The 2009 Toyota Camry

Toyota knew of window switch failures years ahead of recall

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In the wake of Toyota’s massive recall issued yesterday that will bring over 7.4 million vehicles back to dealerships for repairs around the world comes some controversy that the Japanese automaker knew about the troublesome window switches at fault for this new recall some 5 years earlier – news that could draw the attention of the US government.

According to a variety of sources, documents filed by Toyota with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration pertaining to the new power window switch recall indicate that the first incident relating to this recall was reported in September 2008 in the US. This early complaint stated that there was heat damage along with an unusual odor coming from the power window switch and after the part was replaced, Toyota returned that component to the supplier to be looked over but no problem was found so the automaker dropped the investigation into that particular case.

Fast forward to May 2010 and Toyota finds that they are receiving more complaints about the “sticky” driver’s side power window switch along with issues of heat damage. Unlike the 2008 complaint, these new complaints in 2010 indicated that there was smoke coming from the switch as well and at that point – Toyota launched a full internal investigation into the problem.

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