21 October 2012

Uganda: Fire Risk in Toyotas

Company recalls 7.4 million vehicles including 2005-10 Toyota Camry, RAV4:

Toyota is recalling approximately 7.4 million vehicles globally, including the 2007-'09 Toyota Camry and Camry Hybrid, because of a power window master switch problem that could lead to a fire.

Other cars involved in the recall include the Yaris, Highlander, Vios, Corolla and RAV4 models.

This is the biggest single automotive recall since 1996 when Ford recalled 8 million vehicles to fix faulty ignition switches.

"The driver's side PWMS (power window master switch) may experience a 'notchy' or sticky feel during operation," said Toyota in a statement. "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."

Toyota said the 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.

Toyota said in a statement it is not aware of any vehicle crashes related to the recall.

It was not immediate clear to The Independent how many or which models involved in the recall are in Uganda because of the country lacks direct Toyota dealership purchases and most cars are not acquired brand new.

In other countries like China and the U.S, Toyota dealers will disassemble the switches and apply special fluorine grease.

In any case, if you own one of the aforementioned Toyotas, try to contact your local Toyota agent.

Toyota has been praised for launching a simultaneous worldwide recall as experts say it shows the company has learned the lesson from its previous slow reaction.

Toyota made a massive, serial global recall in 2009 over faulty accelerator pedals but was widely criticised at the time because consumers suspected the company initially tried to deliberately avoid recalls.

The Toyota Camry recently regained its position as the bestselling car in the world's biggest auto market, the U.S. after it surpassed the Ford F-150. Most of the Camry's success was heaped on its redesign, increased marketing efforts, and a stellar reputation.

The Camry, long known for its safety and reliability, has been redesigned for 2012 and represents the seventh-generation model. It comes with the choice of two engines, the base 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, 178-horsepower or the 3.5-liter, V6, 268-horsepower. The new interior is roomier and has well-placed controls. Toyota's Entune system is also available, with Bing search capabilities, streaming Internet audio, and traffic, sports, and stock information.

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