Recall advice: Don't fix it yourself

Toyota New Zealand is recalling just over 21,000 cars in a global campaign involving 7.4 million vehicles.

There are 21,145 affected vehicles sold new here and an unspecified number of vehicles sold as used imports may also be involved.

In the affected units the sliding electrical contact module in the driver's side Power Window Master Switch may experience a "notchy" or sticking feeling during operation.

Toyota NZ's general manager of customer services, Spencer Morris, said customers should not apply commercially available lubricants to fix the "notchy" or sticky feel as a short circuit causing melting or smoking of the switch assembly could occur.

"Owners of vehicles affected will receive a notification letter and are advised to arrange to have an authorised Toyota dealer inspect the Power Window Master Switch and, if required, they will apply a specialised grease," said Morris.

"If the dealer determines the electrical circuit board in the Power Window Master Switch has been affected then they will replace the switch."

Morris advised vehicle owners the remedial work would take about an hour, and was free.

No crashes or injuries have been reported related to the problem but more than 200 problems were reported in the US, with fewer reported elsewhere, including 39 cases in Japan, says Toyota spokesman Joichi Tachikawa.

The recall also applied to the UK, US, Japan, Australia, China, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Toyota has been trying to fix its reputation after a series of massive recalls - 14 million vehicles - over several years.

Other recent major international recalls have been:

March 2012: BMW said it was recalling about 1.3 million cars for repair worldwide because of a possible problem with a battery cable cover in the boot. The recall affected 5 and 6 Series BMWs built between 2003 and 2010.

September 2011: Honda said it would recall about 960,000 Fit subcompacts and other models globally to repair defects including malfunctioning power window switches.

May 2011: Honda expanded earlier recalls of Hondas and Acuras over airbags that could deploy with too much pressure, adding more than 833,000 vehicles from 2001-2003. This was the fourth time Honda widened its airbag recall since 2008. The number of vehicles affected was 1.65 million.

January 2011: Toyota said it will recall more than 1.7 million vehicles worldwide, bringing its recall total to nearly 16 million since late 2009.

October 2010: Toyota recalled about 1.66 million vehicles, mostly in Japan, the US and China, for brake and fuel pump problems.

October 2010: BMW voluntarily recalled 350,000 cars worldwide over possible brake problems. Affected were 5, 6 and 7 Series models built since 2002.

August 2010: Toyota recalled 1.3 million Corolla and Matrix cars from 2005-2008 model years in the US and Canada.

June 2010: GM announced the recall of 1.5 million trucks, crossovers and cars from model years 2006-2009 as the unit that heats windshield washer fluid could catch fire.

March 2010: GM said it was recalling 1.3 million compact cars in the 2005-2010 Chevrolet Cobalt and 2007-2010 Pontiac G5 in the US; the 2005-2006 Pontiac Pursuit sold in Canada; and the 2005-2006 Pontiac G4 sold in Mexico.

January 2010: Toyota issued a series of recalls covering 5.6 million vehicles in the US because of sudden acceleration in some vehicles.

- Hamilton News

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