Toyota is recalling about 6.5 million vehicles worldwide, including two million vehicles in the United States, because a defect in the driver’s side window switch can lead to a fire.
Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. confirmed last week that the power-window master switch in certain vehicles may have been manufactured without enough lubricant grease, and under certain conditions this can lead to a short circuit that can cause the switch to overheat and melt. The melting switch can produce smoke and potentially result in a fire, Law360 reports.
Affected vehicles include the Camry and Camry Hybrid, Corolla, Highlander and Highlander Hybrid, Matrix, RAV4, Sequoia, Tundra, Yaris, Scion xB and Scion xD, Toyota said. The recall affects vehicle years from 2006 to 2011, depending in particular vehicle. The automaker is notifying owners of the affected vehicles about the defect. Dealers will apply heat-resistant grease to the switch and replace an internal circuit board if the switch is not operating normally, according to Law360.
Toyota has previously issued a similar recall for certain 2009 to 2011 vehicles. The automaker recalled more than 7.4 million vehicles worldwide in October 2012, including 2.5 million in the U.S., over lubrication problems in power-window controls that can lead to a fire. More recently, Law360 reports, Toyota recalled more than 420,000 RAV4 vehicles over potential problems with their windshield wipers. The windshield wipers can stop working if water causes corrosion and the wiper link separates from the wiper motor crank arm. If the wipers stop working, driver visibility is diminished, increasing the risk of a crash, Toyota said.
The automaker recalled approximately 625,000 Prius hybrids in July worldwide because of a software glitch that can cause the hybrid system to shut down while being driven. Toyota said that recall affects about 340,000 cars in Japan, 160,000 in Europe and 120,000 in North America.
For the most up-to-date Safety Recall information on Toyota, Lexus or Scion vehicles, customers should check their vehicle’s status by visiting toyota.com/recall and entering the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Safety Recall information by VIN is also available from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA): safercar.gov/vin. Vehicle owners can direct additional questions to Toyota Customer Service at 1-800-331-4331, or Lexus Customer Service at 1-800-255-3987.
Toyota is also affected by the Takata Corp. air bag defect. The defective air bags can rupture, sending plastic shrapnel flying at vehicle occupants. The automaker expanded its recall in June to an additional 2.86 million vehicles in China, Japan and Europe. At the end of August, Toyota announced it is looking into using air bag inflators made by suppliers other than Takata to keep up with the pace of recalls related to the air bags.