Toyota's worldwide recall of 7.4m vehicles over a faulty power window switch includes 21,145 vehicles in New Zealand and 297,931 cars in Australia, a local report said.

Toyata New Zealand general manager of customer services Spencer Morris told stuff.co.nz: "Although that's sold new in New Zealand. There will be a certain number of cars that have been imported in by third parties, and we are contacting New Zealand Transport Authority (NZTA) to find out how many of those there are."

New Zealand is a major importer of used cars from Japan which makes recalls problematic for the official importers of new cars.

The Australasian recall affects models built between 2006 and 2010, including the Yaris, Corolla, Camry and Aurion [Camry V6] family sedans and RAV4 and Kluger [Highlander] SUVs.

Morris said Toyota was writing to affected owners as quickly as possible, and urging them to take their cars into their dealers.

"The dealers will inspect the switch to see if there's that sticky feeling, and if there is the switch will be replaced.

"There is no risk of failure at that stage, but we don't want people lubricating the switch themselves, because that's when it can start to go wrong," Morris said.

Toyota will recall 2.47m vehicles in the United States, 1.40m in China and 1.39m in Europe, making it the biggest single recall since Ford recalled 7.9min 1996.

In recall situations, Toyota NZ's policy is to directly contact the owners of any cars affected.

The New Zealand Transport Authority would also normally provide a list  of all vehicles imported into the country through other companies or privately, stuff.co.nz noted.

Toyota Australia manager of public relations, Mike Breen, said the recall was "a precautionary measure" and that "there is no risk of any injury" as a result of the fault.

He said the main concern is that owners may use the incorrect lubricant in the power window switch, which may cause it to overheat and possibly melt.

The company said it expected only a small number of vehicles would require the power window electrical circuit board to be replaced.