Vehicle recalls certainly made headlines more than just a few times this year, with <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/toyota-recall">Toyota Motor Corporation leading in numbers and scandals. According to Detroit News, over 19 million vehicles were recalled in some 600 U.S. recall campaigns, the highest amount in six years.
Of the top six automakers in the U.S., Ford Motor Company was the only one to see a decline in recalls from last year, said the Detroit News, citing its figures. Government figures are expected to be released in January.
The Detroit News explained this yearâ€™s high numbers as prompted by increased customer complaints, increased oversight by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and a “better safe than sorry” position taken by industry in an effort to minimize bad press.
Meanwhile, Toyota has recalled seven million vehicles in 18 recalls this year, with both figures as record breakers for the beleaguered auto giant once known for quality and safety, noted the Detroit News. Last year, formerly its worst, Toyota recalled 4.8 million vehicles in nine recalls.
“We’re moving more quickly,” said Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons, quoted the Detroit News. “Some of Toyota’s biggest competitors have had twice as many recalls as we have over the past five years,” Lyons explained. “Toyota has had the lowest number of recalls of any major manufacturer over the past 10 years,” he added, reported the Detroit News.
Last year, Ford recalled 4.5 million vehicles in eight campaigns, but saw a drop this year with 570,000 vehicles in nine recalls, said the Detroit News, pointing to last yearâ€™s recalls concerning defective cruise control deactivation switches that led to 14 million recalled vehicles in eight recalls over a decade.
Chrysler Group LLC saw 15 recalls covering 589,000 vehicles last year and 1.5 million vehicles recalled in 13 campaigns this year. In response, Doug Betts, senior vice president, quality, at Chrysler said, “We have been one of the lowest recall rate companies as a percent of our vehicles on the road for the last several years and expect to continue that performance going forward,” quoted the Detroit News.
NHTSA said it is likely that Toyota vehicles have been involved in about 90 deaths linked to unintended acceleration crashes since 2000. Since last November, Toyota has recalled many millions of vehicles worldwide over floor-mat interference and sticking pedal problems that may lead to incidents of unintended acceleration. Some vehicles are subject to both recalls.
Also, lawsuits being filed against the automaker are on the rise, including at least one lawsuit initiated by an insurer. Allstate Insurance Co has sued Toyota Motor Corporation and is looking for over $3 million it and its affiliates paid in claims over accidents connected to the widely publicized unintended acceleration problem.
Despite its assertions of innocence, Toyota Motor Corporation recently settled a lawsuit with the relatives of four family members who were killed in a horrific accident in San Diego that involved California Highway Patrol trooper Mark Saylor and three of his family members whose out-of-control 2009 Lexus plummeted over an embankment and burst into flames.