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* Biggest single recall since Ford in 1996 * Window switches may emit smoke * Switches can be repaired in 40 mins -spokeswoman * Recalls include 2.47 mln vehicles in the U.S. * No accidents, deaths or injuries reported-spokeswoman By Yoko Kubota
TOKYO, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Japan's Toyota Motor Corpannounced a massive recall on Wednesday to fix malfunctioningpower window switches, saying it will pull back 7.43 millionvehicles worldwide in the biggest single recall since 1996,performed by Ford Motor Co .
The move comes as Japan's biggest automaker tries to rebuildtrust after a series of recalls between 2009 and 2011 in whichit pulled back around 10 million vehicles, and as it struggleswith plummeting Chinese sales as a result of a Sino-Japaneseterritorial dispute.
The recall primarily affects cars in the United States,China and Europe. Toyota's main rivals in the U.S. include Fordand General Motors Co , while in China they includeVolkswagen AG , Hyundai Motor Co andNissan Motor Co Ltd , and in Europe Hyundai and Nissan.
The recall will include some Yaris and Corolla models onwhich the power window switches can be repaired in about 40minutes, the company said.
"The process to repair (the power window switch) is not anextensive one," spokeswoman Monika Saito said, adding that itwould involve putting heat-resistant lubricant on the switches,or exchanging them.
Toyota declined to disclose how much the recall would cost,or how it might affect its earnings.
The recall will include 2.47 million vehicles in the UnitedStates, as well as 1.40 million vehicles in China and 1.39million vehicles in Europe.
In Japan, Toyota is recalling about 459,300 vehicles,including the Vitz, produced between 2006 and 2008.
The firm is also recalling 650,000 vehicles in Australia andAsia, 490,000 vehicles in the Near and Middle East, 240,000vehicles in Canada and 330,000 vehicles elsewhere, said ShinoYamada, another spokeswoman for Toyota.
The vehicles recalled outside Japan include certain modelsof the Yaris, Vios, Corolla, Matrix, Auris, Camry, RAV4,Highlander, Tundra, Sequoia, xB and xD produced between 2005 and2010.
The first time the problem was reported was in September2008 in the United States, Saito said.
No accidents, injuries or deaths have been reported as aresult of the problem, though there is a possibility that themalfunctioning switches could emit smoke, she said.
The move comes a day after Toyota reported that its salesfell 48.9 percent year-on-year in China in September. Japanesecar brands have suffered as a result of an outbreak ofanti-Japan sentiment in China in response to a territorialdispute between the two countries.
In 1996, Ford pulled back 8 million vehicles to replacedefective ignition switches that could have caused engine fires.
Shares in Toyota ended down 1.90 percent, while the broaderNikkei index fell 1.98 percent.
(Additional reporting by Kentaro Sugiyama; Editing by DanielMagnowski)
Keywords: TOYOTA RECALL/