Toyota Prius Subject of Transportation Dept. Investigation Into Faulty Brakes

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Toyota yesterday acknowledged that its popular hybrid vehicle has brake problems.

The car maker announced the design flaws -- effecting its 2010 model Prius -- in an earnings statement in which Toyota reported a $1.3 billion profit for the fourth quarter of 2009.

Now the U.S. Department of Transportation says it will investigate the matter. According to the Associated Press, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received 124 reports from consumers about the 2010 vehicle.

The transportation department investigation, follows an examination of the Prius vehicles published in Riverfront Times last April. 

That story recounted claims -- denied by Toyota -- that the previous models of the vehicle accelerated and braked on its own.

Later the car maker blamed ill-fitting floor mats for those problems.

As Jon Stewart and his correspondent, Jason Jones, joked last night, it's going to take awhile for Toyota to recover. That is, if everyone survives the recalls.

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