Despite high-profile recalls, GM hardly the worst offender

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U.S. consumers may be watching in dismay as General Motors trudges through its high-profile safety recalls. But GM has recalled fewer units per 100 vehicles sold in the United States than several of its competitors during the past decade, according to data compiled by iSeeCars.

Researchers at the suburban Boston used-car shopping site calculate that of the 15 top-selling automakers in the United States, Toyota -- followed by Honda, Volvo and Ford -- has the highest number of recalls per 100 vehicles sold in the United States from 2005 to 2014.

The iSeeCars list ranks GM in the middle, with 96 recalls per 100 vehicles sold.

Mercedes-Benz was the least-recalled manufacturer, with 38 recalls per 100 vehicles sold, according to iSeeCars. Toyota had 167 recalls per 100 sales.

The period includes Toyota's large-scale 2010 recall of millions of vehicles over allegations of unintended acceleration. But it does not include Toyota's announcement last week that it will recall 6.4 million vehicles worldwide -- including 1.8 million in the United States -- for a variety of potential problems.

Recall numbers rose dramatically after passage of the federal Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act in late 2000, which established criminal penalties for managers who fail to report safety problems.

You can reach Lindsay Chappell at lchappell@crain.com.

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