Toyota on Wednesday recalled 6.5-million cars globally to fix defective power window switches‚ a move that is expected to affect many local drivers of the brand.
If it is not fixed‚ the switch could potentially lead to a fire. Toyota SA spokesman Clynton Yon said the global recall was an extension of a similar campaign in 2012 in which 60‚709 units were affected. About 75% of these vehicles received remedial service at Toyota dealers.
The recall involves the Auris models made between 2006 and 2008; Corollas made between 2006 and 2010; Yaris models produced between 2006 and 2010; and RAV4s made between 2006 and 2010.
“The remedial action involves inspecting the window switch board and applying heat-resistant grease to the switch to ensure smooth operation‚” Mr Yon said.
“If necessary‚ the switch board is also replaced‚” he said. “At this stage it is not yet clear how many additional South African vehicles will be affected by the current international recall action. “Toyota SA Motors will make this information available as soon as confirmation of the potentially affected vehicles is received from Toyota Motor Corporation‚” he said.
Of the total vehicles affected‚ about 2.7-million are in North America‚ 1.2-million in Europe‚ and 600‚000 in Japan.
The parent company said parts in the power window master switch may have been lubricated inconsistently during the manufacturing process. “Debris caused by wear from the electrical contact points can accumulate and cause a short circuit. That in turn could cause the switch assembly to overheat and melt‚ and potentially lead to a fire‚ it said.
All the problematic switches have been supplied to Toyota by Japanese automotive supplier Tokai Rika.
Among other models subject to the recall are the Matrix‚ Highlander‚ Tundra‚ Sequoia and Scion xB. The vehicles were produced between January 2005 and December 2010‚ the group said.
Toyota issued a separate recall in Japan of about 140‚000 Crown and Crown Majesta models for a glitch that could cause the bonnet to open inadvertently.