By on October 10, 2012


In the largest recall  since the infamous Ford thread separation, Toyota recalled 7.43 million vehicles worldwide today. The reason: The Power Window Master Switch could melt, go up in smoke, or cause a fire after the wrong lubricant has been applied in an attempt to fix a sticky feeling during operation.

During the recall, the switch will be taken apart and special fluorine grease will be applied. The sticky feeling stems from uneven application of the grease during the switch assembly process at the supplier.

In the U.S., the following vehicles are affected:

The Grease Recall
2007 to 2008 Yaris 110,300
2007 to 2009 RAV4 336,400
2007 to 2009 Tundra 337,100
2007 to 2009 Camry 938,100
2007 to 2009 Camry Hybrid 116,800
2008 to 2009 Scion xD 34,400
2008 to 2009 Scion xA 77,500
2008 to 2009 Sequoia 38,500
2008 Highlander 135,400
2008 Highlander Hybrid 23,200
2009 Corolla 270,900
2009 Matrix 53,800
Total: 2,472,400

According to Reuters, an additional 1.4 million vehicles will be recalled in China, 1.39 million in Europe, 459,300 in Japan, 650,000 vehicles in Australia and Asia, 490,000 in the Near and Middle East, 240,000 in Canada and 330,000 elsewhere.

On August 21, 2000, Ford recalled 14.4 million Explorers for thread separation of the Wilderness tires. A year later, 13 million were recalled again.

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16 Comments on “Grease Causes Biggest Recall In A Decade...”

  • avatar

    You may want to fix your vehicle count in the lead-in sentence – it says 7.43 vehicles. Now that would be funny…plus if it were just 7.43 vehicles it would just be easier to show up at the customers homes and fix it in their driveway.

  • avatar

    Who supplied the Power Window Master Switch? I wonder if the faulty grease was applied to more than one OEM window switch.

    This situation would not deter me from considering a Toyota product. At least TMC has the nuts to recall the cars unlike other manufacturers who will call their lawyers and bean counters to roll the dice.

    • 0 avatar

      Honda has a 268,000 Window Switch which may cause fire recall.

      Wouldn’t be surprised if they came from the same company.

      • 0 avatar

        Honda’s switches may well have been from the same manufacturer but by the recall text it’s an unrelated defect.

        The Honda switches weren’t sealed – unclear whether due to defective parts or design oversight – and can short if water runs inside the door through an open window slot.

  • avatar

    Or maybe other car makers just build their cars right in the first place. Recall’s should be counted as a reliability failure in more of these reliability survey’s. Because if they were then we would ses some car makers drop a number of places.

    • 0 avatar

      Pick a “other car maker”.

      If you don’t have sticky window, your car won’t catch on fire.

      If you just started to have a sticky window, it will be fixed with the new lubricant.

      If you had it fixed with the wrong lubricant, I would imagine you’d go to the head of the line.

      7.43 million cars aren’t going to burst into flames.

  • avatar

    Recall’s are really a good deal, rather than wait for a problem to happen, this item could happen to any manufacturer that has there Auto parts made by a Third Party, glad that Toyota caught it from a US Customer,who noticed smoke more or less in the “Cockput”

  • avatar
    Robert Fahey

    Honda, Ford, Isuzu, GM and Saab (and probably others) recently issued recalls for window switch problems also. Google the subject.

  • avatar

    One of the best stocks to get into are auto parts manufacturers. You can’t lose. The auto company can – but the parts manufacturers are always gonna be there in the background.

    • 0 avatar

      Delphi and Visteon have both gone through bankruptcies in recent years. To be sure, they were spun off from GM and Ford to shore up the parents’ financials, so they were weak from the start but they do show that you can lose money making car parts.

  • avatar

    Made in China???

    Anyway just wow, absolutely just WOW. That is a huge number of vehicles, I’m glad to hear that Toyota is doing the right thing. I guess my only question is how did they discover this one?

    I don’t recall reading anything about Toyota’s going up in flames on a regular basis. Lot’s about 1-5 cars burning of a batter powered nature, but nothing about this.

    I’m curious as to what the cost is to Toyota for this recall.

  • avatar

    The last line that you added without any context or seemingly any purpose illustrates why I make an effort to avoid ever clicking on your postings. In this case I was curious what you had to say about the subject and you got your page view. If you’re going to include such data at least take the time to put a lead in stating “this is the largest recall since Ford blah blah blah” or something similar.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    The last sentence ties directly with the first sentence. 1St sentence mentions Ford thread separation and gives Toyota recall numbers. Last sentence mentions Ford thread separation again and gives Ford recall numbers. The two sentences support each other and grease is the underlying problem for the Toyota recall. It could have been “This is largest recall since Ford,blah,blah” but this title is more clever than that. I don’t always agree with Bertel but he is a wordsmith.

    • 0 avatar

      Foot inserted directly into mouth…my apologies. By the time I got to the end of the article, a fairly short one I realize, the opening line had already passed out of my consciousness and I allowed my personal view of the author to taint my observation of the text. I clearly am not as complimentary about the article’s structure but my complaint is rendered null and void none the less.

  • avatar

    I heard about this on the radio this morning, drive to work look it up. Imagine my suprise when the Prius isn’t on the list.

    Also the radio said 2005-2009 but I’m not seeing any 2005 cars listed here. Maybe the disconnect is that some of the cars recalled aren’t sold in the US?

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