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It's been a banner year for big recalls, or at least it feels that way. What with high profile recalls from Toyota for everything from runaway vehicles to brake issues and a host of smaller problems from nearly every automaker in the market, it certainly felt like 2010 was at the top of the recall heap. Only it wasn't. According to Ward's Auto, a total of 136 recalls sent 17.2 million vehicles back to the dealer this year, and while that's an impressive sum, it still falls short of the record. Way back in 2000, manufactures recalled 24.3 million vehicles due in part to the now infamous Ford Explorer/Firestone tire scandal.

Still, while this number's figure falls short of the big double-oh, recalls crept up by 800,000 units compared to 2009. Not surprisingly, Toyota led the way with 17 recalls covering around 6.6 million vehicles in 2010, but according to Ward's, the automaker still has plenty of work to do on some of the recalls from last year. Toyota is still only 65 percent of the way through repairing the 5.6 million vehicles that were recalled this year for faulty floor mats. That figure includes 80 percent of the trapped-pedal cars that were recalled in 2009.

And what of other automakers, you ask? Ward's reports that combined, the Big Three brought back around 4.6 million vehicles. Head over to Ward's Auto to see the full breakdown for yourself.

[Source: Ward's Auto]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      The interesting thing is that for 6.6M vehicles Akio got called in front of a senate commission ... for 4.6M "the big tree" did not get a word out about it, IPO for one of them and shares value increase for the other ... while Toyota paid over $40M in fees and penalties...

      Let's talk about double standards ...

      I am not defending or accusing anybody, just saying that the things have to be proportional and fair. That is all! I could not be happier that Ford is doing so well now and kicking asses at the right places ... and I got to drive the Volt too ...
        • 4 Years Ago
        The actual numbers for the big 3 were:

        GM: 16 recalls 2.8 million vehicles

        Chrysler: 12 recalls 1.1 million vehicles

        Ford: 562,901 vehicles (don't know how many recalls)

        The smaller two of the big 3 of Japanese automakers (Honda and Nissan) had more recalls than Chrysler and Ford:

        Honda: 10 recalls 2.2 million vehicles

        Nissan: 13 recalls 1.9 million vehicles

        The big winner is Ford. They sold significantly more than Honda and Nissan but had significantly fewer recalls. You would expect GM (and Toyota) to have more recalls since they sold more total vehicles, although Toyota's is obviously higher than it should be. Chrysler also did quite well since they sell slightly more cars than Honda and Nissan but had only half the number of vehicles recalled.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's the subject of the recalls, George, not the recalls themselves...

        Hypothetical example: A recall because the cigarette lighter/outlet doesn't work vs a recall over a faulty fuel system that notoriously causes fires/explosions.

        Pretty much what happened here.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Toyota wasn't scrutinized for simply having a lot of recalls, it was the alleged reluctance and slowness with which they informed nhtsa of problems and issued recalls.

        Besides, according to your numbers, Toyota recalled 2 million more cars than the big 3 combined. That means the big 3 averaged about 1.5 million recalls each. Why would you expect an equitable reaction from the govt when Toyota had 4.5x more recalls?
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Mr Clickerson: I believe recalls are safety related. While "cigarrete lighter" (sunroof not opening, radio not working, etc) would be a TSB.
        Also, news on the most part are to get viewers to buy your magazine/newspaper, watch your broadcast, go to their site, thus you see it blown our of proportion for popular sellers... if the F series truck from Ford where to have a "tailgate latch that sometimes gets stuck in cold weather", you will see it posted like it's the end of the world.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The bottom line is the "Government Motors" wanted to push the American car manufactures and focused on anything it could. Toyota this past year was the scape goat for sure. Once our American government had stakes in the car business then it wanted to pump American all day and diss the Import Manufactures.

      If you look at the facts, deaths, complaints, with the whole Ford/Firestone deal in 2000 it was actually Ford's shady butt who pointed the finger on it's issue. I consulting for the Ford and Firestone brands in 2000/2001 and saw first hand the facts. Ford got heat and just pointed the finger at Firestone and ruined a relationship that started with the Model T. That is what most companies do, they point the finger and can't own up and fix an honest mistake. That is the whole issue with big business today. Morals are out the door and that effects all of us in the industry, consumers, etc. Bottom line, is have owned a TON of cars over the years and can't say one bad thing about any Toyota product I have owned. They run forever, never break down, and little stuff doesn't break. I can't say that about all the Domestic vehicle like the Dodge and Ford product I owned. Just my two cents on this matter.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Mr. Clickerson: Subject of the recalls you say? Summer 2010.. GM recalled vehicles for spontaneously catching on fire due to a faulty 'heated windshield washer' mechanism. Let me remind you, this was the SECOND time they recalled the vehicles for the same issue, and also the fact that windshield washer fluid is flammable.

      So... pedals getting caught under after-market floor mats (an issue with all vehicles, not particularly Toyota), or your car spontaneously catching on fire?

      Which subject matter would you consider more serious?
        • 4 Years Ago
        "GM Recalls 1.3 Million Compact Cars for Power-Steering Issue"


        "The NHTSA had opened an investigation Jan. 27 into about 905,000 Cobalt models in the U.S. after it received more than 1,100 complaints of a lost of power steering assist, 14 crashes and one injury."

        • 4 Years Ago
        Denis: Sorry, I was a bit confused as to which side you are arguing.

        " Oh, and all those 70-90 year olds who all "missed" the brake pedal."

        Isn't your statement contradictory to the point you're trying to make, since it wouldn't be surprising for a 90 year old citizen's coordination to be impaired at that age?

        When the media exploded the situation, people started scapegoating Toyota for their problems. Do some research and you'll notice that more than 50% of the complaints arise from, "i was parking and it accelerated."

        Obviously because of the costs involved everyone who gets in an accident will want to get out of it somehow. With the media mentioning an issue, human nature would make them want to jump on that boat.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I keep saying new cars are absolute garbage, but nobody wants to hear it. Here's the automakers admitting it.17.2 million times.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Okay, so it's not just my imagination that there are a ton of recall news stories lately.

      It often seems like this blog has more recall-related posts than new car announcements. Now we know why.
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