Toyota
  • Image Credit: Toyota

Toyota

Toyota Brands Included: Toyota, Lexus, Scion
Major Recalls: 16
Number of Cars Recalled: Over 10 million


2010 will certainly be the year Toyota will want to forget. Over 10 million Toyotas were recalled during the calendar year, damaging the brand promise of reliability that the company worked so hard to build. A cloud of skepticism hung over the Toyota and Lexus brands as the year started due to some bizarre and tragic events where drivers died due to stuck accelerator pedals. In January the company recalled over roughly 4 million cars for stuck accelerator pedals and misplaced floormats that they felt could contribute to a runaway car incident.


Throughout the year the company saw other major problems – including a Consumer Reports video that proved its GX460’s stability control program wasn’t up to snuff – and even noted engine problems (typically not a Toyota concern) with its famed Corolla sedan.


Chevy
  • Image Credit: GM

Chevy

General Motors Brands Included: Chevrolet, Pontiac, Hummer, Cadillac, Buick
Major Recalls: 13
Number of Cars Recalled: About 4 million


GM had a part in the Toyota recall of early 2010 – its Pontiac Vibe was built alongside the Toyota Matrix at an assembly facility in California – but GM had two separate and unrelated recalls in 2010 that hit over 2 million consumers.


In March the company recalled about 1 million Chevy Cobalts (2005-2010) and Pontiac G5s (2007-2010) for an electric power steering problem. Power steering could fail when the car was in motion.


In June the company recalled over 1.3 million cars and trucks for a problem with the company’s once-touted heated window washer system. Many of the company’s high-line vehicles – such as the Cadillac Escalade and Hummer H2 – came equipped with the nozzles. They were found to short and could catch fire, so GM had all of them disabled and taken out of the vehicles entirely.


Honda
  • Image Credit: Honda

Honda

Honda Brands Included: Honda, Acura
Major Recalls: 9
Number of Cars Recalled: 2.3 million


Like Toyota, Honda issued a surprising number of recalls in 2010. In March around 400,000 Honda Elements (2007-2008) and Honda Odysseys (2007-2008) were called for a brake problem. It was reported that air could enter a part of the brake system, potentially affecting brake performance where the driver experienced a soft pedal or a pedal that fell to the floor.


The vaunted Accord and Civic (2003 model years) vehicles were recalled in August for problems with the interlock switch on the ignition system, which in some cases could mean the key could be removed when the car was not in park, causing the car to roll and crash.


An issue with brake master cylinders brought back nearly one half million Acura RL models (2005-2007) and Honda Odyssey models (2005-2007) in October. The Honda Fit (2007-2008) saw two separate recalls – one for problems with the electrical wiring with its headlights and another for a potential leak into the window switch unit on the door panels.


Nissan
  • Image Credit: Nissan

Nissan

Nissan Brands Included: Nissan, Infiniti
Major Recalls: 8
Number of Cars Recalled: About 2 million


Nissan issued a significant number of recalls in 2010, encompassing both Nissan and Infiniti brands. In February, the company issued a recall of about 340,000 of its larger SUVs and trucks (Infiniti QX56, Nissan Armada and Nissan Titan models years 2005-2009) for incorrect readings in their fuel gauges. Later in the year, Nissan and Infiniti recalled about 750,000 vehicles (again, mostly trucks and SUVs) for problems with an engine control module that could cause stalling. About a month later, the company issued a recall of about one half million Frontier and XTerra vehicles (2002-2004) due to steering column problems.


Chrysler
  • Image Credit: Chrysler

Chrysler

Chrysler Brands Included: Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge
Major Recalls: 11
Number of Cars Recalled: Over 1 million


This was a bad year for Chrysler minivan owners, who saw three major recalls throughout 2010. It started with a recall of some 300,000 minivans (including the 2005-2006 Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Caravan and Dodge Grand Caravan models) for a problem with front airbag sensors. Some months later, newer (2008-2009) models of the Town & Country and Grand Caravan were recalled for a wiring problem, resulting in another nearly 300,000 vehicles being called back for repairs. In November, those same 2008 Town & Country and Grand Caravan owners were contacted again for a problem with an air conditioner leak that was shown to cause inadvertent airbag deployment.


