Toyota orders worldwide recall of 6.5 million vehicles

21 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Here’s why Toyota just recalled 6.5 million cars.

Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 6.5 million vehicles worldwide for a defective power window switch that can overheat, melt and lead to fires. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File) TOKYO — Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 6.5 million vehicles worldwide for a defective power window switch that can overheat, melt and lead to fires. The firm said it had not received reports of accidents related to the defect, but one customer may have suffered a burn on their hand due to the problem.The company said insufficient lubricant grease may have been used, which under certain conditions could lead the switch to malfunction, overheat and in the worst case scenario, lead to a fire. The recall — which is equivalent to about two-thirds of the automaker’s annual global production — covers some of the company’s most popular vehicles, with model years ranging from 2007 to 2011. Toyota has been working to regain its reputation for safety after the recall of millions of cars globally for various problems, including the airbag issues at embattled supplier Takata.

Toyota has also received 11 reports of cases in which the switch or part of the car door burned — seven in North America, two in Japan and two in other areas — the Japanese automaker said Wednesday. Tokyo-based Takata has been under fire over the crisis, as it faces lawsuits and regulatory probes into accusations that it knew about the problem and concealed the dangers.

This recall is the latest in a string for the Japanese carmaker, and isn’t the first time the company is recalling cars over a faulty window switch. The defect – thought to be associated with a chemical propellant that helps inflate the airbags – can cause them to deploy with explosive force, sending metal shrapnel hurtling toward drivers and passengers. Last year, Toyota agreed to pay $1.2 billion (£776 million) to settle US criminal charges that it lied to safety regulators and the public as it tried to cover-up deadly accelerator defects that might be linked to dozens of deaths.

Add this to a growing list of recalls that includes 2.9 million vehicles recalled in the U.S. over the faulty Takata airbag issue in June this year, a 6 million vehicle-recall to fix a range of safety issues last year, and the 2009 recall over malfunctioning brakes that affected more than 7 million vehicles. U.S. vehicles affected by the recall include the 2007 and 2009 Camry and Camry Hybrid, 2009-11 Corolla, 2008-11 Highlander and Highlander Hybrid, 2009-11 Matrix, 2006-11 RAV4, 2009-11 Sequoia, 2009-11 Tundra, 2006-10 Yaris, 2009-11 Scion xB and 2009-10 Scion xD. Industry-wide, recalls are becoming more of an issue as automakers step up their game to avoid major scandals, and as more similar components are used across carmakers, The Wall Street Journal notes.

In a look at National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data by Safercar.gov, last year saw a record number of vehicles recalled at over 74 million, and the figure has been growing over the years. Other automakers have been embroiled in scandals since then, including General Motors Co. over an ignition switch recall, Japanese supplier Takata Corp. over defective air bags, and more recently Volkswagen AG of Germany over rigged emissions tests.

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