The Most Important Vehicle Recalls of 2014

2014 has proved to be a landmark year in terms of vehicle safety in the United States. So far this year a jaw-dropping 56 million vehicles have been recalled by automotive manufacturers, often due to fatal flaws in part design.

That’s the most number of vehicles recalled in the nation’s history, so it’s clear why consumers are concerned.

Here are some of the most publicized and important vehicle recalls of the year ranked in ascending order in terms of the number of vehicles recalled.

Chrysler (900,000)

Chrysler noticed an ignition related issue with some of its vehicles earlier this year. They made an official statement detailing the problem in October, saying that some of the manufacturer’s vehicles may suffer from failed alternators without warning. Although the recall was limited to the company’s 3.6 liter engine cars with 160 amp alternators, more than 900,000 vehicles had to be recalled around the world. This included the Dodge and Jeep.

Toyota (1.6 million)

Toyota hasn’t had the best year. First it was fined a whopping $1.2 billion by US regulators for misleading its customers about an issue with unintended acceleration. Then it had to recall vehicles suffering from the same airbag flaw affecting other manufacturers supplied by Takata Corp. Finally, the company had to issue a recall for a number of vehicles due to faulty break system installations this year. The recalls were worldwide, but more than a million of Toyota’s vehicles in the US were affected.

Takata (7.8 million)

Most people outside the auto industry would never have even heard of  Takata if it weren’t for a fault in the design of its air bags. The compound used in the design of these airbags meant that, if deployed, they could be potentially fatal to passengers in the car. The violent deployment of these air bags would sometimes shoot out shrapnel. The recall has affected over 7.8 million cars made by 10 different manufacturers including Honda, Toyota and BMW. The air bags are said to be more susceptible to this flaw under humid climate conditions and at least two deaths and a few injuries have been attributed to this defect.

General Motors (11.1 million)

One of the largest recalls of the year came from industry heavyweight General Motors, which began recalling small cars right from January 2014. By the end of the year more than 12.8 million cars were recalled worldwide and about 11.1 million of those were in the United States. The problems arise from faulty power steering and faulty ignition switches. The company itself has admitted these recalls should have been done earlier and that the faults could be directly linked to over 13 fatalities and 31 crashes altogether.

The system to deal with cars with faulty parts is still largely inefficient. Regulators have not exactly done a great job ensuring these dangerous vehicles are dealt with in a timely manner.

This means that a lot of automobiles with potential safety concerns are still on the roads today. But after landmark court cases against major players like General Motors and Toyota, manufacturers are amping up their safety measures to ensure that newer gene