Most folks are shocked when they learn that with six months left in 2014, automakers have already recalled more vehicles in the U.S. than in any other year on record. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in the first six months of this year there have already been more than 39 million cars recalled. That is one out of every 10 cars on the road, and the number of recalls tops the 30.8 million record set in 2004. This comes from the most recent preliminary data found on NHTSA’s website.
Our readers shouldn’t be surprised to read that General Motors accounts for about two-thirds of the total, having already recalled more than 29 million vehicles this year. The total in the U.S. for all companies is expected to rise as soon as Japan’s three biggest carmakers finish an evaluation of their worldwide fleets for faulty air-bag inflators made by Takata Corp.
Through June, about 8.1 million new vehicles had been sold in the U.S. Historically, recalls range from 10 million to 20 million U.S. vehicles each year, according to the NHTSA database. There were slightly fewer than 22 million last year and 16.4 million in 2012. Besides 2004, there’s been only one other year in which the tally passed 30 million, in 1981. The official 2014 numbers from NHTSA won’t be released until next year.
This year’s record run largely began when GM began calling back 2.59 million small cars in February to fix the faulty ignition switch that has been linked to as many as 300 deaths in crashes. The fact that GM knew of switch failures for more than a decade before acting has resulted in congressional investigations, a $35 million civil fine, and a Department of Justice criminal probe. GM claims to have started a comprehensive safety review of all its cars. While that move – if totally true – is very late in coming, it all started with the Melton case in a Georgia state court.
GM, the largest U.S. automaker, has recalled over 29 million vehicles this year, with 25.7 million vehicles being recalled in the U.S. The recalls were for a variety of fixes ranging from ignitions to door wiring to seatbelt retractors. It’s very easy to figure out that safety hasn’t been a top priority for the automaker. In fact, GM’s recalls have already eclipsed Ford Motor Co.’s previous single-year record for a company of 23.3 million in 2001. With 64.6 million cars and trucks on U.S. roads, GM has already called back the equivalent of 40 percent of its vehicles.
Source: Claims Journal
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