• Toyota recall affects 2.5 million US vehicles.
  • Popular Camry, Tundra, Highlander models included.
  • A faulty window switch could catch fire.

Toyota recently announced that it will soon recall more than 7 million vehicles globally, including around 2.5 million in the United States. According to the automaker, the recall is necessary because of a problem with window switches in 12 different Toyota and Scion models that could result in a fire.

The problem stems from the driver's side power window master switch, which Toyota says could give a sticky or "notchy" feel during operation. The automaker says that when vehicle owners attempt to remedy the sticky feel with traditional lubricants, the switch assembly could melt and potentially lead to a fire.

According to Toyota, the sticky feel in the window switch is likely caused by an uneven application of grease when it was manufactured. As a result of the misapplication, frequent use of the power windows might deteriorate the grease, making the switch feel sticky.

Toyota says the popular Camry makes up a large number of vehicles included in the recall, with 938,000 units of its 2007-2009 Camry and a further 116,800 units of the 2007-2009 Camry Hybrid affected. Other models involved in the recall include the 2008-2009 Scion xD and xA, the 2009 Toyota Corolla, the 2008 Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid, the 2009 Toyota Matrix, the 2007-2009 Toyota RAV4, the 2008-2009 Toyota Sequoia, the 2007-2009 Toyota Tundra and the 2007-2008 Toyota Yaris.

While Toyota will mail recall notices to affected customers, drivers who bought an affected vehicle used might not get a notice from the automaker. As a result, those owners--and anyone with questions about the recall--can contact the Toyota recall hotline at 1-800-331-4331.

The automaker says it will mail out these recall notices shortly, while the recall will begin later this month. To remedy the problem, Toyota says its dealers will disassemble affected window switches and apply special fluorine grease--a fix that should take no more than an hour at a dealership's service department.

By recalling 7.4 million vehicles worldwide, Toyota is initiating the second largest recall in history following a 1996 Ford ignition switch recall that affected 8 million vehicles. The action comes on the heels of several recalls earlier this month from rival automaker Honda, which will affect Accord sedans, Civic compacts, and crossovers including the CR-V and Pilot.

What it means to you: If your Toyota might be affected by the recall, wait for your notice in the mail or call the automaker to make certain--but don't apply lubricant to your power window switches.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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