Listen To The Story

Toyota this morning is recalling 7.4 million cars around the world -- the biggest auto recall anywhere in about 16 years. The problem is a power window switch that isn't properly greased up at the factory, which could, in a worst case scenario, start to smoke.

Karl Brauer is editor-in-chief at Total Car Score. He says this is a preemptive move by Toyota. "It's a real change in perception in that they want to be proactive and not reactive about these recall issues. They were more reactive a couple years ago with the unintended acceleration, and they saw what kind of media storm that brought them. And they've now decided that regardless of the genesis of these recalls, they want to be ahead of them, not behind them."

Brauer says it would be difficult for this window switch problem to actually cause a real safety issue, but Toyota wanted to come out in front of the problem just in case.

Follow Jeff Horwich at @jeffhorwich