Toyota's recall of 1.5m vehicles in Japan over a steering wheel problem is the largest ever domestic recall by any vehicle maker, company officials said.

The automaker reported to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism a plan to recall 1,518,098 units across 13 models, including the Prius hybrid, produced between August 2000 and December 2011.

According to the ministry, the shaft that connects the steering wheel with the steering gear box is not strong enough and could wear out, making steering difficult.