• Dec 30th 2009 at 11:30AM
  • 142

2009 has seen a bumper crop of automobile recalls. The Detroit Free Press reports that there were 15.2 million units recalled this year – nearly double the 8.6 million vehicles that were called back in all of 2008. And the leader of the recall pack was Toyota, with a knee-wobbling 4.87 million cars and trucks recalled due mostly to the Japanese automaker's unintended acceleration issue. Toyota had nine major recalls in all in 2009, with the other big issue coming courtesy of rusting Tundra frames. Toyota took the top spot in recalls for the first time ever this year, which tells you as much about how bad 2009 was for Aichi, Japan-based automaker as it does about its history of making high-quality automobiles.

This year's second biggest offender? Ford Motor Company. The Blue Oval recalled 4.52 million vehicles to land in second place in the recall rankings, due mainly to the company's ongoing issue with cruise control modules. Without the years-old cruise control issue, Ford would have had posted best year ever. General Motors rounded out the top three, with 2.24 million recalls announced in 2009, thought it is worth noting that the Detroit, MI-based automaker's 17 total recalls was the most of any automaker. Chrysler actually had a good 2009 – at least when it comes to recalls – with just under 600,000 vehicles affected. Head over to the Detroit Free Press for the complete ranking of 2009 recalls by automaker.

*UPDATE: In related global news, Toyota is recalling 43,000 Chinese-market vehicles including its Highlander and Previa models, along with Lexus' ES350 and RX350. The culprit? Engine oil leaks.





[Sources: Detroit Free Press; Zachs Investment Research (via Yahoo)


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  • 142 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think your headline should read "Toyota led" or "Toyota leads" depending on whether you are emphasizing the past tense or the present.
      • 5 Years Ago
      RICE ROCKETS WEINER MOBILES KOREAN RAT MOBILES YES AMERICA KEEP BUYING ALL THESE VEHICLES AND YOU WILL SURELY PUT YOURSELF OUT OF A JOB! THE ONLY JOB YOU WILL BE ABLE TO GET WITH YOUR FOUR YEAR DEGREE WILL BE AT YOUR LOCAL MACDONALDS AND TACO BELL! WAKE UP AMERICA CANT YOU SEE THE POLITICIANS IN D.C. ARE SELLING OUT OUR COUNTRY. DONT BE LEMMINGS AND GET SUCKED INTO THEIR SPELL OF A BETTER USA BY AGREEING TO THIS FREE TRADE CRAP. LETS MAKE CHINA KOREA AND JAPAN RICH SO THEY CAN BASICLY RULE EVERYONE. WHAT DID OUR FORE FATHERS DIE FOR SO THESE NAMBY PAMBY LIBERALS SELL OUT AMERICA!!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow I thought i was reading a story on an aussie website, guess that's anther thing us Aussies have in common with you Americans.. Toyota fan boyz in this country are always quick to stick the boot into Holden and Ford here and if something comes out to make their beloved toycrapas look bad it's a conspiracy..
      Many friends and relatives both here and in the U.S. that are connected with the car industry and none of them would go anywhere near a toyota because they so poorly made.. Toyotas policey of flooding a market with under priced cars to get market share is bitting them on the butt now as they are being forced to cut corners to keep the cars cheaper which now seem to be impeeding on safety.. i can't believe all this has been going on so long and seems to be costing people their lives..
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm not really sure what to make of a report like this. They should at least mention the number of units sold and specify how much of the automakers marketshare the recalls represent. Even taking those things in account, recalls do not necessarely mean a lesser quality car maker. It could just mean a car maker that cares more about his customers. I feel no need to be defending Toyota but somehow i do have some doubts when reading autonews in the Detroit "Free" Press.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Peter,

