1. Toyota President Akio Toyoda (glasses, navy tie with diagonal stripe) meeting Japanese Transport Minister Seiji Maehara
2. Media cutaway
3. Toyoda and Maehara taking seats
4. Close of Maehara pan to Toyoda
6. Toyoda approaching media for news conference
7. SOUNDBITE (Japanese) Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation:
"People think that we were slow to respond. We feel ashamed but now I am taking a lead and ask you to wait for just a little longer."
8. Mid of media
9. SOUNDBITE (Japanese) Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation:
"I am thinking of going to the US to give an explanation of myself to the involved parties."
10. Maehara walking to podium for his news conference
12. SOUNDBITE (Japanese) Seiji Maehara, Japanese Transport Minister:
"It is of course important that companies should call for a product recall with such problems, but because we must take care that it doesn''t turn into a diplomatic problem, various countries have to carefully consider their approach."
Toyota said it was recalling about 437-thousand Prius and other hybrid vehicles worldwide to fix brake problems, the latest in a string of embarrassing safety lapses at the world''s largest automaker.
"We feel ashamed but now I am taking a lead and ask you to wait for just a little longer," President Akio Toyoda said at a news conference on Tuesday in Tokyo, after a meeting with Japanese Transport Minister Seiji Maehara.
With the Prius announcement, the number of vehicles recalled globally by Toyota Motor Corporation has ballooned to 8.5 (m) million, for the brake problems, and also for faulty acceleration pedals that are slow to return to the idle position, and for floor mats which can trap acceleration pedals.
The 2010 Prius wasn''t part of the earlier recalls.
There have been about 200 complaints in Japan and the US about a delay when the brakes in the Prius were pressed in cold conditions and on some bumpy roads.
The delay doesn''t indicate a brake failure.
The company says the problem can be fixed in 40 minutes with new software that oversees the controls of the antilock brakes.
Toyota officials went to Japan''s Transport Ministry earlier on Tuesday to formally notify officials that the company was recalling the 2010 Prius gas-electric hybrid - the world''s top-selling hybrid car.
Toyoda, the president, has been criticised for being largely invisible during the two weeks after the company announced on January 21 the acceleration pedal recall in the US, Europe and China.
He apologised at his first public press conference last Friday, and again on Tuesday, but was criticised by the Japanese media for failing to outline concrete steps to tackle the safety crisis and to reassure customers around the world.
He said he planned to go to the US soon to talk with American Toyota workers and dealers.
Analysts said fears of an even bigger consumer backlash had prodded Toyota into recalling the Prius.
The Japanese Transport Minister Seiji Maehara criticised Toyota for reacting too slowly, and said he was meeting US Ambassador to Japan, John Roos, on Wednesday to exchange views about Toyota''s recalls and make sure US-Japan relations remained on good terms.
"We must take care that it doesn''t turn into a diplomatic problem," Seiji Maehara told reporters after his meeting with Toyoda.
"Various countries have to carefully consider their approach," he said.
The automaker is also recalling two other hybrid models in Japan, the Lexus HS250h sedan, sold in the US and Japan, and the Sai, which is sold only in Japan.
The 223-thousand cars being recalled in Japan include nearly 200-thousand Priuses sold from April last year until Monday, according to papers the automaker filed with the ministry. The Prius is Japan''s top-selling car.
In the US, Toyota will recall 133-thousand Prius cars and 14,500 Lexus HS250h vehicles.
Nearly 53-thousand Priuses are also being recalled in Europe.
Toyota is suspending production of the Sai and Lexus HS250h in Japan until the updated software for those models is ready.
If drivers experience a delayed reaction when depressing the brakes in any of these models, they should keep pressing, according to Toyota and the transport ministry.
The Prius repairs will start in Japan on Wednesday.
US owners will start receiving letters about the recall next week.
US safety officials have launched an investigation into problems with the brakes.
Toyota''s plug-in hybrid is also being recalled in Japan, Europe and the US, but in small numbers because it is a largely experimental model for rental and government use.
The Prius holds a cherished spot in Toyota''s vehicle lineup and is symbolic of its leadership in the "green" car market.
Toyota was one of the first companies to mass-market a hybrid that combines an electric motor with a petrol engine, introducing the Prius in Japan in 1997.
Its high petrol mileage made it popular among environmentally conscious drivers, especially when petrol prices spiked two years ago.
But the complexity of the Prius, a highly computerised car, has led to problems in the past.
In 2005, the company repaired 75-thousand of them to fix software glitches that caused the engine to stall.
It has also had trouble with headlights going out.
Shares in Toyota rose 2.9 percent on Tuesday to 3,375 yen, but are still down about 20 percent since Jan. 21, when it announced the acceleration pedal recall.