Prius Recall

Reporter: Rodney Lohse

Thousands of cars recalled in Australia every year most for minor non life threatening problems it rarely makes the news but developments in the United States over the past few months have rocked one of the worlds most trusted brands and the biggest car manufacturer, Toyota. It was thought Australian Toyota's weren't affected that was until today.

They're the chilling final moments of an American family as their Lexus accelerates out of control driving four people to their deaths in San Diego. It sent shock waves through Lexus parent company Toyota which has now embarked on one of the biggest motor vehicle recalls in history. Accidents linked to a faulty accelerator pedal have caused the recall of 8 separate models and more than 8 million cars.

Australian Toyotas were immune it was thought from any problems as accelerators were manufactured by a different component maker to the US models.Then this week it surfaced Toyota had been receiving more complaints about it latest model Prius, it's hybrid car, and it's braking system.Two weeks ago a 2 year old Prius shot out of control out of John Pittic's drive way in the Brisbane suburb of Parkinson. Mounting the gutter careering into a family home. All the while the driver Ian's 55 year old neighbour was unable to stop it.

An investigation by Toyota is yet to determine what happened although its believed no fault can be found with the car. Not so the 2010 Prius which has been sold in Australia since July last year. This morning Toyota confirmed it had received complaints here similar to those that have caused the recall overseas but is yet to announce a recall of the 1700 Toyota's Prius sold here. Prius enthusiast John Lapworth's own his third, its the model affected by the recall and so far he's had no problems. "Not in danger whatsoever we've driven this car to Tasmania and back." Based on past experiences he says Toyota handles any problems quickly. But the companies problems now are to it's damaged brand.

"This recall is a disaster for Toyota as the Prius a technological star for Toyota and to have a problem with is kind of the worst anti marketing event they could imagine" says John Cadogan. Not that recalls are rare just in past year scored of models have been called back across almost every manufacturer. From Audi to Volvo some minor faults many major. But according to Today Tonight motoring expert expert John Cadogan it's all about how you handle problems.

"The only way to climb out of a PR disaster like this is to throw unbelievable amounts of money at it, thankfully Toyota is in a position to do exactly that" adds John. John says Toyotas problem now should stand as warning to all manufacturers and their quality control standards. "It costs car companies a lot less to get the designs right up front than it does to fix the disaster of a PR nightmare product recall after the fact

If you have a car affected by any recall you should contact your dealer as soon as possible and to find out if your car is affected by any recalls you can check on the government recalls website:

www.recalls.gov.au