Tokyo, Japan (CNN) — Toyota’s president apologized profusely Tuesday as he announced the global recall of more than 400,000 of the automaker’s 2010 hybrid models, including the popular Prius, for problems in their anti-lock braking systems.
“We do apologize for the inconvenience and concerns we’ve given to the customers,” President Akio Toyoda said in making the recall announcement from the automaker’s headquarters in Tokyo. “Quality is our lifeline for Toyota.”
The company will work to recover its customers’ trust, Toyoda said.
The automaker filed recall papers early Tuesday afternoon with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. Recall papers will be filed in the United States sometime Tuesday.
The recall adds to the woes of the beleaguered automaker, which had previously recalled more than 8 million cars in recent months. This latest recall was the first of Toyota vehicles sold in the domestic Japanese market.
The worldwide recall involves 437,000 vehicles, including the Toyota Prius and Sai, along with the Lexus HS250h. The Sai is sold primarily in Japan.
Sales of the Sai and Lexus HS250h will be halted until a fix is in place.
The announcement was made by Toyota President Akio Toyoda and Shinichi Sasaki, vice president of quality control, at the Toyota offices in Tokyo. U.S. officials will be notified of the recall on Tuesday morning.
This was Toyoda’s second press conference apologizing for Toyota problems since Friday. Toyoda had widely been criticized for remain silent as recall problems mounted in North America, Europe and China.
Last week, the company admitted a problem with the software that controls the anti-lock braking system of the 2010 model of the car and said it had found a solution for cars that started to roll off of the assembly line in Japan last month.
It has yet to find a solution for the estimated 37,000 cars already on U.S. roads or the more than 200,000 of the 2010 model year vehicles that have been sold worldwide, but the company said Friday that a solution was “near.”
Jim Lentz, president of Toyota Motor Sales in the United States, during an online video interview Monday evening, declined to say when — or if — Toyota would recall the car.
“We’re going to do whatever it takes to make sure our customers feel secure and safe with our products,” Lentz said of the Prius issue.
When the problem was originally brought to light last week, Toyota executives initially described it as a momentary delay in braking when the car was driving over slippery or bumpy surfaced such as ice or rutted roads.
Lentz, speaking about the problem on Digg.com Monday, described it as a change in braking feel, a description that Toyota has begun using more recently when talking about the issue.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced last week that it was opening a formal investigation into braking problems with the 2010 Prius. Nearly 125 Prius owners had lodged complaints about the problem. A spokeswoman for the highway safety agency said Monday that Toyota had not confirmed any recall plans.
Separately, the total number of vehicles Toyota Motor Corp. has had to recall for gas-pedal related issues now comes to 8.1 million.
The 8.1 million figure includes a total of 5.8 million vehicles recalled, around the world, for an issue in which accelerator pedals could become stuck in floor mats.
Of those, 5.3 million are being recalled in the United States. A total of 4.5 million vehicles, worldwide, are being recalled for a problem in which gas pedals, as they wear, can become sticky and not come all the way back up when the driver takes his foot off the pedal. Of those, 2.3 million are under recall in the U.S.
Toyota officials estimate the total cost of the global recall could be as much as $2 billion, including the loss of 100,000 vehicle sales in the United States and Europe.
Last week Toyota posted a $1.7 billion profit for the quarter ending December 31. The company also upgraded its forecast and is projecting to end the fiscal year in March to an $880 million profit. The company previously forecast a $2.2 billion loss this year.
In the wake of the recalls, Toyota’s share value has dropped about 20 percent.