Toyota Recalls 2007-09 Tundra Trucks Over Power Window Glitch

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As you have undoubtedly heard, Toyota plans on recalling 2.47 million vehicles in the U.S. (7.43 million globally) to fix a power window issue that some news agencies are erroneously reporting as a “fire risk.”

Toyota Recalls Tundra - Power Window Glitch

Toyota has recalled 337,100 2007-2009 Toyota Tundra pickups to fix a power window glitch caused by an uneven application of special lubrication.

UPDATE: A new statement has been added to some news reports stating “documents filed by U.S. safety regulators show customers have reported 161 fires and nine injuries.” We have found that this “fire” is really classified as an “electrical fire” such as when the switch gets hot and smokes. Further analysis of the report shows that there were 161 incidents of smoke out of 2.4 million vehicles which is 0.0067% of the total recalled. Not really a big fire risk.

This is unfortunate – and borderline irresponsible – because while the recall effects all switches, the risk of fire is limited to switches that:

  1. Are “sticking” (this isn’t every switch…not even close)
  2. Have been “fixed” with a conventional lubricant like WD40
  3. Because the switch was never, ever designed for conventional lubrication, there is a chance that switches which have been lubed with something like WD40 could catch on fire

This explanation of Toyota’s massive recall is detailed, nuanced, and entirely too difficult to explain in 2 seconds. SO, most media outlets are reporting a global vehicle recall number (7.4 million) along with the phrase “fire risk” and leaving it at that.

This is BS, no?

About The Recall

The U.S. recall affects approximately 337,100 Toyota Tundra pickups model years 2007 through 2009.

The recall should be a simple quick fix at the dealer to “inspect and apply special fluorine grease to the driver’s side Power Window Master Switch (PWMS).” Apparently, the driver side window may feel “notchy” or sticky. A special lubrication needs to be applied to fix this problem. Over the shelf, or “commercially available lubricants,” that may be applied to the master switch could cause the switch assembly to melt or smoke and could lead to a fire under some circumstances according to Toyota.

Toyota believes the “notchy” or sticky feel could be caused by an “uneven application of the grease during the switch assembly process at the supplier.” An uneven application could cause the grease to become “carbonized and may eventually result in the deterioration of its lubricating properties.” They have declined to identify the supplier in question.

The fix should be relatively fast and estimates are that it will only take an hour depending (of course) on the dealer’s schedule.

One would assume a recall of this size would be accompanied with some news story about how the problem has injured someone or caused an accident. Toyota says this is not the case and they have no reports indicating anything like that has happened. EVER.

Yet this hasn’t stopped media organizations from talking about fire risks, nor has it stopped them from comparing this relatively innocuous recall with far more serious incidents like the Ford/Firestone tire recall, GMs heater washer fluid recall (which actually did cause a few fires), Ford’s cruise control recall (which caused dozens and perhaps hundreds of fires), or even Toyota’s sticking accelerator recall, which may or may not have caused a small number of accidents. says, “it’s one of the biggest recalls in history, and it’s the automaker’s largest since recalling millions of vehicles for unintended-acceleration issues in 2009 and 2010.”

Toyota was first aware of this issue back in September 2008 according to Monika Saito, Toyota spokeswoman as quoted in Automotive News.

Toyota did not provide a cost estimate of the recall. They did say that owners should receive a first-class mail letter starting in late October 2012 with the recall information.

Detailed information is available to customers at and the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.

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Filed Under: Tundra Recalls


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  1. LJC says:

    After further review of PUTC, I’ve come to the conclusion it is a sordid site for two reasons.
    First, most of the comments posted by visitors are degrading, derogatory and spiteful.
    Second, which is the worst of all, their Toyota articles are biased: as of late they put a negative slant on the Tundra.
    This wasn’t always the case; the nose dive started when ML left for Ford.

    Makes one wonder what the real goal of PUTC is.

    I’ve complained to about the comments. Now, I’ll add the negative bias towards Toyota to the list.

