DETROIT (AP) – For the US auto industry, 2014 was the year of the recall.
Automakers issued 803 recalls totaling almost 64 million vehicles, more than double the old record from a decade ago, according to government figures.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which released numbers on Thursday, said its investigations influenced 15 per cent of the recalls. Automakers did the rest on their own.
The total number of recalled vehicles shattered the old record of 30.8 million in 2004. The previous record for number of recalls was 684, in 2008.
General Motors led automakers with 84 recalls totaling nearly 27 million vehicles in the US, according to company figures. Recalls of 2.6 million small cars with faulty ignition switches triggered a companywide safety review that led to still more recalls.
The switches, which can slip out of the run position and cause cars to stall unexpectedly, have caused crashes that killed at least 52 people. GM acknowledged knowing about the defect for more than a decade before starting the recall.
Faulty air bags caused the most recalls of any auto part last year: 21.8 million, or 34 per cent of the total, according to Stericycle, a firm that helps companies handle recalls.
At least 12 million vehicles in the US from 10 automakers have been recalled for defective air bag inflators made by Japanese parts supplier Takata Corp. The inflators can explode with too much force, spewing shrapnel into the cabin. At least six people have died worldwide and 64 others have been injured due to the problem.