Here are some details about previous major auto recalls, compiled by Reuters:
1981 -- GM recalled 5.8 million vehicles due to loose suspension bolts that affected steering.
1996 -- Ford recalled more than 8 million vehicles to replace defective ignition switches that could have led to electrical shorts and engine fires.
July 1998 -- GM recalled close to 1 million Cadillac, Pontiac and Chevrolet cars because of fears that the air bags may have deployed by accident.
Aug. 2000 -- Bridgestone recalled 14.4 million ATX, ATX II and Wilderness tires of certain sizes installed on Ford Explorer SUVs and sold separately in stores. The recall applied to all tires produced at the company's Firestone U.S. division.
2004 -- GM recalled nearly 4 million pickups because of corroding tailgate cables.
April 2005 -- GM said it was recalling more than 2 million vehicles to fix a variety of potential safety defects, most of them on cars and trucks sold in the U.S. GM also said the largest of the safety actions included 1.5 million full-size pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles from the 2003 to 2005 model years with second-row seat belts that may be difficult to properly position across passengers' hips.
Oct. 2005 -- Toyota recalled about 1.41 million cars globally, including the Corolla and 15 other models, due to trouble with their headlight switching systems.
Dec. 2007 -- Chrysler said it would recall 575,417 vehicles as long-term wear on the gear shift assembly could cause them to shift out of park without the key in the ignition. The recall involved 2001 to 2002 model-year Dodge Dakota pickup trucks, Durango sports utility vehicles and Ram van models and 2002 model-year Ram pickup trucks.
Aug. 2008 -- GM announced a recall of 857,735 vehicles equipped with a heated windshield wiper fluid system for a potential short-circuit problem, according to federal safety regulators.
Sept. 2009 -- Toyota said it would recall approximately 3.8 million vehicles in the U.S. because of floor mats that could have come loose and force down the accelerator. The problem was suspected in crashes that have killed five people.
Oct. 2009 -- Ford completed a series of recalls affecting 14 million vehicles due to faulty cruise control deactivation switch. The latest recall involved some 4.5 million vehicles. The action effectively closed out a 10-year saga over the switches made by Texas Instruments that led to more than a half-dozen recalls, the automaker said.
Jan. 2010 -- Toyota issues a series of recalls covering 5.6 million vehicles in the United States due to sudden acceleration in some vehicles. It is the largest ever recall for Toyota and among the biggest for an automaker in U.S. history.
Also, Honda recalled 646,000 of its Fit/Jazz and City automobiles globally over a faulty window switch after a child died when fire broke out in a car last year. Honda made the announcement as Toyota extended its own recall to China and Europe.
Feb. 2010 -- Toyota recalls a total of 437,000 units of its 2010 Prius, Sai, Prius PHV (plug-in hybrid) and Lexus HS250h hybrids globally, including 155,000 in North America, 223,000 in Japan and 53,000 in Europe. The world's largest automaker is under fire for two other recalls covering more than 8 million vehicles worldwide due to problems with slipping floormats and sticky accelerator pedals.
Feb. 2010 -- Honda said it would recall another 438,000 cars globally to replace an airbag deflator that could rupture. The expanded recall is concentrated in the U.S., where nearly 379,000 cars are subject to the recall. All cars to be recalled globally are made at Honda's U.S. and Canadian plants. The models involved are the 2001 and 2002 model-year Accord, Civic, Odyssey, CR-V, Pilot and 2002 Acura TL and CL vehicles in the United States.
-- Compiled by Reuters