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Toyota recall of Prius, hybrids goes worldwide

Toyota Motor Corp. will recall 437,000 Prius and other gasoline-electric hybrids globally to fix a brake software glitch, complicating efforts by the world's biggest carmaker to ease consumer concerns about its quality.

Toyota also temporarily stopped sales of Lexus HS250h sedans, Prius plug-ins and SAI models in Japan, President Akio Toyoda said at a Tokyo news conference. The recall covers 147,550 Priuses and HS250s sold in the United States.

Since November, Toyota has recalled about 8 million vehicles on five continents for defects linked to unintended acceleration.

Toyota's latest action undercuts a reputation as the industry leader in gasoline-electric cars, a fuel-saving technology it plans to offer on all models. The Japan-based company lost about $31 billion in market value since Jan. 21, when it began taking back millions of autos for potentially sticky pedals that potentially cause unintended acceleration.

Toyota also said Tuesday that it's recalling 7,300 model-year 2010 Camrys in the United States to fix a hose that could become damaged and cause brake fluid to leak.

Additionally, Toyota's Corolla sedan is being reviewed by the United States to determine if a defect investigation is warranted after driver complaints about steering, Karen Aldana, an agency spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recorded more than 80 complaints about Corolla steering for 2009 and 2010 models, according to the agency's online database.

The first congressional hearing on Toyota's recalls, scheduled for today, was postponed because of the forecasted snowstorm.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's meeting was rescheduled for Feb. 24, according to statement e-mailed by Kurt Bardella, a spokesman for Representative Darrell Issa of California, the panel's senior Republican.

- Bloomberg News

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