Toyota announced on Wednesday that it would recall 7.43 million vehicles around the world as a result of a defective power-window switch that could prove to be a potential fire hazard, making it the single largest recall in 16 years.
In a press statement, the company said the power windows in question “may experience a 'notchy' or sticky feel during operation. If commercially available lubricants are applied to the switch in an attempt to address the 'notchy' or sticky feel, melting of the switch assembly or smoke could occur and lead to a fire under some circumstances.”
Toyota said the glitch was most likely the result of “an uneven application of grease during the switch assembly process at the supplier.” To rectify the problem, the company said they would need to conduct safety inspections, disassemble the faulty switches, and apply fluorine grease. The repair would take approximately an hour, they added, at a cost that would be covered by Toyota.
The largest number of recalls will occur in the United States, where the company is planning to recall 2.47 million vehicles. They will also recall 1.4 million vehicles in China, and 1.39 million in Europe.
Affected North American models made between 2005 and 2010, including the Yaris, Corolla, Matrix, Camry, RAV4, Highlander, Tundra, Sequoia and Scion xB and xD.
Joichi Tachikawa, a spokesperson for Toyota, said that no crashes or injuries had yet been attributed to the glitch, but vehicle owners had reported problems in over 200 cases, reported the Blaze.
Toyota is not the first company to report such a defect, however. Their announcement comes in the wake of three individual recalls this month alone by rival Japanese auto maker Honda.
On Saturday, Honda announced that it would be conducting a recall on 268,000 CR-V models, due to similar power-window switch issues. In their announcement, the company warned vehicle owners not to park their cars in garages until the safety inspection could be conducted. They cautioned that the power-window switches could melt and cause a fire even if the car was powered off, reported the Detroit News.
Sales for all three top Japanese auto makers, including Toyota, Honda, and Nissan have taken a downturn amid Chinese boycotts, reported the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.
"We are continuing our efforts to reach the target but considering the circumstances, we realize it may be difficult," said Dion Corbett, a spokesperson for Toyota.