Updated March 17th, 2017

South Riding, Virginia - Toyota Motor Corp. has unfortunately been no stranger to recalls in recent years, and for the fourth time since 2009, the Japanese automaker is recalling 6.5 million vehicles worldwide due to faulty power-window switches that may place certain vehicles at risk of fire. The defective switches were supplied to Toyota by prominent Japanese auto parts supplier Tokai Rika Co. Ltd., which will absorb a $14.5 billion yen loss (roughly $121 million) in order to handle the latest recall.

If it seems like automakers have been recalling more cars lately than at any time in recent memory, that's not just your imagination. The growing number of recalls is partially due to the fact that the entire auto industry has been under intense scrutiny as a result of several large scandals that have erupted in recent years. Another key reason for the increase in recalls is that many auto manufacturers tend to use the same components among several different model types, resulting in a broader range of cars being affected by the recall of a defective part. This same type of "domino effect" happened earlier this year, when Toyota along with about two dozen other manufacturers recalled tens of millions of vehicles due to a safety risk stemming from defective airbags. The airbags, which were manufactured by Takata Corp., raised grave concerns after being linked to two deaths and over 135 reported injuries due to faulty inflators that would sometimes cause the airbag to forcefully deploy, shooting shards of metal shrapnel into vehicle occupants.

The power-window switches that are the subject of the most recent recall have been labeled as defective due to a lack of lubricant being applied to the switch. According to a statement from Toyota, this puts the switch at risk of overheating and/or melting, which could potentially lead to a fire. The company also stated that past recalls for a similar problem were due to excessive lubricant being applied to the switch, which also put vehicles at risk of fire; this time around, it is the lack of lubricant that is causing the fire hazard. Vehicle owners have been encouraged to bring their cars in to have the defective switch either fixed or replaced, which according to Toyota takes about an hour to complete.

The affected vehicles were produced between 2008 and 2010, as well as between 2005 and 2006, Toyota said. The total number of vehicles expected to be recalled in North America is roughly 2.7 million. Several models outside of Japan will be recalled, including the Camry sedan and certain compact Corollas.

Think you have a Recalled vehicle? Visit Toyota’s Recall page to see if your vehicle has been recalled.

*Always check your owner’s manual for your vehicle model’s specific instructions before attempting any type of repair.

Copyright 2017 Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto http://www.hoganandsonsinc.com