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After such a gloomy 2008, automakers are looking anywhere they can for a ray of sunshine. One such glimmer came in the form of a preliminary report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that recalls were down 30% last year compared to 2007, and at their lowest levels since 1994.
It's not all good, though. While automakers recalled a combined 10.2 million vehicles in 2008, the total number of recall campaigns hit a record number of 642 -- a 9% jump over 2007 - and also included a 233 safety investigations last year, up from only 98 in 2007.

David Kelly, acting NHTSA administrator, said his agency is attributing the drop in recalled cars to an early warning system used to alert manufacturers to problems as quickly as possible. Early fixes in a product's production puts fewer flawed cars on the road.

Among the top six automakers, Chrysler had the fewest recalled cars in 2008 at 360,000. That's a huge drop from the 2.2 million it recalled in 2007. GM, on the other hand, recalled 1.9 million in 2008, up from 538,000 in 2007. Honda and Toyota both saw their recall numbers increase, while Nissan's dropped.

[Source: The Detroit News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe the manus have decided to just pretend like problems don't exist. They have enough problems with cash flow as it is...
      • 6 Years Ago
      The only reason Chrysler is still alive it's because of Jeep.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Funny that. Especially since Jeeps sells fewer vehicles than the other brands...even now
        • 6 Years Ago
        Oh really then what is this?
        Chrysler LLC Reports December 2008 U.S. Sales

        - All Jeep(R) brand vehicles achieved sales growth over November 2008
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ummm the numbers are down because 2008 was one of the worst years for selling cars??? The NHTSA is playing Captain Obvious again.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What are you talking about? Do you even see how many cars are just sitting on dealer lots? I can show you cars that have been sitting in the same spot for months. You honestly think the dealer would perform work on a car not even sold? That's dumb man.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Did anybody ever consider that maybe chrysler doesnt have as many recalls because they have lower standards and would rather wait to sell the company so someone else can clean up the mess? Just a thought. I dont see how the company with the lowest quality/reliability can have the fewest defects. It's just counter intuitive. Especially with all the recent cost cuts and disputes with suppliers, i think we'll see the chrysler recalls soon enough.

      And the whole "sales" vs recall analysis by previous posters was great. But I dont think it has much to do with this year's sales. Maybe in previous years. Remember, sales only fell about 5-10%/yr for the past couple of years. So there are improvements or company acknowledgment of failures. And judging by the # of recall campaigns, I guess that's right. The import autos have been very careful with their safety/responsibility track record. In a situation where they inch towards overtaking US auto industry, they have to ensure they dont step on any sensitive topics that would make industry heads raise eyebrows as to how they're running their successful businesses here.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Maybe Chrysler's recall numbers are down because since being released from Daimler last year they have worked to improve quality and to catch problems at the door.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Possible but improbable. Most recalls arent for cars built within the 1st year. Most recalls are done after the first couple of years. To say that Chrysler suddenly had an amazingly low number because they've become very good while the rest of their company sinks to the bottom of the high volume industry isn't convincing. Especially when they're not being run by an auto firm. They're being run by a hedge fund out to maximize profits for the fund. These are the surprise costs the next owner will incur when they buy chrysler.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Thats about the same as sales eh?
      • 6 Years Ago
      They're down because they're expensive. Scary actually.
      • 6 Years Ago
      You really can't equate this year's sales with this year's recalls. Alot of recalls come out months to years after a car is put on the road.

      That being said, it should also relate to when new models are put into service as well, as a brand new car is more likely to have a recall than one well into it's life span.

      But not always.

      Point is, they're building cars better and catching issues earlier, mostly while driving cammo'd pre-productions cars around the world.

        • 6 Years Ago
        You're right!

        At first I even considered that with 30% (or so) less sales there would be more time to pay attention to the details of manufacturing but since it's not really like people are doing 30% less work on their shift, it wouldn't matter. The per-shift volume / work remains!

        Plus the designers and engineers have MORE to do since they are trying to better products and come up with enticing designs. So I surmount this to be a staggering improvement rate in the quality of vehicles in general. Let's face if the IIHS was forced by a conspiracy to slow down with forcing recalls, they'd be doing it from November onward, so a IIHS conspiracy seems to be a moot inference / theory to me.

        What's interesting to me is that in the past few years Ford and their other brands Lincoln and Mercury have flown up the quality charts to be members of the "Above Average" and are in the top ten club which that's info was last reported a year or so ago. If the trend with Ford and their products continues as I'd imagine it would, they're about to blow the doors off the competition with quality / lack of recall / reliability and whatever other rating. Mix that with no need for a bailout and tons of new cars (small ones too) and the rebirth of Lincoln and Mercury, I think Ford is going to get tons of new business and come out of the GM / Chrysler mess with a Halo and a shiny gold star on their work to show mom and dad....

        Just tying things together,
      • 6 Years Ago
      Chrysler is working hard to reduce vehicle problems & recalls. They have decreased problems by 30% within the 1st 90 days of ownership, which means less warranty issues through the vehicles lifetime & better quality.

      Daimler basically killed everything Chrysler worked hard to achieve through the 90's. But Chrysler will come back better and stronger than before.

      If you want to make Chrysler the best auto company on the planet join the Chrysler customer advisory board and help shape the future of Chrysler for the better.

      goto www.chryslerlistens.com and join the advisory board!!!
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