Toyota to Recall 6.5 Million Vehicles Globally – Wall Street Journal

Posted: Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Toyota employee dusts a vehicle at the company's showroom in Tokyo on May 8, 2015.
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TOKYO— Toyota
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Motor Corp. is recalling 6.5 million vehicles world-wide over power-window switches at risk of fire, the auto maker said Wednesday, the latest in a series of similar recalls involving around 14 million cars.

This is the fourth time since 2009 that Toyota is recalling vehicles due to faulty power-window switches, it said. All the problematic switches have been supplied to Toyota by Tokai Rika Co., the two companies said.

Tokai Rika will book a special loss of ¥14.5 billion yen ($121 million) to deal with the latest recall, it said Wednesday.

The number of recalls has been growing, in part because some auto makers are more proactive in recalling vehicles following a series of industrywide scandals, and partly because companies use more common components among models. That can lead auto makers to recall a relatively big number of vehicles when problems are found in a part.

The latest move follows recalls by Toyota and other car makers involving tens of millions of vehicles carrying potentially explosive air bags made by Takata Corp.
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In the vehicles recalled Wednesday, a component inside the power-window switch on the driver’s side didn’t have enough grease applied to it. That could result in the switch overheating and melting, possibly leading to fire, Toyota said.

The problematic switches will be either fixed or replaced in less than an hour, it added.

In the past, recalls took place because the switches had too much grease applied, which put cars at risk of fire, Toyota said. This time, the switches had too little grease, which could also lead to fire.

“We have been taking various measures to prevent problems from recurring. But the recalled vehicles carry older components,” said Seiko Kawai, a spokeswoman for Tokai Rika.

The recalled vehicles were produced between 2005 and 2006, and between 2008 and 2010, Toyota said. In North America, Toyota will recall around 2.7 million vehicles, it said. Models to be recalled outside Japan include certain Corolla compacts and the Camry sedan.

In 2009, Toyota recalled around 150,000 vehicles over faulty power-window switches made by Tokai Rika, once in China and once in Japan. Three years later, Toyota recalled about 7.5 million vehicles over a similar problem. Some of the vehicles recalled in 2009 are included in the latest recall, because the switch used to repair those vehicles may have been problematic, Toyota said.

Write to Yoko Kubota at yoko.kubota@wsj.com

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