Toyota Recalls More Than 7.5 Million Vehicles
October 16, 2012

by Casey Neeley,

Toyota is recalling more than 7.5 million vehicles worldwide for faulty power window switches that can potentially catch fire. The recall will affect close to 2.5 million vehicles in the U.S.

According to the Defect Information Report Toyota filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), "The sliding electrical contact module in the driver's side power window master switch (PWMS) may experience a 'notchy' or sticking feeling during operation. This may be caused by an uneven application of the grease lubricant at the supplier."

"If commercially available cleaning lubricants are applied to the switch to attempt to address the notchy or sticky feel, the switch assembly may overheat and melt," continues the report. "A melting switch may produce smoking and, potentially, lead to a fire."

John Hanson national manager for environmental safety and quality communications for Toyota told™/AGRR™ magazine, "We have found that sometimes an owner will take [the car] into a shop and the mechanic will spray the switch with a lubricant which of course exacerbates the problem."

"Although a thermal event is caused by external factors, such as lubricant use, in order to eliminate the possibility of the thermal event in the PWMS, Toyota decided to conduct a Customer Satisfaction Campaign on vehicles equipped with the PWMS…after discussion and consultation with the agency, on October 4, Toyota decided to conduct a voluntary safety recall campaign to address the issue," say officials in the Defect Information Report.

The affected Toyota models include the 2007 to 2008 Yaris, 2007 to 2009 RAV4, 2007 to 2009 Tundra, 2007 to 2009 Camry, 2007 to 2009 Camry Hybrid, 2008 to 2009 Scion xD, 2008 to 2009 Scion xB, 2008 to 2009 Sequoia, 2008 Highlander, 2008 Highlander Hybrid, 2009 Corolla and 2009 Matrix. The 2009 Pontiac Vibe, manufactured by GM, is also listed in the recall and is anticipated to affect close to 47,133 vehicles.

Toyota plans to notify owners of the defect by mail.

In a letter dated October 10 to Toyota, Jennifer Timian, chief of the Recall Management Division for the NHTSA, said "dealers will inspect the switch and apply a special grease that inhibits heat buildup or replace switch damaged by the defect, free of charge."

Vehicles with the potentially faulty switches were manufactured at the Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan; Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc., in Georgetown, Ky.; Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc., in Ontario, Canada; Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana, Inc., in Princeton, Ind.; Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, Inc., in San Antonio, Texas; New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., in Fremont, Calif.; and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Northern Kentucky, Inc., in Erlanger, Ky.

The Defect Information Report cites TRAM, Inc., of Plymouth, Mass., and TOKAI RIKA Co. Ltd., of Japan as the manufacturers of the PWMS assembly.

Recalled Toyota Models
Approx. Number of Vehicles Affected
2007-2008 Yaris
2007-2009 RAV4
2007-2009 Tundra
2007-2009 Camry
2007-2009 Camry Hybrid
2008-2009 Scion xD
2008-2009 Scion xB
2008-2009 Sequoia
2008 Highlander
2008 Highlander Hybrid
2009 Corolla
2009 Matrix

This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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