More than 7.4 million Toyota vehicles are being recalled worldwide—the largest ever since 1996—because of bad power window switches, said Toyota Motor Corp. The driver's door-mounted switches may have a "notchy" or "sticky" feel to them during operation. And if drivers use oil or other lubricants to correct the problem, the switch assembly could melt, emit smoke or even cause a fire.
UPDATE: Oct. 11, 2012
And according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the sticky window switch issue also affects an undisclosed number of 2009 Pontiac Vibe hatchbacks, General Motor's mechanical twin to the Toyota Matrix.
Toyota says it has not received any reports of injuries or accidents due to the faulty window switches. But approximately 2.5 million Toyota vehicles in the U.S. and another 240,000 in Canada may be affected by the issue. Approximately 1.4 million vehicles each in China and Europe may also have sticky window switches, said a Toyota spokesman.
The companies expect to notify affected owners in North America later this month to bring their vehicles in to dealerships for a free inspection and, if needed, an application of special fluorine grease.
According to the official NHTSA recall notice (Campaign ID #: 12V491000), concerned consumers can call the toll-free Toyota Customer Experience Center (800-331-4331) or GM's Pontiac Customer Care (800-762-2737) for more information.
Recall: 2009 Pontiac Vibe / 2007-09 Toyota (various models) - Power window switches [NHTSA]
Voluntary Recall of Certain Vehicles For The Driver's Side Power Window Master Switch [Toyota]
Toyota to recall 7.4 million vehicles globally on power window glitch [Automotive News]