Toyota is no stranger to sizeable recalls; back in 2009 and 2010, the company was forced to recall 10 million vehicles for unintended acceleration due to sticking accelerator pedals and floor mats that trapped those same accelerators. All in all, a terrible combination.
This latest recall is less numerous, and seemingly less dangerous. Globally, the recall affects 7.4 million vehicles, with 2.5 million cars affected here in the U.S. Here’s the model and numeric breakdown:
- 2007-8 Yaris (110,300 vehicles)
- 2007-9 RAV4 (336,400)
- 2007-9 Tundra (337,100)
- 2007-9 Camry (938,100)
- 2007-9 Camry HYBRID (116,800)
- 2008-9 Scion xD (34,400)
- 2008-9 Scion xA (77,500)
- 2008-9 Sequoia (38,500)
- 2008 Highlander (135,400)
- 2008 Highlander HYBRID (23,200)
- 2009 Corolla (270,900)
- 2009 Matrix (53,800)
That is an exhaustive list, and something to pay attention to because the recall is due to a potential fire hazard. Reports of smoke and fire coming from the driver side door of these vehicles prompted an investigation, and Toyota traced the fire hazard to the master switch that controls the power windows in the driver’s door.
These switches may have a sticky feeling because the switch supplier didn’t evenly apply the grease; frequent use of the switch (like, if you enjoy driving with the window down) can cause the grease to become carbonized, leading to a deterioration of its lubricating properties. Toyota owners have been trying to fix this sticky feeling themselves with commercial lubricants, which can melt the switch assembly and lead to a fire (161 fires have been reported).
The repairs will take all of one hour at your local Toyota dealership.
You can do one of two things here; deal with switch stickiness and avoid buying lubricants like WD-40 from your hardware store at all costs to apply to the sticky switch, or just take that bad boy in on a Saturday and let the mechanics apply some special fluorine grease, and then off you go maneuvering the windows up and down to your little heart’s content.