October 10, 2012
Toyota announced Wednesday it will voluntarily recall 7.4 million vehicles globally because of malfunctioning power window switches, Reuters reports.
Of the total number of vehicles being recalled, 2.47 million are in the United States, 1.40 million vehicles in China and 1.39 million vehicles in Europe. In Japan, about 459,300 vehicles will be recalled, including Vitz models produced between 2006 and 2008.
The vehicles recalled outside of Japan include certain models of the Yaris, Vios, Corolla, Matrix, Auris, Camry, RAV4, Highlander, Tundra, Sequoia, xB and xD produced between 2005 and 2010. Toyota also is recalling 650,000 vehicles in Australia and Asia, 490,000 vehicles in the Middle East, 240,000 vehicles in Canada and 330,000 vehicles elsewhere, company spokesperson Shino Yamada says.
Toyota said it wants to “inspect and apply special fluorine grease” to the driver’s side power window master switch, which may feel “notchy” or sticky during operation, and may overheat and melt if commercially available lubricants are applied to it. No accidents, injuries or deaths have been reported as a result of the problem, Yamada says.
This is the biggest single recall by any automaker since Ford called back 7.9 million vehicles in 1996. It comes after Toyota managed to overtake General Motors as the world’s largest automaker in the first half of 2012 after a difficult 2011 marred by natural disasters in Japan and Thailand, and a strong yen.
The recall also comes about two months after Toyota added two models to a controversial 2009 recall over problems with pedal entrapment and floor mats, which later snowballed into the infamous unintended acceleration issue that led to the recall of more than 12 million vehicles worldwide, a U.S. congressional probe and more than $50 million in fines in the United States, followed by public apologies from the company’s chief.
Toyota got more bad news Tuesday, when it reported its Chinese sales nosedived in September, owing to rising anti-Japanese sentiment in China amid a territorial dispute between the two countries.
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