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2014 Auto Recalls Break Records

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2014 is set to go down in history as the year with the most automobile recalls ever.

According to Bloomberg, though only six full months of the year have passed, automakers have already recalled more vehicles so far—a total of 37.5 million—than they have during any other year on record. Most of those have been implemented by General Motors (GM), which has faced controversy this year because of the alleged delayed handling of the ignition switch defect affecting several of their Chevrolets, Pontiacs, and Saturns.

GM Recalls Break the Record

GM’s recall started at the beginning of the year with around 600,000 cars, but then grew to over 2.5 million vehicles with potentially faulty ignition switches. The company acknowledges the defect, which could cause the ignition switch to move inadvertently to the “off” position, as being related to 13 deaths. The Center for Auto Safety has estimated the potential deaths to number higher than 300. The company is currently under investigation by both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Justice Department.

GM has recalled vehicles for other reasons this year, as well. In March they recalled some Chevrolets, Cadillacs, Buicks, and Saturns because of potential airbag problems. A few weeks later, they recalled another 1.3 million vehicles because of potential power steering issues. Cars like the Chevy Malibu, HHR, and Cobalt (various years), along with some Saturn Ions and Auras, as well as the Pontiac G6, could experience a sudden loss of power to the steering assist, forcing the driver to revert to manual steering.

Yet another recall in June involved 8.45 million more vehicles, again because of potential ignition switch problems. This brought GM’s total to nearly 29 million vehicles.

These and other recalls have given GM the dubious honor of having the most recalls of any car maker in a single year, outdoing Ford’s record in 2001. So far, the recalls have affected about 40 percent of GM’s stock.

Toyota and Honda Affected by Air Bag Problems

Though GM shoulders most of the burden for the recalls this year, they aren’t the only ones pulling vehicles off the road. Toyota and Honda have been hard hit with air bag problems—all made by manufacturer Takata. The air bags themselves have been found to be defective, potentially overinflating and releasing dangerous shrapnel into the vehicle. Investigations have so far discovered that the problem has existed for awhile, affecting cars as far back as 2009.

So far, over 3 million vehicles have been recalled because of this air bag issue, and that number is expected to continue to climb. Toyota has already pulled back over 750,000, and Honda has announced they will be recalling 2 million. Nissan has also recalled over 225,000. Other car makers that have used Takata air bags include Chrysler, Ford, BMW, and Mazda.