        Good point, recalls aren't necessarily a bad thing. They are there to address known issues.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Peter: glad to inform you, though I wouldn't label this information a statistic instead I would call it data. The numbers are right there.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, i didn't know that and being European i never heart of that before. So it wasn't meant to funny and it's always good to learn something. But the point i wanted to make is that it's hard to determine the value of statistics whitout detailed information. As Mark Twain wrote:
        There a three sorts of lies; lies, damned lies and statistics.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Haha... That's funny. You do realize that in the majority of cases automakers are COMPELLED by the NHTSA to recall a vehicle. There are very few cases of "voluntary" recalls.
      norniekwark
      • 5 Years Ago
      Toyota is very over rated. There are a lot of american vehicles out there now that are every bit as good and even better than toyota. Buy american and you will support your american neighbor. The american people have given the american auto makers an idea of what they want and I beleive they are starting to listen. The cars are being built a lot better and the warranties exceed toyota's by far so what are you waiting for buy american and it just might give you a job back that you dont have right now. Does this make any sense America!
        • 5 Years Ago
        @norniekwark
        Actually ok, just as long the economy doesn't take a another giant drop. I work for a trading company.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @norniekwark
        If everybody in the world takes the same attitude as you promote, the economy will take a giant drop in no time and America will be building crappy cars all over again. Stopping import will stop export and end effect competition which is the only garantee to a better product. American automakers just need to build good looking, good quality and decently prices cars that people want to buy and drive.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @norniekwark
        Many Toyotas are made in the USA and fair number of american vehicals are build in Mexico or Canada. Which would be better for US jobs? Does this make any sense?
        norniekwark
        • 5 Years Ago
        @norniekwark
        I agree that some Toyota;s are made in america but there are many more that are not.There are ways to find out which ones are made in America and I did say buy American. The vehicles are all identified for country of origin and it is very easy to read on the tag.We need to buy american made products as much as possible at this time but still make these companies aware of product quality. I would not mind paying a little more for a worker to make a living wage as opposed to giving my money to a large company that exploits its workers . This country was built by americans and living in this country is still by far the best place in the world to live, We have for the moment lost our way for the almighty dollar and I hope in time that America will wake up and strive to make our standard of life better for all ameicans that work hard and are loyal to this country. When I see someone post screw americans and buy foreign just makes me see red. Wake up america!
        norniekwark
        • 5 Years Ago
        @norniekwark
        How is the attitude that is prevelent now working for you!!!!!
      homer8170
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is what happens when you let an inferior people (Americans) have a hand in manufacturing a superior automobile. You have mega recalls. Let the Japanese design and totally manufacture Toyota's and you will see the quality rise again. You people are good at one thing only, buying.
        Sara
        • 5 Years Ago
        @homer8170
        Okay, HOMER (As in Homer Simpson? An American produced tv show? I bet you watch our films and use many American products, you hypocrite). Stop spewing your obvious envy of America... or hey, if you get off on it, continue looking like the fool you are. I'm American, so free speech rules, even if it is hate and jealously speaking. What a jerk to call every single American inferior. Does this include immigrants as well, who've obtained citizenship here? People from all nations, and walks of life? I marvel that people with your type of thought process troll around in this manner. Pathetic. Love the copy and paste comment, oh and to say "kinda like your mom" wasn't stupid or immature at all! You can't think of anything we do well? lol... You are bitter, bitter, bitter, and completely morally inferior!

        homer8170

        Jan 1st 2010 2:24PM This is what happens when you let an inferior people (Americans) have a hand in manufacturing a superior automobile. You have mega recalls. Let the Japanese design and totally manufacture Toyota's and you will see the quality rise again. You people are good at one thing only, buying.

        Jan 1st 2010 2:21PM Kinda like your mom!

        Jan 1st 2010 11:46AM This is what happens when you let an inferior people (Americans) have a hand in manufacturing a superior automobile. You have mega recalls. Let the Japanese design and totally manufacture Toyota's and you will see the quality rise again. You people are good at one thing only, buying. That's a fact!

        Jan 1st 2010 10:45AM This is what happens when you let an inferior people (Americans) have a hand in manufacturing a superior automobile. You have mega recalls. Let the Japanese design and totally manufacture Toyota's and you will see the quality rise again. You people are good at one thing only, buying.

        Sep 30th 2009 1:09PM This is what you get when you allow Americans a hand in the design process. You people need to stick with what you do best, which is.....I can't think of anything you do well any more.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Chris Shunk wrote: "Without the years-old cruise control issue, Ford would have had posted best year ever."

