Faulty ignition switches. Exploding airbags. It's been a delightful year.
The previous annual record for automotive recalls in the US was 30.8 million vehicles. That was in 2004. Sounds like a lot of cars, doesn't it? And you'd be absolutely correct to think 2014's final tally of recalled vehicles is even higher. It is. Try almost double that number. For the first time in a single year, US automotive recalls will surpass the 60 million mark. As of today, a total of 60.5 million vehicles have been recalled, according to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
That number will surely go up as more announced recalls are added to the record. Obviously General Motors recalled the most vehicles this year, almost 27 million, due to faulty ignition switches that resulted in at least 42 deaths and 58 injuries. That's a record for any single automaker. But GM wasn't alone. Honda has recalled 5.4 million vehicles in order to swap out the Takata airbags. For its part, Fiat Chrysler has just announced that it'll expand an existing airbag recall to cover the entire nation. Previously it affected only hot and humid areas of the US where a majority of the problematic vehicles were located. The ignition switch recall has so far cost GM $2.7 billion, and that won't be the final amount. Can't wait to see what 2015 will bring.