    • LJC,

      Wow, you media watchdog you. I’ll now have to be more careful in what I say. 🙂

      I have seen that the larger a site becomes, more visitors it attracts and thus more comments are posted that the quality of comments goes down.It seems the power to be “anonymous” as well as having more freedom to spout off is causing many sites to rethink allowing comments at all. I have seen several sites start to post comments on a separate page and/or turn off commenting altogether. The challenge though is that Google looks at the amount/quality of comments as to how they rank the site. I would surmise that if the SEO weight on commenting where to be removed by Google many sites would eliminate commenting altogether.

      Also, some sites get desperate to maintain their audience, so they write more “exciting” titles and articles. Sadly, the all mighty push for revenue has degraded Journalism and will continue to be a scourge.


      • LJC says:

        Thanks for the background info. I don’t believe google is able to differentiate a good comment from bad, that would require some serious AI-Watson like. If I’m wrong, feel free to correct me.

        I agree with your observations, anonymous brings the bad in people out. I have this saying “People and especially some businesses will do what they can get away with, even if it’s wrong”. With the almighty web and the apperant anonymity, my saying certainly rings true.

  2. The Truth says:

    Read the article over on Truck Trend, the 2007-2012 Tundra now has more recalls attached to it than any other vehicle produced since 1971.

    • The Truth,

      You could look it at two different way. 1. It isn’t a quality vehicle (which I guess you are implying). 2. Toyota really does care about overall quality and recalls their vehicles more often to fix any/all issues.

      I would go with two since you could make the case that the least recalled vehicle could have tremendous quality issues that the manufacture doesn’t want to bear the expense.


      • LJC says:

        I totally agree with Toyota’s stance on quality. I can certainly rattle off a number of instances when other manufactures should have had a recall when they didn’t. Toyota’s stance on quality is why I bought one.

    • LJC says:

      Thanks for bringing this up. As I stated above, Toyota’s stance on quality is much higher, that’s why auto manufactures compare their vecicles to Toyota.

      Now here’s my view.
      What TT has has brought to the forefront is the criteria for a recall is NOT clear. To start, if an auto manufacturer goes bankrupt, they are NOT required to recall those vehicles prior to the bankruptcy event. I can think of two manufactures that fall under this rule and one of them should certainly have a recall for rusting brake lines. Second, there are some strong hints that there was some collusion going on in the past between NHSTA and a couple of auto manufactures, remember Ford and Firestone? Third, documented cases of the bad happening. We all heard of Ford’s bursting into flames while parked, Explorers rolling over, etc.. Did you know that Nissan had a recall fairly recently over a misprint in the manual? There was another recall for a manufacture to place a sticker on the door jams to correctly label the gross vehicle weight. Quite a difference in what is recalled, isn’t there?

      I have not heard of one “bad” happening with a Tundra. If you know of one, share it with us and site your source.

      Finally, the Tundra has won JD Power and Associates award for quality 7 times in a row now. If there were truly a quality problem as suggested by TT, then why has Tundra won this award consistently?

  3. Mickey says:

    Truck has 143597 miles on it and never an issue with my power window buttons. I ride with all 5 windows down and sunroof opened. The Truth needs to look at all vehicles since he mention it. NHTSA begs to differ with your last statement. Ford Taurus comes to mind……

  4. Mickey says:

    Ohh by the way truth you seen the new Ford Taurus issue with their accelerator issues?

  5. Joe Quaintance says:

    If you own a Tundra then talk about it and the quality or lack of it. All the rest of you stop BSing us that own them and know the truth. The Finest truck on the road is the Tundra.

    Converted Generic Motors owner

  6. Chuck Holm says:

    Bought my first Toyota truck in 1994. All it lacked was size and power. My 2008 Tundra 5.7 fixed that! The only corrective maintenance performed on either vehicle were for recalls. Most of which were not required in my knowledgeable humble opinion and smelled more of a UAW hit job than an actual problem.
    My trucks are great but my local Toyota service departments aren’t. Dishonest, sloppy and/or incomplete work. My trusted independent Toyota mechanic does the work I don’t do my self. He and two others left the dealership and opened an honest and competent shop of their own.

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