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Wednesday, 10th October 2012
In Business In Japan,

Faulty window switches spark Toyota recall

Japanese car manufacturer Toyota has today (October 10th) begun the recall of more than 7.4 million vehicles worldwide amid concerns of faulty window switches.

The UK arm of the company admitted that 138,000 cars in the country would have to be examined for unsuitable Power Window Master Switches (PWMS).

Over the course of the next six weeks, Toyota will be informing British car owners of the risk, which is prevalent among certain models in its RAV4, Auris, Yaris and Corolla divisions.

Models manufactured between September 2006 and December 2008 were singled out, with drivers warned not to use lubricant to ease up stuck switches.

This could be a fire hazard as Toyota GB pointed out that lubricants can lead to overheating or melting of the switch assembly.

Affected customers will be requested to bring their car to their nearest Toyota centre for examination, with properly functioning PWMS to be given a special non-conducting lubricant.

The work is set to take around an hour and will be free of charge, with affected cars receiving a new unit.

UK car owners can also check to see if their model has been implicated in the recall with a new number plate look-up tool available on the company website.

Fortunately, the group has been able to say there have been no reports of accidents or injuries as a result of the potential fault, with just one British owner bringing the problem to light.

However, it does mark the biggest recall in the automotive sector since 1996, when Ford was forced to issue a similar call back on eight million cars with possible defective ignition switches.

Head of product liability at law firm Eversheds, Richard Matthews, said "Recalls in the automotive sector are not rare events, but the size and scale of this particular recall is unusual."

Mr Matthews also drew attention to the group's handling of a 2010 recall which led to a $16.4 million fine from the US Transportation Department.

Posted by Graham McPherson  

Related news stories:
Toyota boss faces workforce in Japan (5th March 2010)
Toyota recalls 16 models in Japan (27th January 2011)
Toyota admits further car problems (18th February 2010)
Toyota hit by further woes (8th April 2010)