      Chris, without floor mat issue Toyota would have had a great year, without all the SUVs GM would have had a very efficient lineup, without all the terror plots Bin Laden would have been a peace loving guy, without the minor slowdown in the economy last year no one would foreclose on their houses..........................Should i go on?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Very well said. Very true!
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Sea Urchin
        I think the point he was trying to make was that while the unintended acceleration problem was pretty much confined to this year (though it showed up in models as much as 12 years old), the cruise control problem has been ongoing and could possibly have been fixed last year itself.
        Anyway, no more recommendations of Toyotas/Lexuses from me!
      jay
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't care who makes em.They're all crap.When I go to the scrap yard for used parts I see more Toyotas than anything else.Go figure. lol!
        • 5 Years Ago
        @jay
        Funny, all I see in junk yards are Fords, Chevys and Chrysler.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @jay
        Funny, all I see in junk yards are Fords, Chevys and Chrysler.
      • 5 Years Ago
      they still make better cars than GM.
        • 5 Years Ago
        yeah there are a few GM cars that I think are great. (G8 GXP, CTSV, Vettes)

        Toyota cars are appliances.
        • 5 Years Ago
        quote from invisiblepigeon3:
        - "The Lexus IS is a performance car, and has a paddle-shifted automatic. Are you claiming that Ferrari and Bugatti don't make performance cars either? They don't come with archaic clutch manual transmissions either." -

        LOL, awesome!! In attempting to bash the others, you completley showed your lack of knowledge and wound up unknowingly bashing the IS-F.

        Neither Ferrari nor Bugatti have automatic transmissions, at least not in the traditional sense. Neither make offers a vehicle with a torque convertor automatic in other words. Ferraris have automated manuals( different than a true auto like the IS-F has, look it up) and more recently, have started adding DCT's to their lineup. The Bugatti Veyron has always had a DCT.

        Of the vehicles you mentioned, only the IS-F actually has an honest-to-god torque convertor automatic which virtually everyone will agree is quite low on the performance scale compared to a true manual or a DCT. No matter how good the IS-F transmission is, it's still a torque convertor auto.

        Plus, if simply having paddle shifters makes it a performance car, then there are a ton of people out there unknowingly driving performance cars since that's becoming a more common feature every day.

        That said, I will give you some credit. There are other performance vehicles that use traditional automatics and have paddle shifters, the Corvette comes to mind and there are others. But, I just thought it was really funny that you called out two other vehicles without even knowing why their transmissions are not comparable to the one in the IS-F. It completely destroyed you're entire argument.

        Thanks for the laughs!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I too believe the problem is GM and not Toyotas rubber mate!

        Funny I don't see a lot of Malibus on the roads; and that explains a lot.

        • 5 Years Ago
        @ airchompers

        With the exception of Toyota's Nascar program, none of the cars you mentioned are still in production or will be for the foreseeable future.

        As for Lotus using Toyota powertrains, don't kid yourself into thinking that the Corolla driving appliance is somehow a Lotus underneath. Lotus uses a 4 cylinder Corolla engine with a supercharger and that is literally the only thing Toyota has to do with that car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I know but if it were a GM or Ford it would be normal
        • 5 Years Ago
        "All Toyotas are appliances, eh? What about the Toyota F1 car? Toyota Nascar? Toyota Supra? Celica? MR2? AE86 Corolla? "

        What point, exactly, are you trying to make?

        F1 cars aren't for sale at the dealership, or to any normal people.
        NASCAR isn't fun.
        Supra? Gone.
        Celica? Gone.
        MR2? Gone.
        AE86 Corolla? Gone.

        I repeat myself: What point are you trying to make?
        • 5 Years Ago
        The IS350 and IS F come to mind. Now when it's time to recognize performance cars the haters fail to mention other cars Toyota makes, just because they wear a different badge.

        FWIW the RAV4 V6 is one of the fastest sleeper "things" out there for the money.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Even the IS-F, the sportiest car Toyota offers, is a joke.

        It has an automatic, every mag rips its suspension, Ford can match its specific output, and it doesn't have a clutch...whether the car or the driver is operating it.

        And someone said the GS is a performance car? ...Really?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I gonna say when you are talking about performance cars, you are not only talking about transmission. Performance cars are all about skid pad, 0-60, 1/4/mile, and a lot more. If you use your manual Colbalt to race with IS-F, you will see what the differences.
        • 5 Years Ago
        All Toyotas are appliances, eh?
        What about the Toyota F1 car? Toyota Nascar? Toyota Supra? Celica? MR2? AE86 Corolla?
        And these toyota powertrains from the Camry and Corolla power Lotus vehicles, I dare you to cite a lotus as an example of an appliance.

