Japanese carmaker Toyota Motor Corp said it was preparing a global recall of its new Prius model, risking a fresh dent to its battered reputation for quality and reliability.
As U.S. plants resumed production of eight models involved in an earlier safety recall, the world's largest automaker readied action on the hybrid car in Japan as early as Tuesday.
Steps to fix problems with delayed braking in certain road conditions would follow in the United States, Europe and other markets, a source familiar with the plans said.
Toyota said on Monday it restarted production at six U.S. and Canadian plants with no issues, a week after halting work, as problems with unintended acceleration spiraled into the recall of over 8 million vehicles worldwide.
The company, which has boosted its green credentials with the low-emission Prius, has said it was discussing with safety authorities worldwide how to resolve a software glitch on the Prius.
Toyota faces further scrutiny on Wednesday, when its North America CEO Yoshimi Inaba testifies to Congress in front of the House Oversight Committee in Washington.
Transportation secretary Ray Lahood and National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration Administrator David Strickland will also testify.
U.S. safety authorities and members of the Obama administration have accused Toyota of responding too slowly to problems related to uncontrolled acceleration that have been linked to up to 19 crash deaths in the United States over the past decade.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda on Friday apologized for the earlier series of recalls. He said the company was rushing to reach a decision on the Prius and was taking the unusual step of bringing in outside experts to review quality controls.
A Toyota Motor Europe spokesman said on Monday that, to date, it had received no reports of problems with the new Prius in the region, but a decision on the next steps for the model, involving discussion with other regions, would be made very soon.
A U.S. spokesman said the company expected to have a solution early this week but so far had not changed its stance.
Since the launch of the new Prius last May, Toyota has sold around 200,000 of the cars in Japan, 103,200 in the United States and 29,000 in Europe.
(Reporting by David Bailey, Bernie Woodall, Chang-Ran Kim, Taiga Uranaka; Writing by Helen Massy-Beresford)