Toyota has today announced a recall of 138,000 Yaris, Auris and RAV4 cars in the UK. This involves the electrical contact in the driver’s side power window master switch (PWMS), which may over time come to feel ‘notchy’ or sticky during operation.

If commercially available cleaning lubricants are applied to the switch to address the notchy or sticky feel, the switch assembly may overheat and / or melt. In the USA, issues of melting or erosion are categorised under ‘fire’ by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If a car’s power window switch feels notchy, owners should not attempt to address the issue themselves with commercially available lubricants.

Toyota engineers have conducted various simulation tests, including using commercially available lubricants and in no instance did a fire result. There has been only one case related to this issue in the UK, and no reported accidents.

Toyota places the highest priority on customer safety and the quality of our vehicles, and constantly monitor the performance of their vehicles through a variety of sources. From time to time, the company have said that they become aware of a situation where a certain component or aspect of the vehicle does not meet their strict standards. Today, (Wednesday 10 October) Toyota GB registered a recall on RAV4, Yaris and Auris models with the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA). The recall affects 138,000 vehicles in the UK and will be carried out in accordance with the VOSA Code of Practice.

What is the condition?

The electric window switch, or power window master switch (“PWMS”), controls the windows for the driver and passengers. It has been bought to Toyota’s attention that on certain RAV4, Auris, Yaris and Corolla models built between September 2006 and December 2008 the possibility exists that the PWMS, 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. There has been only one reported case in the UK and no reported accidents related to this issue.

What will be done?

The company have decided to conduct a recall campaign to check the PWMS on the affected cars. All affected owners will be contacted by Toyota GB within the next six weeks and asked to make an appointment to bring their car to their nearest Toyota centre. The dealer will check the operation of the PWMS. If the PWMS is operating properly it will be given a special, non-conducting lubrication; if the PWMS is notchy it will be replaced with a new unit. The work should take no more than one hour and will be carried out free of charge.

Specific vehicle or VIN information is expected to be made available by VOSA by the end of this week. Once available the ownership section of the Toyota website will host a registration look-up function enabling owners to check if their vehicle is within the affected range of production. If owners require additional information they should contact Toyota’s customer relations team on 01737 367600.