Toyota finds itself scrambling to defend its recall practices and to resurrect its flagging reputation for quality after recalling more than 2.4 million vehicles in two separate recalls this year. The company became aware that accelerators were sticking and causing sudden acceleration in some of its model families at least as early as 2007, when State Farm insurance supplied federal regulators with data implicating the accelerators in crashes. The company did not recall the nine models suffering this defect until five people died and 17 were injured in 13 crashes. In February, Toyota recalled 2.3 million cars in the U.S. for gas pedal defects, including certain 2009-2010 Camrys, certain 2007-2010 RAV4s, certain 2009-2010 Corollas, all 2009-2010 Matrixes, all 2005-2010 Avalons, certain 2010 Highlanders, all 2007-2010 Tundras and all 2008-2010 Sequoias.While Toyota was still grappling with the negative publicity stemming from the sticking accelerator recall, its Prius and Lexus hybrid models came under attack for faulty brakes. The brakes reportedly respond inconsistently to rough or slick road surfaces and tire slippage. The Prius is Toyota’s popular hybrid, promoted as the environmentally friendly car of the future; now it is one more defective vehicle class subject to recall, with 133,000 Priuses and 14,500 Lexus Division 2010 HS 250h vehicles all built for the 2010 model year needing repair.Toyota’s accelerated response to the Prius problem may be a direct result of the negative publicity it has suffered for delaying recall of the cars with sticking gas pedals. Toyota initially recalled removable floor mats in several vehicle classes, blaming the mats for causing the accelerators to stick. But as the evidence piled up, Toyota issued a recall notice based on the gas pedal defect on January 21.The Prius recall followed hundreds of consumer complaints in multiple countries, including 124 complaints to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration in the United States, four of which involved crashes.