Toyota is recalling 7.4 million vehicles around the world over reports that the windows switches in these cars may overheat when lubricants or greases are used. Of this figure, around 2.5 million cars are in the U.S. This recall is the biggest since Ford’s recall of around 7.9 million vehicles in 1996 due to defective ignition switches.
The issue is that in certain vehicles, the driver’s side power-window switches may stick or feel notchy. For it to smoothly function, some owners or mechanics may lubricate the switchgear. Toyota said that the problem is that by using commercially available lubricants or greases, the switch could overheat. As a result, it may melt or smoke.
However, Toyota says that this won’t cause a fire and that there have not been any reports of injuries or crashes due to this issue. The first report was filed in September 2008.
Toyota said to fix the defect, its dealers will disassemble and examine the window switches, and make use of a special type of fluorine grease that won’t result to overheating or smoke. Fixing this will take about one hour. Letters will be sent to owners about the repairs this October.
It will also ask owners to attempt to loosen window switches with lubricants on their own. The recall covers the following American-market models: 110,300 2007-2008 Toyota Yarises; 336,400 2007-2009 Toyota Rav4s; 337,100 2007-2009 Toyota Tundras; 1.05 million 2007-2009 Toyota Camrys; 34,400 2008-2009 Scion xDs; 77,500 2008-2009 Scion xBs; 38,500 2008-2009 Toyota Sequoias; 158,600 2008 Toyota Highlanders; 270,900 2009 Toyota Corollas; 53,800 2009 Toyota Matrixes. Of the 7.4 million vehicles affected throughout the world, 2.5 million were sold in the U.S., 1.4 million are in China, and 1.39 million are in Europe.