Reports in Japan suggest a worldwide recall of the Toyota Prius for brake problems is imminent.

The latest humiliation for Toyota, the world's largest car maker, is expected to be announced within the next 72 hours.

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The news follows the recall of eight million Toyotas over accelerator pedal defects which have been linked to 19 deaths in the US by lawyers.

The news of the impending Prius recall was broken by Japan's largest newspaper, Yomiuri. Its report says Toyota has already notified car dealers in Japan that it plans to recall its latest Prius model.

Toyota is expected to make a formal announcement after reporting to the government.

In addition, Toyota is still investigating whether the same braking issues apply to other cars in its hybrid range, including several Lexus models that use the same energysaving technology.

The Prius braking problem is reported to be fixable via a software upgrade, which has already been fitted as standard on cars since January. The problem is believed to relate to the braking feel, rather than a failure of the braking system.

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