Last year saw the largest number of auto recalls in the U.S. in the last six years. Over 20.3 million motor vehicles were recalled due to auto defects and safety reasons – the highest number since 2004 when 30.8 million vehicles were recalled, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). the Detroit News, automakers launched 648 recall campaigns in the last 12 months, second only to 2008.
Unsurprisingly, Toyota topped the 2010 list in recalls and media coverage thanks to unintended acceleration problems. In 19 separate recalls, Toyota issued notices for over 7 million vehicles; some of the larger recalls involved brake problems with its Prius hybrid and handling problems with its Lexus GX 460 SUV.
It was the worst year for Toyota recalls on record, according to the Detroit News. However, a Toyota Motors spokesman noted that the recall numbers need to be put into context, “Toyota has the lowest number of recalls of any major manufacturer over the past 10 years” and as a result of its 2010 recalls, it is working on improving the way it issues recalls and handles safety defects.
While Toyota experienced its share of problems in 2010, it certainly was not the only auto manufacturer forced to recall numerous motor vehicles. Other automakers topping the 2010 recall list include:
- General Motors had 21 recalls affecting four million vehicles
- Honda Motor recalled 2.4 million vehicles in 15 separate recalls
- Nissan Motors had 15 recalls affecting over 2.1 million trucks and cars
- Chrysler Group recalled 1.6 million vehicles in 17 separate recalls
As a result, most U.S. automakers saw recalls increase this past year – except Ford Motor Company. The Detroit News indicates Ford recalled a little over a half-million vehicles in 2010, compared to over 4.5 million in 2009.
Since NHTSA started tracking auto recalls in 1966, more than 470 million vehicles have been recalled due to safety concerns and auto defects.