5 car manufacturers with the most recalls

Toyota, the largest car maker in the world is headlining newspapers around the world due to a massive recall affecting more than 3 million cars. 1.4 million Toyota Prius’ and Lexus CT200s (both hybrids) produced between April 2006 and August 2015 will be recalled for defective airbags that could throw slivers of metal in one’s face in the event of a collision. Toyota is also recalling select models of their Prius, Auris and Lexus CT200h after uncovering the fact that the emissions control unit canister attached to the fuel tank may develop cracks that could expand and lead to a fuel leak.

It wasn’t more than three years ago that the Takata airbag scandal broke affecting cars made by 25 manufacturers worldwide totalling a whopping 100 million models marking it as the largest recall in history. Not to mention Volkswagen’s massive dieselgate scandal that saw the company recall over a million cars in the UK and more than 8.5 million worldwide. Soon after, Mitsubishi, Renault and Nissan followed suite with their own versions of cheating on emission tests and lying about fuel economy.

The manufacturers listed below have their dubious claim to fame as the ones with the largest recalls:


(Image source: Creative Commons)

The American car maker sits at the top of this list thanks to a recall that affected 21 million cars in 1980 (gear would slip from park to drive), 14.9 million cars from 1999 to 2009 (faulty cruise-control switches which could catch fire), and 4.1 million cars in 1971 (faulty seat belts). That brings the grand total to 40 million cars! Add another 1.9 million that were recalled during the Takata airbag scandal.


(Image source: Creative Commons)

With the second largest number of recalled cars in the UK, Honda’s largest recall occurred during the Takata airbag fiasco with over 50 million cars recalled around the world. The airbags made by the Japanese auto parts manufacturer used ammonium nitrate to deploy. The substance lost its integrity when it got too hot or if the weather was too humid which caused over 12 fatalities globally.


(Image source: Creative Commons)

Including the 3.3 million recalled just this week, in 2010 Toyota recalled nine million models due to a faulty gas pedal that made cars increase speed without any input from the driver. In addition, 2012 saw the Japanese marque recall 7.4 million cars for faulty power windows. This means in the last 6 years, Toyota has recalled nearly 20 million cars, not including the models recalled due to Takata airbags

General Motors

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(Image source: Creative Commons)

GM has had its share of recalls but none of the recent ones are worthy of being mentioned. However, the manufacturer did have massive recalls in 1971 (6.7 million due to faulty engine mounts), 1973 (3.7 million thanks to defective stone-guard assembly), and 1981 (5.8 million for a rear suspension bolt problem). That’s a grand total of 16.2 million cars, 18 million including the airbag scandal.


(Image source: Creative Commons)

The dieselgate scandal has hit the German manufacturer quite hard. They called a recall for 8.5 million diesel engine vehicles worldwide after the news broke. After the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed the chest device attached to many diesel cars sold by the VW Group (including Audi, Porsche, Seat and Skoda), an internal investigation by the company revealed at least 11 million cars around the globe had been fitted with the emission cheating device. Volkswagen has set aside $18.3 billion (nearly £14 billion) to try and rectify the issue.


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