Toyota Recalls 6.5 Million Vehicles for Window Switch Defect

22 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Toyota Recalls 6.5 Million Vehicles For Window Switch Defect.

TOKYO (AP) — 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 Japanese automaker said in an email Wednesday that the recall includes 2.7 million vehicles in North America, 1.2 million in Europe and 600,000 in Japan.

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. The company said the window switch “may have been manufactured with insufficient lubricant grease,” which could short-circuit, overheat and melt, causing a fire.

With year-end awards — and adult moviegoers — up for grabs, autumn is when studios roll out the kind of thoughtful fare that might not be able to grab a 13-year-old’s attention. Automakers worldwide are under pressure to hasten their recall processes after coming under fire for time lags between learning about potential flaws and calling back cars for fixes.

The new recall, which affects different vehicles, has caused at least 11 incidents in which the switch or car door burned, says spokesman Scott Vazin. 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, based in Tokyo. Takata has been criticised over the crisis; it also faces lawsuits and regulatory probes into accusations that it knew about the problem and concealed the dangers. Earlier recalls for the part, which is made by a Japan-based supplier, Tokai Rika, were ordered because too much heat-resistant grease was used to coat the switches’ internal mechanisms. The defect – thought to be associated with a chemical propellant that helps inflate the airbags – can cause them to deploy with explosive force, sending shrapnel hurtling towards people in the car.

Toyota is currently the world’s largest carmaker but the regular recalls will surely raise doubts about the company’s quality aspect in building their cars. Last year, Toyota said it would pay US$1.2 billion (S$1.7 billion) to settle criminal charges in the United States that it had lied to safety regulators and the public as it tried to cover up deadly accelerator defects that might be linked to dozens of deaths. Toyota also issued a separate recall in Japan of about 140,000 Crown and Crown Majesta models for a glitch that could cause the hood to open inadvertently. Carmakers are also more sensitive to reputational risks and the potential for lawsuits as a result of more serious recent safety scandals, like those involving dangerous ignition switches in General Motors vehicles and exploding airbags made by the Japanese supplier Takata. Toyota adopted a more proactive recall policy several years ago after it was caught up in a furor over unintended acceleration in some vehicles and ended up recalling millions of vehicles in multiple waves to fix problems with accelerator pedals, floor mats and other components.

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