        And what of GM and Ford's trucks? Do you think for a second that they weren't developed as appliances and tools?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Obama using the unions to put out his lies.
        • 5 Years Ago
        greatest toyota b*tchfest to date, and all without a word from me, great job guys!
        invisiblepigeon3
        • 5 Years Ago
        Steve

        I find it funny that you'd say I don't know the difference between a double clutch geabox and torque converter automatics, and that I'm an "automotive idiot".

        You know very well that Bugatti's and most Ferrari's don't have clutch pedals in them, now do they? To say I don't know the difference, because you inferred something totally incorrect about my statement, doesn't indicate jack ****.

        While the IS-F would benefit from this, instead of the 8 speed auto they put in it, to say the car is terrible only shows your bias. Some people don't want a BMW M3, and want an IS-F instead.

        They've always made junk? The 2000GT, all the Supra's, MR-2, the Land Cruiser and 4 Runner, and don't forget Lexus. You really think that all the people who jumped ship from Mercedes Benz, BMW and Audi to buy Lexus, did so because they were happy with their cars and wanted to downgrade? Get real.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Luis, the IS350 isn't a performance car -- only an automatic transmission is available...
        • 5 Years Ago
        You mean like the Rustundra ?
        invisiblepigeon3
        • 5 Years Ago
        Greg: STFU. The Lexus IS is a performance car, and has a paddle-shifted automatic. Are you claiming that Ferrari and Bugatti don't make performance cars either? They don't come with archaic clutch manual transmissions either. Idiotic comments like yours are the reason I first posted on Autoblog. The gross level of stupidity that people sling around like fact really annoys me.

        Also, everyone saying that "Toyota" doesn't make sporty cars is very wrong. They're just not branded as Toyota; they're branded as Lexus.

        Current Toyota performance vehicles: LFA, IS-F, GS, IS, LS Sport...

        Coolio: The G8 is a rebadged Holden Commodore, so get over your Australian "Pontiac"; that brand is no more... finally. The CTS is decent for a GM car. The Corvette is a fast, plastic styling joke. It looks half as expensive as it actually is.



        • 5 Years Ago
        For the record, many Ferraris do actually come with "archaic clutch manual transmissions" in addition to the option of an automated manual or a DCT in some cases. Off the top of my head, only the 458 Italia is offered with only a dual-clutch transmission with no manual option. The Enzo as well if you want to bring up a past model.

        I still think it's funny that you don't seem to understand that many people see torque converter automatics (no matter how fast Lexus and M-B can make them shift) as just as archaic as the clutch manual transmissions that you find so ancient.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's just a false perception. Magazines like Consumers Report is primarily responsible for that false perception, without a doubt.

        GM not only makes cars as good but better, in many case,than many Toyota. If only consumers would only check the truth about GM and Ford vehicles before buying.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well to be fair it's pretty hard for a small volume seller to ever make #1 for the highest number of cars recalled since if you only sell a few hundred thousand cars it's obviously impossible to recall millions of them. So only the biggest car companies like Toyota, Ford, and GM even have a real shot at record-breaking recalls, whereas it'd be impossible for a lot of car brands to break these numbers even if they recalled every car they ever made.
        Toyota might have had the most recalled vehicles but that's also because they sold them to begin with.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Toyota primary global competitor is Volkswagen, who recently passed them in global production. Of the two, Toyota makes the inferior product.

        Case in point, Volkswagen has had a 'throttle override' system built into all of it's cars since 2001. That means, when the throttle and the brake are pressed simultaneously, the brake takes precedent and the car stops. If Toyota's 'luxury' brand, Lexus, had implemented a feature available on base model Volkswagen since 2001, the family killed by their ES350's technical inferiority would still be alive today.

        And Volkswagen isn't the only brand that's had this system, it's been standard on BMW's since 2005.

        Toyota's image of reliability and quality is about as honest as Tiger Wood's promise to be true to his wife. Toyota's have been having serious problems for years now (for example, rollover deaths in the Tundra, 4runner) but they've covered it up with a slick, dishonest marketing image and legal threats to people who might talk. My in-laws have a 1994 Toyota Corolla, it's reliable, etc, etc and only has one small safety issue. The console wires can short circuit and LIGHT THE CAR ON FIRE. But who knew that 1994 Corolla's can an have lit on fire? No one. Toyota very aggressive about keeping this information under wraps.

