The U.S. auto industry returned to full-fledged prosperity in 2014, racking up prerecession sales accompanied by rising transaction prices.
But the year was punctuated by grim news, as two lethal product defects were linked to dozens of deaths.
The bigger and deadlier of the two, involving General Motors' defective ignition switches, was the most important news story of 2014, according to the 62nd annual Automotive News editorial staff poll.
The recall could cost GM billions in claims from the victims' families and federal penalties. And it has hampered GM's efforts to rebuild its image under CEO Mary Barra, who started the year as the industry's glittering new rock star.
2014 also was a year of product innovation, with an aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 pickup rolling off assembly lines, audacious retail buy-sells, a new CEO at Ford after Alan Mulally's retirement and Jeep's striking sales surge.
Here's our list of the 10 biggest stories of 2014.