the problem happens without prior warnings (lights on the dash, alarm bells). As a result, the problem requires to car to make use of increased stopping distances, and more pedal pressure to bring the vehicle to a complete stop.

Two accidents have been linked to this specific issue, though no injuries or deaths have yet been reported, fortunately. The NHTSA adds that 24 incidents happened at speeds of 40 miles per hour or more.

The agency has, as expected, launched an investigation into the matter to determine if the problem warrants a recall from Toyota for about 30,000 units of the midsize sedans ranging from the 2007 and 2008 model years. Toyota’s spokesperson said that the company was cooperating with the agency in its investigation.

Last June, one Camry owner reported issues to the NHTSA, the Associated Press said. Apparently, the brake lights lit up on the dash, and the brakes failed to engage. ”I did a sharp evasive turn and hit the curb hard in an attempt not to run over pedestrians in the crossing,” the driver was quoted as saying. Following the incident, it’s noted that the dashboard lights then disappeared and brakes functioned normally.

The car in question was brought to a dealership, but the techs were unable to find issues in the car’s code, at least at first. The driver reported that after additional tests, the dealer said that there was indeed a problem with the brake control computer; naturally, the driver was rather unhappy about it all. ”Toyota is behaving [immorally by] not recalling the faulty parts that in many cases cannot even be diagnosed,” he said.

Whether the problem will be widespread enough to warrant a full-scale recall has yet to be determined, but last year showed that its perhaps better to make sure the company is covered, just in case — particularly after Toyota’s drawn-out issues with the unintended acceleration problems.

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