By June of last year, it became clear that the total number of vehicles recalled in 2014 would be an all-time record. The final tally is in and just shy of 64 million vehicles were recalled for safety defects, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The number of vehicles recalled last year was greater than the sum of 2013, 2012 and 2011 recalls. The massive increase led to calls from NHTSA leadership that more resources and more authority were needed to keep auto makers and the makers of automobile products in line.
There were 803 total recalls initiated last year. The vast majority of those recalls were the result of internal investigation and independent action by auto makers. Only 123 were the result of NHTSA action. Still, among the recalls pushed by the NHTSA were several that led to intense debate and controversy. The NHTSA installed a new head administrator in December and he has promised firmer action, while also requesting greater resources to further the organization's mission.
General Motors announced that it recalled nearly 27 million vehicles last year. It led all auto makers by a substantial margin, largely due to a faulty ignition system that affected a wide variety of GM models over a large period of time. Honda and Fiat Chrysler both announced recall totals of nearly 9 million. Toyota recalled roughly 6 million vehicles and Ford just shy of 5 million.
In addition to vehicle recalls, the NHTSA 7.7 million child safety restraint systems, many of which were products of Graco Children's Products.
Source: The New York Times, "A Record Year of Recalls: Nearly 64 Million Vehicles," by Christopher Jensen, 12 February 2015