Due to a defect in the driver’s side window that presents a fire hazard, Toyota is recalling 6.5 million vehicles. The recall affects roughly 2 million cars in the US. The problem is that the power-window master switch may have been manufactured without enough lubricant grease; this can cause the window switch to overheat and melt if there is a short circuit. Toyota says the melting switch can lead to smoke and possibly a fire.
According to Law360, the recall affects certain model years of the Camry and Camry Hybrid, Corolla, Highlander and Highlander Hybrid, Matrix, RAV4, Sequoia, Tundra, Yaris, Scion xB and Scion xD. To address the defect, dealers will apply heat-resistant grease to the switch. If the switch is not working properly, the internal circuit board will also be replaced.
The automaker has had similar issues in the past. In October 2012, Toyota recalled over 7.4 million vehicles worldwide because of lubrication problems in power-window controls that presented a fire hazard.
Toyota issued a recent recall in September, affecting over 420,000 RAV4 vehicles. The recall was issued because corrosion from water could cause the windshield wipers to stop working when the wiper link is separated from the wiper motor crank arm. A non-functioning windshield wiper can impair driver visibility and increase the risk of an accident.
In another recall this July, Toyota recalled 625,000 Prius hybrids due to a software glitch that can cause the system to shut down while driving. Roughly 120,000 vehicles in North America are affected.
Toyota has also been involved in the Takata Corp. exploding air bag defect, which can cause shrapnel to propel towards occupants. In June, the company expanded its recall to an additional 2.86 million vehicles in China, Japan and Europe.