Toyota… The reigning, undisputed Recall Champion.

Toyota Crowned Recall Champion Two Years Running

2010-2011_Toyota_Prius_--_12-21-2011Toyota recently won a title it likely won’t be bragging to customers about. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Toyota Motor Corp. recalled more vehicles last year than any other in the world. Even more bad news? The results were the second year in a row that Toyota came out on top.

According to federal safety regulators, Toyota issued recalls for more than 5.3 million cars and trucks. Though Toyota stole the crown, Chrysler wasn’t far behind, issuing recalls that impacted 4.7 million vehicles in the United States alone. Honda came in third place, recalling 2.8 million cars. Hyundai (2.3 million) and Ford (1.2 million) rounded out the top five.

The large recall numbers weren’t isolated to Toyota and Chrysler, as the NHTSA said nearly 22 million cars were recalled across the country last year. The numbers from 2013 were exceptionally high, representing a 34 percent increase over the totals from 2012. The NHTSA says that 2013 saw the most recalled vehicles in any year since 2004, when 31 million cars and trucks were recalled.

In 2012, Toyota was also in the lead, recalling another 5.3 million cars. Beyond the past two years, Toyota has recalled millions more vehicles across the world over issues related to trouble surrounding unintended acceleration and sticky floor mats.

So what explains the rise in recalls? Is it generally shoddy work? Experts say rather than blaming a slackening of manufacturing standards, one big reason for the rise in the number of cars being recalled has to do with consolidation in the automotive industry. As costs rise and automakers feel the squeeze to keep prices down, they often try to share parts across their entire product line, allowing them to order in bulk and pay less money than they would if each car was made up of its own components. When these parts are spread across multiple models it can mean that an issue with one part necessitates a recall of huge swaths of a company’s vehicles.

Others point out that recalls are not always bad things. In fact, if a car company is seen as quick to issue recalls it often means they are willing to take responsibility for mistakes early, hopefully fixing the problem before innocent motorists are injured or killed by the defective automobile. For instance, Toyota’s willingness to recall its vehicles contrasts starkly with the fight Chrysler waged with the NHTSA last year over recalling millions of defectively designed Jeeps. Only after a tense standoff did Chrysler agree to a recall, albeit one much smaller than many safety experts had hope for.

If you or someone you know have been injured by a defective product and you would like to discuss your case with an attorney, please contact the Georgia product liability litigation attorneys at Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood, P.C. today to schedule a free consultation.

Source: “Toyota tops U.S. recall list for second straight year,” by Jerry Hirsch, published at

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