Toyota is recalling select 2016 and 2017 Toyota Prius vehicles to fix a serious problem with their parking brakes. The recall affects roughly 92,000 hybrids registered in the U.S., 212,000 in Japan, and 17,000 in Europe.
According to Toyota, the Prius' parking brake "could become inoperative" without warning. If it does, and if a driver happens to exit the vehicle without first putting the Prius in park, the vehicle could roll away.
That could present a serious safety hazard to owners, passengers, bystanders, and property. In fact, Detroit News reports that Toyota has received reports of crashes, injuries, and deaths (plural) linked to the problem, though the automaker has declined to offer details about any of those incidents because its investigations of the matter are ongoing.
Prius owners affected by the recall will receive notices by mail in November. They'll be asked to take their vehicles to Toyota dealers, who will install clips on the brake cable dust boots, which will prevent the brake cable from disengaging.
If you own a 2016 or 2017 Toyota Prius and want to know if it's included in this recall, you're encouraged to visit Toyota.com/recall and enter your car's Vehicle Identification Number. For additional information, you can also call Toyota Customer Service at 1-800-331-4331.