• Oct 10th 2012 at 9:28AM
  • 212
Nearly 1 million Toyota Camry sedans are involved in th... Nearly 1 million Toyota Camry sedans are involved in this recall. (Toyota)
Toyota is recalling 7.5 million cars worldwide, and 2.5 million in the U.S., over a faulty door switch that could result in car fires. It's the automaker's largest recall since the sudden acceleration recalls in 2009 and 2010.

The recall could indicate that other automakers will be facing similar pressures. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also investigating Subaru and General Motors for similar complaints. Those automakers may share a common supplier for the door switch.

Toyota has weathered it's large recalls fairly well, increasing market share despite the quality concerns. "Toyota has done an outstanding job of regaining customer trust and getting repeat customers into its showrooms," said Jeffrey Anderson, director of consulting and analytics for Experian Automotive.

In complaints filed with NHTSA, consumers reported smelling smoke, and within seconds realizing there were flames coming from the driver's side door. In some cases, the passenger side window began rolling down as the fires started.

One driver described a panicky scene in which his or her coat caught on fire:

"The smoke immediately turned into flames, which caused poor visibility and complete panic," he or she wrote. "The flames caught the left side of my arm and started to burn my coat ... After exiting the vehicle, the flames quickly increased and began shooting into the air."

Another person said the fire started when he or she was driving with three children in the car. They pulled over to a busy intersection and watched while the door burned.

More than 160 fires were attributed to the switch fire, including eight injuries.

Toyota said the fires are starting in window button – the one that lets drivers decide if passengers are allowed to operate their own windows -- on the driver side door. Before problems occur, the switch might feel like it sticks.

Toyota said the sticky feeling is caused "by an uneven application of the grease during the switch assembly process at the supplier." If the grease isn't applied evenly, the grease becomes carbonized and stops working.

The recall will involve an inspection, taking apart the switch, and an application of special fluorine grease.

The parts were made by Tokai Rika Co. in Japan and TRAM Inc., a subsidiary of Tokai Rika North America. Tokai Rika's Chinese arm was responsible for parts involved in a door fire recall in China, Toyota told NHTSA.

Here is a list of the cars involved in the recall:

Toyota Announces Recall of 7.4 Million Cars

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Toyota was on my short list and may still get my purchasing dollar, but I am going to look at Honda and Ford too and that was not in the cards prior to this......they just don't seem to get it right anymore, but at least they man up and take the shot for this one......
        • 2 Years Ago
        Yeah, it only took them 6 years to "Man up" that there might be a problem with there gas pedal... OH, and another thing-----I hope you are thank full to all the American service man that gave up there lives so you can consider buying a non American car..
      • 2 Years Ago
      For the guy who thought everyone was stupid due to posting a comment twice, I have two things to say. First, people aren't stupid because they repost. The sites sometimes do that, especially if you push the button twice because the first time it does nothing. Second...I am glad you like your Toyotas. They are good vehicles. You are wrong in thinking all American made vehicles are bad. My husband sold his Chevy S-10 pick up truck (which is STILL being used as we speak by his coworker), and had over 300,000 miles on it. We never had any problems with it, and I think that engine could easily go for another 100,000 miles. It is a Vortex engine, and those seem to last forever. Don't assume that because you got a bad Mustang, all American made vehicles are bad.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I buy cars that are 8-10 years old. If they've made it THAT long, they're probably OK. I save a LOT of money by having a low value car with only liability insurance (cuts the premiums by more than 2/3's).
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well at least now they can't get away with doing this type of service during warranty maintence, and calling it some Factory Service. Not telling you what they did. This was the standard operating procedure,in the past.
        • 2 Years Ago
        You are talking about TSB's (technical service bulletins), all manufacturers do that. It is not the same as a recall.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nowhere did you mention that the accusations for the prior Toyota recall were found to be false. No need to rebuild confidence, never lost it. Kind of misleading article.
      • 2 Years Ago
      At what temperature does grease carbonize?
      Hello Steegs
      • 2 Years Ago
      If you want to support America, at least buy a car or truck with an American name, anything else is generic crap. What would you expect, when the frame on a Toyo-dah truck rust's, The frames came from the same place as the steel used on the old 35W bridge.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Hello Steegs
        I love my Prius
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wouldnt judge toyota on how they make their cars because of this its due to a faulty part so your pretty much blaming the person you bought it from unless they made the part
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is this the same switch that is causing the recent Honda recall?
      • 2 Years Ago
      I once drove Toyota for years my new GM car is way better than any Toyota I ever owned 162,000 miles looks and runs great. No more import for me.
      Door Mat
      • 2 Years Ago
      The U.S. is becoming "lazy" & "money-hungry", with everything they do these days. Food these days taste like crap (especially ground-beef & beef patties), ...parts for cars or houses are less quality, everything you need done on your house or car is crap. Laziness and "not-giving-a-crap" about nothing but money is destroying everything!
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have owned Toyota's since 1978. Celica 1978, owned 6 years, sold to a family with 250k miles. They owned the car for another 6 years, put 200k miles on it and sold it to a neighbor, it lived forever. Next came a Supra, amazing car. Second Supra, owned 22 years, durable, fast and handsome. Now own a Lexus RX350, superb vehicle, 4.5 years no issues. The world should learn from Toyota, and Nissan, the only cars to own. GM is garbage, Chrysler, garbage. The story is wrong, the last recall proved the linkage to the accelerator, was made by an american company, which was forced on Toyota so they could build factories here. This new recall is probably chinese parts rammed down their throats again. Wait till the Mercedes recall starts, that will be big. It's coming, they are real garbage.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Move to Japan then if you don't like America.
        • 2 Years Ago
        FLIGHT DETAILS One Way Wed. Oct. 10(Arriving Oct. 11) San Francisco, CA to Tokyo, Japan San Francisco (SFO) to Tokyo (HND) American Airlines 5815operated by Japan Airlines Economy / Coach Class ( K), Boeing 777 Depart 6:55pm Arrive 10:25pm +1 day Duration: 11h 30m
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