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Toyota Ups View, Admits Prius Brake Flaw

Stocks in this article: TM

Updated from 1:18 a.m. EST

TOKYO ( TheStreet) -- Toyota (TM) said it swung to a profit of 153.2 billion ($1.69 billion) in the third quarter from a year-earlier loss and revised its full-year earnings forecast to 80 billion yen from a previous outlook of a loss of 200 billion yen.

The earnings period ended Dec. 31, before the world's No. 1 automaker had to begin a massive global recall of cars because of a sticking gas-pedal problem.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected third-quarter earnings of 87.7 billion yen.

Toyota said third-quarter net revenue rose 10.2% to 5.3 trillion yen. Toyota raised its full-year revenue forecast to 18.5 trillion yen.

Toyota raised its vehicle sales forecast for the fiscal year ending to 7.18 million units, up 150,000 units from its forecast in November.

Toyota, following its earnings report, said there were design problems with the antilock brake system in the new gas-electric hybrid Prius, which went on sale in May 2009, the Associated Press reports.

Toyota spokeswoman Ririko Takeuchi said Toyota found out there were design problems and corrected the design for Prius models sold since late January. But it was still investigating how to inform people who had bought them earlier.

Toyota has received about 180 complaints in the U.S. and Japan about brake problems with the Prius, the Associated Press reports.

It was reported earlier by Bloomberg that the new Prius could be recalled after the Japanese government ordered an investigation of the car's braking system, Bloomberg reports.

"The possibility of a recall is not zero," spokesman Takanori Yokoi told Bloomberg. The world's No. 1 automaker is considering measures that may include a recall, the spokesman said.

The brake problems come as Toyota is dealing with a massive global recall because of sticking gas pedals. The latest reports have Toyota recalling anywhere from 4.5 million vehicles to 9 million, with 2.3 million in the U.S. alone.

Vehicles Affected in the Toyota Recall

The Prius hybrid isn't part of the gas-pedal recall.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York.

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