If you’ve noticed that there have been more recalls than usual this year, you may be on to something. According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the US market is on pace to break a record for recalls. In 2013, 22 million cars were recalled. We’re only a third of the way through 2014, though, and we’ve already halved that figure, with 11 million units recalled. That’s wild.
Considering the past few months, it shouldn’t be a surprise that General Motors is leading the charge, with six million of the 11 million units recalled coming from one of the General’s four brands. Between truck recalls, CUV recalls and the ignition switch recall, 2014 hasn’t been a great year for GM.
Other recall leaders include Nissan (one million Sentra and Altima sedans), Honda (900,000 Odyssey minivans), Toyota (over one million units in a few recalls), Volkswagen (150,000 Passat sedans), Chrysler (644,000 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs) and most recently, Ford (434,000 units, the bulk of which were early Ford Escape CUVs). So while it’s been a bad year for GM so far, its competitors aren’t doing too well, either.
It’s not the end of the world, though. The Los Angeles Times spoke to Kelley Blue Book’s Karl Brauer, who pointed out that this latest string of six- and seven-figure recalls is “the new normal,” due to manufacturers’ fear of the federal government. According to Brauer, it was the $1.2-billion fine handed down following Toyota’s unintended acceleration fiasco that has made manufacturers so open to recalls.
“Toyota changed the thinking on recalls,” Brauer told The Times. “The cost of a recall is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of what happens if you don’t do it.”