Toyota’s Largest Recall Ever

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The automaker says millions of U.S. cars may be affected by a power window switch problem that can cause fires.

It doesn’t match the more than 10 million cars Toyota recalled for “unintended acceleration,” but 7.4 million cars is a lot – one of the largest recalls in history, and as Consumer Reports says, the largest single recall ever from Toyota. (The acceleration issue involved multiple recalls over 2009 and 2010, originally starting with just 3.8 million for floor mats.)

It’s also the biggest since 1996, when Ford recalled over 8 million cars for defective ignition switches that caused vehicle fires, brake failures, and steering failures. That issue led to as many as 11 deaths and 31 injuries. This one will hopefully be less dangerous – Toyota claims there have been no related injury or accident reports yet. Here are the details of the ones they think are in America, about 2.5 million…

The driver’s door-mounted switches may have a “notchy” or “sticky” feel to them during operation. And if drivers use oil or other lubricants to correct the problem, the switch assembly could melt, emit smoke or even cause a fire.

Toyota says the sticky window switches are found in the following models of Toyota cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks:

  • 2007 to 2008 Yaris (approx. 110,300)
  • 2007 to 2009 RAV4 (approx. 336,400)
  • 2007 to 2009 Tundra (approx. 337,100)
  • 2007 to 2009 Camry (approx. 938,100)
  • 2007 to 2009 Camry Hybrid (approx. 116,800)
  • 2008 to 2009 Scion xD (approx. 34,400)
  • 2008 to 2009 Scion xA (approx. 77,500)
  • 2008 to 2009 Sequoia (approx. 38,500)
  • 2008 Highlander (approx. 135,400)
  • 2008 Highlander Hybrid (approx. 23,200)
  • 2009 Corolla (approx. 270,900)
  • 2009 Matrix (approx. 53,800)

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the issue is also present in an unknown number of 2009 Pontiac Vibe hatchbacks. We reported on a similar issue in more than 270,000 Hondas earlier this week.

Affected owners should soon receive a recall notice, offering them a free inspection and fix at their local dealership. In the meantime, you can call the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 800-331-4331 or Pontiac Customer Care at 800-762-2737. The recall notice ID is 12V491000.

Stacy Johnson

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