In the biggest international car recall since 1996, Toyota announced Wednesday it is recalling 7.4 million vehicles after discovering that faulty window switches in 12 different models could pose a fire hazard.
The recall affects 2.5 million Toyota vehicles sold in the United States, 250,000 in Russia, and also covers Australia, China and other parts of Asia and the Mideast.
The Japanese automaker said there have not been any accidents or injuries associated with the defective switches, which are located on the driver’s side of the vehicles.
Toyota said car owners “may experience a ‘notchy’ or sticky feel during operation” of the window, adding that, “If commercially available lubricants are applied to the switch in an attempt to address the ‘notchy’ or sticky feel, melting of the switch assembly or smoke could occur and lead to a fire under some circumstances.”
Toyota said the recall would involve inspection, switch disassembly, and application of a special fluorine grease to correct the defect.
The recall is the largest by an auto company since Ford was forced to call back eight million vehicles in 1996 to replace defective ignition switches that could have caused engine fires.
This recall is the latest in a series of problems that have plagued Toyota in recent years, including in late 2009 and 2010, when Toyota announced a series of massive recalls that were related to the risk of unintended accelerations in some of its models.
Toyota recalled about 14 million vehicles in 2009 and 2010.
The current recall in Russia involves the 2006 to 2008 Yaris, Corolla, Auris, Camry and RAV4 models. In the United States, the recall involves the following Toyota models:
- 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 xA
- 2008 to 2009 Sequoia
- 2008 Highlander
- 2008 Highlander Hybrid
- 2009 Corolla
- 2009 Matrix