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Friday 17 November 2017

Toyota to contact 36,000 car owners over faulty switch

Eddie Cunningham Motoring Editor

TOYOTA here is to contact the owners of around 36,000 cars over a potential fault to an electric window switch that could overheat or melt in extreme circumstances.

It is part of a global recall of 7.43 million cars made by the Japanese car giant.

Owners will be asked to bring in their vehicles for a free check at their local dealer.

The Irish recall affects 9,232 Yaris, 10,357 Auris, 14,112 Corolla and 2,392 RAV4 vehicles.

These are among the most popular family cars on Irish roads and the affected vehicles were made between September 2006 and December 2008.

The potential problem stems from the electric window master-switch cluster on the driver's door. This is a central control for the driver to open and close windows.

Passengers may also have individual switches for their specific windows but these are not affected by the recall.

Toyota says that, over time, the passenger window switches on the driver's cluster could start to feel uneven or 'notchy'. In some cases they may eventually stick or not work at all.

The problem can be fixed by applying a specially developed heat-resistant lubricant to the switch.

However, if the switch is already showing signs of malfunction -- such as sticking -- then the switch board will be replaced.

Melting

The company says that in extreme circumstances, where a non-approved lubricant is applied to the switch, there is a potential for overheating or even melting.

No accidents, injuries or deaths have so far been reported as a result of the window problem.

The potential fault was first reported in the US back in 2008.

A Toyota Ireland spokesman told the Irish Independent it will write directly to the owners involved. He said it takes around 60 minutes to complete whatever remedial work might be necessary.

Owners with queries about their cars can contact Toyota Ireland on 01 4190222.

The recall is huge in terms of the numbers involved. It is the largest since Ford called back nearly eight million vehicles to replace defective ignition switches on 1996. About 2.47 million Toyotas will be recalled in the US, 1.39 million in Europe and 1.4 million in China.

Other major markets involved include Japan, Canada, Australia and the Middle East.

The carmaker is taking no chances with this potential fault after being heavily criticised for being too slow to act to remedy previous discoveries.

This was especially true of the way it handled recalls in 2009 and 2010 after which it was fined a record $16.4m (€12.72m) by the US transportation department.

Irish Independent

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