Toyota recalls 7.4 million cars over fire risk
The Japanese car giant Toyota is recalling 7.4 million of its cars from across the world, including 138,000 in the UK, due to faulty electric window switches which could lead to a fire.
The recall affects several Toyota models in the UK including the Yaris, Auris, Corolla and the RAV4, all produced between September 2006 and December 2008.
The problem with each of these vehicles relate to the electric window switch, specifically the master switch which controls the windows on both the driver's and passenger's side.
Toyota has discovered that due to a mistake in the application of grease on these switches during the assembly of these cars, they may become noticeably uneven, and can eventually stick or become inoperable.
The grease lubricant used can also overheat or even melt the switch assembly, potentially leading to a fire.
Toyota adds that there has been one reported case regarding this fault in the UK, but there have been no related accidents.
Toyota will contact owners of the affected models within the next six weeks and advise they bring their car into their local dealership for checks.
Switches may be replaced, a task which will take no more than a one hour and will be carried out free of charge.
This is the largest single recall in scale within the motoring industry; ever since Ford recalled eight million cars all at once way back in 1996.
This latest recall incident for Toyota follows a similar occurrence for this particular car maker back in 2009.
Back then the company received a major blow to its reputation after a mass recall which eventually involved as many as 12 million vehicles, all with issues that could cause sudden acceleration. These same faults were linked to several fatal accidents.
Toyota has been working to rebuild its reputation since, but has had to overcome disruptions in production which were brought along by the Japanese Tsunami in early 2011. Nevertheless Toyota remains the biggest selling car manufacturer globally, achieving 4.97 million registrations globally after the first six months of 2012.
Another Japanese manufacturer, Honda, has been in the news recently because of a recall. As many as 489,000 Honda CR-V models worldwide have recently been recalled, including 77,000 in the UK.
These cars carry a similar fault to those Toyotas recalled, in that they carry fault electric window switches which can be disrupted by water and end up melting or even setting alight.
Written by Stephen Goldasz