In this Jan. 8, 2010 file photo, Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius is on display at the automaker's showroom in Tokyo. Toyota said on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010 it has received 77 complaints in Japan over brake problems with its popular hybrid. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)

Now this. (Koji Sasahara/AP)

By Mark Memmott

Toyota had some good news to report this morning -- that it earned $1.7 billion in the last three months of 2009.

But problems continue to accumulate for the Japanese automaker.

The latest: It acknowledged today that some of its recent Prius models have a brake design problem that, as the Associated Press puts it, can make it feel like the brakes aren't working when the vehicle is on a bumpy or slippery surface.

According to The New York Times:

Toyota's manager in charge of quality, Hiroyuki Yokoyama, said the company had identified the problem and corrected the glitch for Priuses sold since late January. He said the company was still considering what actions to take for cars already on the road and had not ruled out a recall.

This news comes on top of the worldwide recall of several million Toyota vehicles because of sticky accelerators that could cause them to surge.

Update at 9:32 a.m. ET. The Associated Press just moved this "alert":

Transportation Department opens investigation into brake problems in 2010 Toyota Prius.
Here's a quick (unscientific) question:

(We'll keep the question open until noon ET on Friday.)

Meanwhile, there are also questions about how the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been handling the problems at Toyota, as NPR's Brian Naylor reported on Morning Edition:

The Washington Post reports today that: "Federal regulators uncovered stark evidence that some Toyota cars accelerated unexpectedly more than two years ago. But neither the government's safety agency nor the automaker apparently recognized at the time how broad the dangers would turn out to be."

categories: Business, Foreign News, Government, National News

7:15 - February 4, 2010