This recall is for certain block heater kits installed on certain vehicles or sold as accessories at Toyota or Lexus dealerships.
On certain vehicles, the engine block heater cable may not have enough heat protection and could be damaged by high temperatures. If this happens, the cable could short circuit while plugged in, and cause the wiring to overheat or melt.
Note: This recall only affects the following block heater/cord part numbers:
C014003034 PK5A408J09 PU14000904
C014003151 PK5A408J13 PU14000905
C014000885 PK5A489J11 PU14000907
C014000888 PK5A489J22 PU14000909
C014000907 PK5A410H00 PU14000911
C014100904 PU14000900 PU14000913
C014100907 PU14000901 PU14003571
Engine block heater wiring that overheats or melts could create the risk of a fire.
Toyota recommends that you should stop using the engine block heater immediately. Toyota will notify owners by mail and instruct you to take your vehicle to a dealer to disable the engine block heater. For some vehicles, the corrective actions for this recall are under development. For others, a new engine block heater cannot be installed, and the owner will receive a refund of the purchase price of the engine block heater.
On certain vehicles, the electrical power cords of some dealer installed block heaters may have been improperly manufactured, causing the wires to contact each other, resulting in a short circuit. A short circuit could lead to a fire which would increase the risk of injury and/or damage to property. Correction: For vehicles where the subject block heater was approved for installation, the dealer will replace the block heater assembly with a new one of an improved design. For vehicles where the subject block heater was not approved for installation, dealers will remove the block heater assembly. In the interim, until the remedy can be performed, dealers will cut the plug end from the block heater cord to disable the block heater's operation.
On certain vehicles, the tripod joint of the front drive shaft may have been improperly assembled. This could result in the snap ring that holds the tripod joint to dislocate, which could result in vibration and possible separation of the tripod joint, causing a loss of propulsion while driving and an inoperative transmission park system. The loss of propulsion could increase the risk of a crash. Additionally, if the driver exits the vehicle without applying the parking brake, the vehicle could roll away with the transmission in Park, increasing the risk of a crash causing injury and/or damage to property. Correction: Dealers will check the serial number of the drive shafts, and replace as necessary.
On certain vehicles, inconsistent application of grease during the manufacturing process could cause the driver's side power window master switch to stick or become inoperative due to electrical contact point wear. This could cause debris to accumulate between the contact points, potentially resulting in an electrical short circuit. If a short circuit occurs, the switch assembly may overheat, produce smoke, melt and/or potentially lead to a fire causing injury and/or property damage. Correction: Dealers will inspect the driver's power window master switch and apply a specialized grease that inhibits heat build-up, or replace the power window master switch circuit board, as necessary. Note: This is an expansion of recall 2012-338.
On certain vehicles, the circuit board for the electric power steering electronic control unit may be damaged. A damaged circuit board could result in sudden loss of steering power assist and would trigger a warning lamp to illuminate. A vehicle experiencing a loss of steering power assist would revert to a manual steering mode which would require greater driver effort, especially at low vehicle speeds. A loss of steering power assist could ultimately result in a crash causing property damage and/or personal injury. Correction: Dealers will replace inspect the electric power steering electronic control unit and, if affected, replace the electronic control unit with a new one.
On certain vehicles, the left side front lower suspension arm may contain a defect that could result in the lower ball joint separating from the arm in the event of a severe impact, such as a pothole or other road imperfection. This could cause a loss of steering control, increasing the risk of a crash causing injury and/or damage to property. Correction: Dealers will replace the left suspension arm.
On certain vehicles, if the air conditioning condenser drain hose were to become clogged, water could accumulate and leak onto the airbag control module. This could cause the airbag warning light to illuminate, and potentially result in an unintended deployment of the airbags. This could startle the driver and/or cause minor injuries to vehicle occupants. Water damage could also cause a loss of power steering assist, causing the vehicle to revert to a manual steering mode which would require greater driver effort, especially at low vehicle speeds, and increase the risk of a crash causing injury and/or damage to property. Correction: Dealers will install a protective shield and sealant.
On certain vehicles, the windshield wiper switch may have been manufactured incorrectly and could cause an electrical short when the wiper switch is moved from the OFF position to the MIST position. This would blow the fuse, causing the windshield wipers to become inoperative, potentially reducing driver visibility and increasing the risk of a crash causing injury and/or damage to property. Correction: Dealers will replace the switch.
On certain vehicles, due to improperly applied grease, the driver's side power window master switch could stick or become inoperative. If attempts are made to lubricate the switch, the switch assembly could overheat and melt. A melting switch may produce smoke and potentially lead to a fire causing property damage and/or personal injury. Correction: Dealers will inspect the driver's power window master switch and apply a specialized grease that inhibits heat build-up, or replace the power window master switch circuit board, as necessary.