Toyota recalling 250,000 cars

Brake problems could affect 30,000 owners in Europe

Japanese automaker Toyota has recalled 242,000 cars because of potential brake problems, the company said today.

Owners of Prius or Lexus models produced between March and October 2009 have complained that as time has passed they have to hit the brake pedal progressively harder to get their cars to stop.

A company spokesman said nitrogen gas leaking into the brake fluid through deteriorating brake lines was causing the problem.

Although 90 car owners the worldwide have complained about the faulty brakes, no injuries have been reported.

Toyota recalled 117,000 vehicles in Japan, 91,000 in North America, 30,000 in Europe and 3,000 in the rest of Asia.

Toyota has recalled millions of cars over the last few years for various mechanical problems.