Roll Toyota Window Down and Start a Fire? Not Likely, But Get 2007-2009 Toyotas Checked Anyway

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Toyota Recalls 2.5 Million 2007-2009 Vehicles For Sticky Power Window Switch Lubrication

Toyota Voluntary Recall: The Driver’s Side Power Window Master Switch

Can applying WD-40 to a sticky Toyota Window switch really start a fire? It is highly unlikely. But, it is likely enough for Toyota to have issued a voluntary recall of certain models of 2007-2009 Toyota Tundra, Camry, Scion, Sequoia, Yaris, RAV4, Highlander, Corolla and Matrix. The recall was published October 10, 2012. The voluntary recall affects these specific Toyota Car Models:

  • 2007 to 2008 Yaris: 110,300 models
  • 2007 to 2009 RAV4: 336,400 cars
  • 2007 to 2009 Tundra: 337,100 trucks
  • 2007 to 2009 Camry: 938,100 vehicles
  • 2007 to 2009 Camry Hybrid: 116,800 cars
  • 2008 to 2009 Scion xD: 34,400 models
  • 2008 to 2009 Scion xA: 77,500 cars
  • 2008 to 2009 Sequoia: 38,500 SUVs
  • 2008 Highlander: 135,400 SUVs
  • 2008 Highlander Hybrid: 23,200 SUVs
  • 2009 Corolla: 270,900 vehicles
  • 2009 Matrix: 53,800 models

There is a special grease from the Toyota dealer that you can get for that sticky drivers’ side window switch-just do not use an over-the-counter lubricant.

The first complaint about this issue occurred over four years ago-emitting a strange smell. But the switch supplier-Tokai Rika-could not discern a cause for the failure.

In 2010, similar odor symptoms were reported, but this time with the switch parts actually smoking. Toyota says it was trying to discern why the switches were failing before it issued an official fix.

Here is the official Toyota Dealer recall statement:

Toyota Voluntary Recall: The Driver’s Side Power Window Master Switch

“TORRANCE, Calif., Oct. 10, 2012 – Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS), today announced that it will conduct a safety recall involving approximately 2.5 million vehicles to inspect and apply special fluorine grease to the driver’s side Power Window Master Switch (PWMS). The vehicles involved include:

• 2007 to 2008 Yaris (approx. 110,300)
• 2007 to 2009 RAV4 (approx. 336,400)
• 2007 to 2009 Tundra (approx. 337,100)
• 2007 to 2009 Camry (approx. 938,100)
• 2007 to 2009 Camry Hybrid (approx. 116,800)
• 2008 to 2009 Scion xD (approx. 34,400)
• 2008 to 2009 Scion xA (approx. 77,500)
• 2008 to 2009 Sequoia (approx. 38,500)
• 2008 Highlander (approx. 135,400)
• 2008 Highlander Hybrid (approx. 23,200)
• 2009 Corolla (approx. 270,900)
• 2009 Matrix (approx. 53,800)

The driver’s side PWMS may experience a “notchy” or sticky feel during operation. If commercially available lubricants are applied to the switch in an attempt to address the “notchy” or sticky feel, melting of the switch assembly or smoke could occur and lead to a fire under some circumstances.

The “notchy” or sticky feel may be caused by an uneven application of the grease during the switch assembly process at the supplier. If the grease is not applied evenly, frequent use of the switch and normal operation may cause the grease to become carbonized and may eventually result in the deterioration of its lubricating properties.

The recall remedy will involve an inspection, switch disassembly, and application of special fluorine grease. The switch inspection and repair will be performed at no charge to the vehicle owner.

Owners of vehicles covered by this safety recall will receive an owner notification letter via first class mail starting in late October 2012. The repair will take approximately one hour depending on the dealer’s work schedule.

Today’s announcement is for U.S. market vehicles only. No other Toyota, Lexus, or Scion vehicles are involved. We are not aware of any vehicle crashes for this condition.

Detailed information is available to customers at http://www.toyota.com/recall and the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.”

So, look for your notice in the mail from Toyota, if you have not received one already. Or, like the notice says, call them yourself at 800-331-4331.

Since 1980, GT Automotive and our ASE certified and factory trained Toyota and Lexus technicians have been serving Toyota car owners in the Salt Lake Valley for all their vehicle repair needs. Call us today, 801-302-0912, about servicing and repairing your Toyota or Lexus in Salt Lake City.

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