Toyota Recalls Record-Breaking Number of Cars
Over seven million Toyota vehicles are being recalled globally due to a faulty window switch, and two-and-a-half million of those are being recalled in the United States, company officials announced Wednesday.
The recalled vehicles have faulty power window switches, which have already caused several injuries and have started numerous car fires globally, company spokesperson John Hanson said.
Toyota said that an inadequate amount of grease was applied to the switches during production, and that friction has been the cause of smoke and fire in some of the affected vehicles.
Recalled U.S. models include the 2007 to 2009 Camry, the Tundra pick-up, the RAV4 small SUV, the 2007 and 2008 Yaris subcompact, the 2008 and 2009 Sequoia large SUV, the Scion xD and xA small cars, the 2008 Highlander SUV, and the 2009 Corolla and Matrix compacts.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began their investigation in February after receiving an unusually high number of complaints. The investigation showed that most fires were minor, although one Camry was completely destroyed because of the faulty switch.
Toyota dealers will inspect the recalled vehicles and will be applying grease to the faulty switches. In some cases, a complete replacement of the switches and circuit boards will be necessary.
"We want to make sure that we addressed this issue quickly and effectively, and I think we are doing that with this recall," Hanson said.
The recall raises questions about Toyota Motor Corp.'s progress after quality and safety issues embarrassed the company in 2009 and 2010. The recall could also affect the company's rebound from last year's earthquake and tsunami in Japan that destroyed factories and halted production.
Owners of the recalled vehicles will receive letters via first-class mail beginning in late October. Toyota officials said car owners can expect the repairs to take approximately one hour.