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2014 Auto Recalls Reach Record 64M

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that the number of vehicles targeted in auto recalls in 2014 stood just shy of 64 million. The new record of 63.95 million more than doubles the previous record of 30.8 million set ten years earlier. Automakers also announced a record of 803 auto recalls in 2014. Auto recall issues ranged from loose seat bolts to faulty ignition switches to defective airbag deployment systems.

GM Auto Recalls Lead the Pack

The NHTSA report showed that General Motors had both the most auto recalls and the highest number of vehicles affected by those recalls. GM issued 84 auto recall notices on 27 million of its vehicles in 2014. The largest such recall was related to a defective ignition switch design. The faulty ignition switch could shut down power to the vehicle, including vital safety systems. The automaker has confirmed at lat 62 deaths related to the problem. The company also faces thousands more death and injury claims stemming from the defect.

Deaths, Injuries Spur Takata Auto Recalls

The biggest auto recall related to a specific defective part came from Japanese airbag manufacturer Takata. Reports showed that a chemical used in the inflation system for Takata airbags could be volatile in a humid climate. The faulty inflation system could propel metal and plastic shrapnel at drivers and front-seat passengers. At least six deaths have been tied to the explosive airbag. Ten automakers, including Honda, Ford, and BMW, issued nationwide auto recall notices related to the problem.

Auto Recalls Up Across the Board

Nearly every major automaker has issued at least one auto recall notice in 2014. Honda had 8.9 million vehicles affected by auto recalls, a record for the most recalled vehicles in the company’s history. Much of that high number has been attributed to the Takata airbag recalls, as Honda was Takata’s biggest customer at the time. Toyota issued 24 recall notices covering 6 million vehicles. Ford Motor Company issued 42 recalls covering nearly 5 million vehicles. FCA US LLC, the parent company of Chrysler, issued 39 recall campaigns covering 8.8 million vehicles.

Are Auto Recalls On the Rise?

In an interview with a Detroit newspaper, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind stated his belief that the 2014 record for auto recalls could be broken in the next year or two. He said that the staggering numbers of recalled vehicles “demonstrate(s) the need for vigorous, effective oversight” of how automakers operate. Mr. Rosekind also stated that the federal safety agency is “still at the defect identification side” and that the number of potential auto recalls will continue to increase “until you start catching (defects) on the front end” of the production process.

Source: Detroit News

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