Voluntary Auto Recalls on the Rise in 2010

2010 was a record year for voluntary automobile recalls. Over 20.3 million cars were recalled last year. The recall statistics were obtained from a recent report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and, as explained in this New York Times blog post, 2010 was a banner year for auto recalls:

It was the fourth-largest number of vehicles recalled since the safety agency began keeping track in 1966. The nadir was 2004, when 30.8 million vehicles were recalled. In contrast, about 16.6 million vehicles were recalled in 2009.

About 5.4 million of the 20.3 million vehicles were recalled as the result of defect investigations initiated by the agency. That is the lowest number since 2001. The other 14.9 million vehicles were listed by the agency as being part of voluntary recalls.

The recalls increased by 6.4 million since 2009, when 8.5 million vehicles were voluntarily recalled by automobile manufacturers.

Of the top 5 car manufacturers that issued voluntary recalls, 3 were Japanese:

Toyota led with 17 individual recalls in 2010…General Motors was next, with 21 recalls…Honda was third, with 15 recalls…Fourth was Nissan, with 16 recalls…The Chrysler Group was fifth, with 17 recalls…

Specifically, Toyota voluntarily recalled 6.7 million cars, General Motors recalled 4 million, Honda recalled 2.4 million, Nissan recalled 2.1 million, Chrysler recalled 1.6 million, Ford Motor recalled 581,107, Volkswagon recalled 393,188, BMW recalled 288, 503 and Mazda recalled 243, 500.

Hopefully, in 2011 automobile manufacturers will step up to the plate and voluntary recalls will decline as a result of better design and more stringent manufacturing procedures. Because safer cars means fewer automobile accidents–a goal that everyone can agree is worth achieving.

Howard Ankin of Ankin Law (www.ankinlaw.com) handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. Mr. Ankin can be reached at (312) 600-0000 and howard@ankinlaw.com.