        What it really boils down to, it Toyota makes a sub-par economy car sold on hype to people are entirely ignorant about cars. Look @ invisiblepigeon3's remarks. He's an automotive idiot - he can't even tell the difference between a torque converter automatic and a manual with a computer controlled clutch. It's no surprise that he's the one coming out in favor of Toyota and the terrible, "I wish I was an M3" IS-F.

        Toyota makes crap (with a few rare exceptions, such as the Supra); and they always have. It's just nice to see that the truth of this sub-par brand is finally getting exposure.
        • 5 Years Ago
        BS
        • 5 Years Ago
        TOyoTA(L) RECALL!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Greg Paul,

        "@Luis, the IS350 isn't a performance car -- only an automatic transmission is available..."


        This is a pretty stupid comment.... For one, the IS350 is capable of pulling low 13 second 1/4 mile times. That's better than a lot of "sporty" cars out there.


        What about the E55 AMG? McLaren SLR? 400+ and 600+ hp cars respectively... yet no manual transmission option.

        What about the Corvette? Is it sometimes not a performance car because it's offered in automatic?? LOL
        • 5 Years Ago
        LOL--I looked at my audi's throttle pedal and noticed it's pretty freaking short...although it doesn't have the chamfered corners of the toyota!

        Perhaps the guy who did the toyota pedal never heard of audi...much less ever looked at one.
        invisiblepigeon3
        • 5 Years Ago
        None of those cars have traditional manuals with a CLUTCH PEDALS!!!! What don't you get about that?

        FYI I know what kind of transmissions they have, and how dual clutch gearboxes work, so now laugh at yourself or your lack of reading comprehension skills.
      • 5 Years Ago
      @Peter: glad to inform you, though I wouldn't label this information a statistic instead I would call it data. The numbers are right there.
      Frans Halls
      • 5 Years Ago
      More important, Toyota's quality problems go back many years, before the latest recall and last year's massive 4.2-million vehicle recall.

      As it embarked on a goal of becoming the world's biggest automaker, Toyota failed to insulate itself from the "big-company disease" that humbled General Motors Co. As Toyota quickly ramped up production of its vehicles, its employees strayed from the automaker's "Toyota Way" of exacting quality control and continuous improvement in manufacturing methods.

      It almost had to turn out that way. By 2007 Toyota was adding an average of two new factories a year to its global network, including a second Canadian plant in Woodstock that opened in 2008. Toyota's annual volume growth of about 500,000 vehicles equalled the entire production of Ford Motor Co.'s Volvo brand. By that same year, some 200,000, or two-thirds, of Toyota's workforce was located outside Japan. Toyota could no longer rely on word of mouth to convey the firm's managerial and manufacturing methods.

      From 2004 to 2007, Toyota recalled a staggering 9.3 million vehicles – a number exceeding its total annual output, and up from 2.5 million recalls in the three years previous to 2004. In 2005, Toyota's rate of recalls as a percentage of vehicles on the road hit 10.1 per cent, compared with 6.8 per cent from GM and 2.5 per cent at Chrysler Group. Per capita basis Chrysler has the best results regarding recalls and quality indicators.

      In 2006, Tokyo censured Toyota over improper business practices for failing for eight years to disclose and act on reports of a design flaw implicated in loss-of-control incidents. Loss of control due to accelerator pedals caught under floor mats triggered last year's huge recall, and caused four deaths after a Lexus abruptly went off the road in California.

      In the 2007 J.D. Power survey, the Toyota brand scored below that of Hyundai Motor Co., a firm better known for price than quality. And the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety withheld its "top-pick" rating from Toyota's Camry and RAV4 SUV after their substandard performance in whiplash tests.
      Jason
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not only is American made GM and Ford gona make a comeback for quality that are soon gona be world leaders in high quality. Chrysler might not make it if they don't pay the taxpeyers money back because if they don't they won't get another loan and fail unless a foreign makes buys it or bails it out again. Toyota is gona get worse and worse in recalls thats going to be their fall in 3rd place
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