Toyota announced it was recalling nearly 1.8 million vehicles in the U.S. to fix a spate of problems as part of a worldwide recall of 6.4 million cars and trucks. Large U.S. recalls by Toyota and General Motors have set the auto industry on a record pace for 2014. Since January automakers have recalled about 9 million vehicles in the U.S. If that pace continues, the nation would break the record of 30.8 million recalled vehicles set in 2004.
In that past recalls tapered off when the bad publicity subsided. With the Justice Department leveling criminal charges at the auto companies and selected employees the companies are proactively recalling vehicles. Investigations are underway to discover if Toyota covered up knowledge of the unintended acceleration in some cars back in 2009. As GM faces a $7,000 per day fine for missing a deadline to answer questions posed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The high number of recalls can be attributed to the use of common parts across an automaker's entire vehicle lineup causing more overall recalls for the same potential issue. Companies seem to finding defects faster and taking action more swiftly to fix the problems and limit their impact. The most recent Toyota recall was been issued before the company had even developed a specific repair. Dealers will replace parts for free when available.
Written by James P. Nevin, Jr.