Massive Toyota Recall Affects Over 7 Million Vehicles

Toyota Motor Company announced today that they are issuing a recall of 2.5 million cars in the United States due to the potential risk of fire. Worldwide this Toyota recall will involve about 7.43 million Toyota and Scion vehicles and is their largest recall since those in 2009 relating to unintended acceleration.

This time, the Toyota recall involves a faulty driver’s side power window switch. The defective switch may feel like it’s operating sluggishly in some vehicles. If owners choose to treat the sticky switch with commercially available lubricants, then the switch assembly may melt causing smoke and potentially fire.

It’s not the first time Toyota has had trouble with their power window switches. In February, Toyota recalled several models with similar window switches found in 830,000 Camry and RAV-4 models sold during the 2007 model-year. That was a tiny recall compared to the latest which includes an expanded number of models over a greater number of years.

The North American Toyota recall includes the Yaris, Corolla, Matrix, Camry, RAV4, Highlander, Tundra, Sequoia and Scion models xB and xD. In Japan it includes the Vitz, Belta, Ractis, Ist, Auris and Corolla Lumion while in Europe it’s the Corolla, Auris, Camry and Rav-4. There are also vehicles affected in Australia, China and the Middle East making this a truly worldwide Toyota recall.

Toyota has been working hard to prove to its customers that quality is still a priority ever since the 2009 unintended acceleration recalls that were a huge blemish on its once pristine reputation. Despite their efforts, the auto maker actually had more recalls than any other during 2010 in North America and almost held the same title last year. They narrowly missed this dubious honor in 2011 but were beaten out by Honda.

Now it looks like it’ll be either Honda or Toyota again this year, with Honda announcing a recall of over 600,000 vehicles just last week. Either way, this latest Toyota recall does nothing to improve their tarnished image with consumers who still vividly remember the acceleration problems of the past and the nightly news clips that accompanied them for months.

Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. When not drooling over cars, Nicole writes for Wired’s GeekMom.