Ford
  • Image Credit: Ford

Ford

Ford Brands Included: Ford, Mercury
Major Recalls: 3
Number of Cars Recalled: About 500,000


Ford�s major recall of 2010 included every Windstar sold between 1998 and 2003. Owners reported the minivan experienced corrosion in its rear axle in cold-weather states. In some cases the rear axle actually cracked, causing accidents.


Volkswagen
  • Image Credit: Volkswagen

Volkswagen

Volkswagen Brands Included: Volkswagen
Major Recalls: 2
Number of Cars Recalled: About 400,000


Volkswagen issued a major recall in 2010 for its Jetta, New Beetle and Rabbit (now known as Golf) models, mostly from 2006-2010. An underhood fuel supply line could be chafed and leak due to other parts coming into contact with them. If the leak develops, it could cause a fire.


BMW
  • Image Credit: BMW

BMW

BMW Brands Included: BMW
Major Recalls: 4
Number of Cars Recalled: About 250,000


BMW issued a major recall in September for a problem with the brake vacuum pump that could cause a lack of braking power. This recall touched about 200,000 cars, including the BMW 5-series (2004-2010), BMW 6-series (2004-2010) and BMW 7-series (2002-2008).


Mazda
  • Image Credit: Mazda

Mazda

Mazda Brands Included: Mazda
Major Recalls: 2
Number of Cars Recalled: About 220,000


Mazda�s major recall of 2010 included over 200,000 of their Mazda 3 and Mazda 5 vehicle (2007-2009). The power steering assist system could malfunction, reducing steering power and potentially causing a crash.


Hyundai
  • Image Credit: Hyundai

Hyundai

Hyundai Brands Included: Hyundai
Major Recalls: 2
Number of Cars Recalled: About 140,000


Despite a number of glowing reviews, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata was hit with two quick recalls upon its introduction. In February a select number of the new models were recalled for a problem with the door lock switch, which could remain open even though it appeared locked. Later in the year, a problem with the assembly for the steering column called about about 130,000 units. The steering column was insufficiently tightened, which could cause a loss or reduction in steering capability.


Suzuki
  • Image Credit: Suzuki

Suzuki

Suzuki Brands Included: Suzuki
Major Recalls: 3
Number of Cars Recalled: About 140,000


Suzuki’s major recall of 2010 focused on its SX4 hatchback and sedan model (2007-2010 model years) in what was perhaps the most bizarre defect of the year. Three screws hold the side mirrors on the car and after a long period of vibrating the screws could come loose, separating the mirrors from the car itself.


Subaru
  • Image Credit: Subaru

Subaru

Subaru Brands Included: Subaru
Major Recalls: 2
Number of Cars Recalled: About 100,000


The 2010 Subaru Legacy and Outback vehicles experienced two separate recalls this year. In May the company recalled about 30,000 vehicles for a problem with an engine cooling hose that could crack, causing the vehicle to stop. Later in the year, the same vehicles were recalled for problems with the wiring in the steering wheel.


Mercedes-Benz
  • Image Credit: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz Brands Included: Mercedes-Benz
Major Recalls: 1
Number of Cars Recalled: About 85,000


Mercedes-Benz C- and E-class vehicles (2010 and 2011) were recalled this year for problems with a power steering pump. The failure could result in loss of steering control, increasing the driver�s risk of a crash.


Mitsubishi
  • Image Credit: Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi Brands Included: Mitsubishi
Major Recalls: 2
Number of Cars Recalled: About 75,000


Mitsubishi�s 2006-2008 Endeavor SUV was recalled in October for problems with its heating and air conditioning system. The issue could cause the heat and cold air to swap, with the air flow changing directions as well. Earlier in the year, 2004 model year Endeavors were recalled for a corrosion issue with the car�s fuel filling system.


Kia
  • Image Credit: Kia

Kia

Kia Brands Included: Kia
Major Recalls: 1
Number of Cars Recalled: About 35,000


Certain 2011 Kia Soul and 2010 Kia Sorrento vehicles were recalled this year for a problem with interior lighting wiring. The Soul has unique, illuminated door speakers that were manufactured by the same company that made the Sorrento�s interior lighting. These harnesses could short and cause a fire.


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