Ohio Valley, West Virginia

HomeWest VirginiaOhio Valley

Email Eric T. Chaffin Eric T. Chaffin on Twitter Eric T. Chaffin on Facebook Eric T. Chaffin on Avvo
Eric T. Chaffin
Eric T. Chaffin
Attorney • (888) 480-1123

NHTSA Reports Record Year for Recalls in 2014

Comments Off

The year 2014 was a record year for auto recalls. According to a summary report by the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), General Motors (GM) and Honda led the pack with 26.8 and 9 million vehicles recalled respectively. These together with other recalls implemented throughout the year totaled a record 64 million vehicles. That was double the number recalled in the last record year (2004), when 30.8 million vehicles were tagged for repairs.

Despite the number of recalls and the safety concerns that go along with them, Fortune reports that automakers still held steady on sales, totaling 16.5 million units—the largest number sold since before the recession.

NHTSA Notes Top 10 Automakers Involved in Recalls

In addition to the highly visible GM and Takata air bag recalls, a number of other automakers were affected by high numbers of recalls in 2014, including the following:

• Chrysler: 37 recalls including 8.8 million vehicles
• Toyota: 23 recalls including 5.9 million vehicles
• Ford: 38 recalls including 4.7 million vehicles
• Nissan: 17 recalls including 1.7 million vehicles
• Hyundai: 10 recalls including 1.5 million vehicles
• Volkswagen: 11 recalls including over 920,000 vehicles
• BMW: 17 recalls including over 900,000 vehicles
• Mazda: 10 recalls including over 700,000 vehicles

The NHTSA pointed out that it’s natural for the automakers who are selling the most vehicles in the country to be more affected by recalls, and that their report should not be “interpreted as an indication of what NHTSA thinks of a particular manufacturer or its products.”

NHTSA Criticized for Slow Response to Safety Issues

Though the NHTSA states their involvement in several of the above named recalls, critics have argued the administration was slow to respond in some cases, particularly the GM ignition switch defect problem, which was ongoing for a decade before the company properly addressed it.

In September 2014, for example, the New York Times reported: “An investigation by The New York Times into the agency’s handling of major safety defects over the past decade found that it frequently had been slow to identify problems, tentative to act and reluctant to employ its full legal powers against companies.”

Such criticisms may be the reason why the agency has been more active lately in trying to secure public safety. In October 2014, they demanded Takata and automakers to expand regional Takata air bag recalls to all 50 states, a demand that Takata refused, but with which most automakers complied.

The agency also reported that nearly 90 percent of vehicles on Takata air bag recalls had yet to be repaired, and called on the industry to correct the matter. According to a recent report in AutoNews, they are also considering “unprecedented steps” to get replacement parts into American vehicles by potentially requiring more air bag manufacturers to produce them.

Because of this increased attention, Bloomberg reported that recalls in 2015 may surpass 2014’s record.