Fire risk leads to Toyota recalling 7.4m cars worldwide

Toyota recalls 7.4m cars
Some 7.4 million Toyotas worldwide are set to be recalled due to a potential fire risk.

A faulty electric window switch is the cause of the recall which affects 1.39m cars in Europe, 2.4m in the US, 1.4m in China and 2.23m around the rest of the world.

In the UK, 138,000 cars are affected. Owners of Yaris, RAV4, Auris and Corolla models built between September 2006 and December 2008 will be notified by Toyota GB.

The fault lies with the electric window switch which, when lubricated with the "wrong type of lube", can become a potential fire risk.

A Toyota GB spokesman said: "The Power Window Master Switch, located in the driver's door, may over time begin to feel uneven or notchy when it is operated.

"Continued operation in this condition may cause the switch to stick or become inoperable. The switch is not designed to be lubricated with commercially available lubricants.

"Application of these lubricants could lead to overheating and/or melting of the switch assembly."

The firm said one case has been reported in the UK, but no accidents have occurred related to the fault.

However, a statement from Toyota US went further and said: "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 Japanese giant has been blighted by safety recalls over the past few years. It's believed since 2009 nearly 16m cars have been recalled.

Toyota is directing owners with queries to their customer relations department on 01737 367600.