Will 2014 be the year of the automotive recall?

As the media continues to focus on the current GM ignition defects, Toyota issued a massive auto recall(6 million vehicles) that has gone largely unnoticed. This just weeks after paying the largest criminal penalty ever charged against an automaker. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Toyota has recalled more cars in the US than any other auto manufacturer, with more than five million vehicles in each of the last two years. Just months into 2014 Toyota has already recalled almost 2.9 million vehicles in the US. My guess is if you ask anyone about automotive recalls and defects, GM would be the topic of discussion.

When it comes to automotive recalls – 2014 has been a banner year. So why so many auto recalls you ask? Well for one thing, it’s because automobiles are more complex than ever, and are practically rolling computers. This means more sensative electronics with the potential to fail. Still today the mechanical bits and pieces continue to cause most of the auto recalls and defects seen of late. Those mechanical and electronic bits and pieces are usually sourced from a handful of providers. Let’s not forget about parts sharing among the different brands either. While parts sharing makes good economical business sense, this is also the reason we are seeing more auto recalls and defects. Even the smallest part if malfunctioning, could potentially effect millions of vehicles. What we see happening with the GM situation will certainly cause other automotive manufacturers to become more open about potential auto recalls and defects. The lesson here – try your best to stay up on the latest auto recalls and defects for your vehicle. I suspect we are about to see many more posted in the coming months.

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