Massive Toyota Recall
Written by Faith Anderson on October 10, 2012
NHTSA Launches Investigation into Toyota Defect
In February 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation against Toyota after receiving 32 complaints of overheating, smoking or small fires involving the window switches, in addition to 129 complaints received by the Toyota company itself. NHTSA found ten reports of minor injuries associated with the defective switches, none of which were more serious than a blister on the driver’s left hand. Two months after the investigation was launched, Toyota told NHTSA that an analysis revealed no problem with the window switches, blaming the problem on dealerships using cleaning products on the switches to resolve sticking complaints. “Toyota does not believe there to be a defect trend nor an unreasonable risk to safety,” Toyota wrote to federal officials.
Toyota Car Maker Plagued By Auto Recalls
Despite Toyota’s claims, NHTSA still believed there was a problem with the window switches, and upgraded its investigation in June. In the past, Toyota was forced to recall over 10 million vehicles worldwide (2007 and 2008), which resulted in the car maker paying NHTSA $48 million in fines for hiding safety defects found overseas or for delaying recalls. Since that time, Toyota chief executive Akio Toyoda has promised to make the company more responsive to quality or safety complaints in the future. The Toyota models affected by the recall include 2007 to 2008 Yaris, 2007 to 2009 RAV4, 2007 to 2009 Tundra, 2007 to 2009 Camry, 2007 to 2009 Camry Hybrid, 2008 to 2009 Scion xD, 2008 to 2009 Scion xA, 2008 to 2009 Seqouia, 2008 Highlander, 2008 Highlander Hybrid, 2009 Corolla and the 2009 Matrix. Owners of these vehicles will start receiving notices later this month to have their cars checked at dealerships.