Toyota’s latest recall of more than 7 million vehicles worldwide this week has eerily similar tones to the actions that cost the company millions of dollars and some consumers their lives several years ago.
Earlier this week Toyota Motor Corp. issued its single-largest recall in the history of the company. Of the 7.43 million vehicles included in the recall, at least 2.47 million were sold in the U.S. The action includes model years 2007 through 2009 and the following makes: Camry, RAV4, Corolla, Tundra, Sequoia, and Yaris. The action was necessary because a faulty power-windows switch could spark fire and damage to the vehicle, potentially leading to serious injuries for passengers and drivers.
While some reports show that Toyota is trying to take the proverbial high road for its reaction to the faulty part on many of its vehicles. According to a Detroit Free Press report in combination with the Associated Press, Toyota executives in America this week for the launch of its new Lexus sedan said that recalls were a necessary part of the business sometimes and that the company’s apparent quick response to the defects shows that it has learned from the mistakes it made in 2010 responding to the reports that many other vehicles it manufactured were prone to accelerating out-of-control due to a faulty accelerator device.
The company still maintains that other problems likely caused the cars to speed out of control, a defect that resulted in numerous deaths and thousands of serious injuries to people riding in those cars, including faulty floor mats.
There have been no crashes or deaths attributed to the faulty power-windows switch on the affected Toyota vehicles, according to several reports. However, the company’s attempt at appearing forthcoming with this information in a timely manner, as opposed to the way it handled the 2010 recalls, may be more deception on the part of Toyota executives.
A Bloomberg report indicates that Toyota has been aware of problems with the power-windows switch on many of its vehicles since 2008 but has passed off previous knowledge of the events as random reports and that no trend suggested anything more from the company was needed other than to offer to repair that person’s vehicle.
The company is aware of at least nine injuries and reports of at least 161 fires that have been caused by the faulty switch. Earlier this year, federal transportation officials opened an investigation into these defective power-windows switches in February after they had received six reports of injuries from fires that were caused by the defective switch.