Toyota is to recall 1.41 million vehicles, the largest such move by a Japanese carmaker.
The affected cars were built between 2000 and 2002
The cars are being recalled because of a headlight fault which could see the lights fail. It affects 16 models built between May 2000 and August 2002.
Toyota has not said how much the recall will cost, but reports have put the figure at about $127m (£73m).
It is recalling 1.27 million models in Japan, as well as cars exported to Australia, Singapore and Thailand.
The recall was announced by Japan's Transport Ministry, which said no injuries or accidents had been attributed to the defect.
The country's previous record recall was 1.04 million Nissan vehicles back in 1996.