2014 a record recall year
For the US auto industry, 2014 was the year of the recall.
Automakers issued 803 recalls totalling almost 64 million vehicles. This was more than double the old record from a decade ago, according to government figures.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which released the numbers last Thursday, said its investigations influenced 15 per cent of the recalls. Automakers did the rest on their own.
The total number of recalled vehicles shattered the old record of 30.8 million in 2004.
General Motors led automakers with 84 recalls totalling nearly 27 million vehicles in the US, according to company figures. Recalls of 2.6 million small cars with faulty ignition switches triggered a company-wide safety review that led to still more recalls.
The switches, which can slip out of the run position and cause cars to stall unexpectedly, have caused crashes that killed at least 52 people. GM acknowledged knowing about the defect for more than a decade before starting the recall.
Faulty airbags caused the most recalls of any auto part last year: 21.8 million, or 34 per cent of the total, according to Stericycle, a firm that helps companies handle recalls.