Wednesday, November 6, 2013

These Are NHTSA's 10 Biggest Automotive Recalls of the Century

We’re used to recalls being an integral part of the how the modern automotive industry has evolved. After more than a century and a quarter of making cars, manufacturers often don’t get them right first time out, and especially in the case of all-new models, it frequently seems to be a case of having to trim a bit around the side to get everything fitting and functioning together nicely…

Automotive News has put together a list of all the largest automaker-led recalls ever, all of which took place after the year 2000 after the practice became mandated by law in the US.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rules stipulate that the “potential number of units affected” is what counts for the official tally, so with that in mind we can move on and talk about the biggest recall of all, ever.

The No1 was announced by Ford in 2001, it involved recalling a total of 13 million tires belonging to 1991 to 2001 SUV and pickup models that were being sold at the time.

Following it in the overall standings are two more Ford recalls both involving the callback of 4.5 million vehicles each. The first is from 2005, and it involved more SUVs, pickups and vans dating back to no earlier than 1994 – the reason was the cruise control switch that could cause a fire. The other happened four years later when the Blue Oval called back all the remaining cars that used the same troublesome switch.

The rest of the list is as follows: in fourth place, we finally have a new name, Toyota, which had a floor mat problem (unintended acceleration) that made it call 4.4 million cars back to dealerships in 2009.

Next up is GM, which had a 3.7 million-strong problem with the Chevy Silverado and Avalanche alongside the GMC Sierra in 2004. At number six, we have Ford again in 2007, with a 3.6 million-strong recall whose root was also a bad cruise control switch.

Toyota makes an appearance again at number seven, having had issues with 2.5 million Camrys and Corollas in 2012 – window switch assembly was prone to fire. Finally, finishing off we have Chrysler’s 2004 recall of 2.3 million vehicles, Toyota’s 2010 recall of 2.2 million vehicles (more unintended acceleration) and in tenth place, we have GM’s 2003 action involving 1.8 million “minivans, pickups and SUVs from the mid-1990s.”

By Andrei Nedelea



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