Toyota leads U.S. recalls for 3rd time in 4 years
Toyota Motor Corp., for the third time in four years, led the auto industry in U.S. recalls in 2012 with 5.3 million vehicles called back, according to a review of recall data by The Detroit News.
Toyota accounted for most of the 13.5 million vehicles recalled in the United States by the seven biggest automakers in 2012, followed by Honda Motor Co., General Motors and Ford Motor Co.
Toyota had two major recalls last year. In October, the automaker recalled 7.43 million vehicles worldwide because of faulty power window switches that could smoke or catch fire. It was the largest single recall in the company’s history, according to the review, with 2.5 million vehicles recalled in the United States.
A month later, Toyota recalled 2.77 million cars worldwide, including 670,000 in the United States, for a problem with steering intermediate extension shafts, mostly in Prius models.
Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons told The News that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has no open investigations into Toyota vehicles.
"We are being very proactive and issuing recalls even after very few reports of issues -- and even if no accidents or injuries," Lyons told the newspaper.
The number of U.S. recalls fell slightly from 593 in 2011 to 587 in 2012, according to The News’ review. That is down 2 percent from 600 in 2004, when the Detroit 3 accounted for 20 million of the 30.8 million vehicles recalled, the report said.
Most major recalls in 2012 were because of fire issues, airbag problems, rust and rollaway vehicles, according to the review.
U.S. safety regulators fined Toyota, BMW AG and Volvo Cars of North America for failing to issue timely recalls.
In late December, a U.S. judge granted preliminary approval to Toyota’s settlement of a class-action lawsuit brought by consumers who claimed to have lost value on their vehicles because of sudden, unintended acceleration. The settlement is worth as much as $1.4 billion.
The newspaper said Honda recalled the most vehicles in 2011 with 3.9 million, but was second in 2012 with 3.4 million. At GM, the number of vehicles recalled tripled from 500,000 in 2011 to 1.5 million in 2012. Ford placed fourth with 1.4 million recalled vehicles last year, but had the most recall campaigns among major automakers.
The number of recalled cars, trucks, motorcycles and RVs reached 16.2 million in 2012 -- a 4 percent increase from 15.5 million in 2011, the newspaper said.
Reuters contributed to this report