Saturday

Recalls Drop

It's about time the quality came back. Maybe it has. At least for some.

Vehicle recalls totalled 10.2 million last year, a 30% drop from 2007 and the lowest number of vehicles recalled since 1994, reported the Detroit News after examining the government's motor vehicle recall statistics. Surprisingly, a higher total number of recalls occurred than ever before, 642 for the year, which means that the typical recall involved fewer vehicles than ever before. That jives with what we've been seeing too.

The drop in vehicles being recalled is probably a signal of a quality improvment level that has been a long time coming. Who went up and who went down is not much of a surprise, really. GM and Toyota and Honda all had more recalled vehicles than they did last year. Chrysler recall numbers were down a little, but Ford's recall numbers were down substantially from last year.

The government statistics come from a database that was created in 2000 which Congress mandated federal bureaucrats (in charge of overseeing the actual safety investigators) to begin keeping the numbers and making them public, largely because of the recall of 14 million Firestone tires that had been linked to the deaths of more than 270 people, mostly in Ford Explorers in rollover crashes.

Federal safety officials say that the final 2008 recall figures won't be available until much later in 2009, but as of the end of the year the unofficial talley showed automakers had recalled 10.2 million vehicles. That compares with 14.5 million vehicles recalled in all of 2007, which was up from 11.2 million in 2006 but still far lower than a record 30.8 million vehicles called back in 2004 in 600 campaigns.

So, how do the factories compare? Among the top six automakers, two of Detroit's Big Three fared well, with Ford Motor Co. sharply reducing its recalls to 1.6 million vehicles from 5.5 million in 2007, and Chrysler LLC dropping to just 360,000 vehicles from 2.2 million recalled in 2007. General Motors Corp. saw a sizeable increase, to 1.9 million vehicles recalled in 2008, up from 538,000 last year.

Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. also recalled more vehicles this year than last, while Nissan Motor Co.'s tally dropped. Toyota called back 833,000 vehicles, up from 640,000 last year, but far below its 2005 tally of 2.2 million. Honda issued recalls for 797,000 vehicles this year, up from 550,000 in 2007, but down from 1.2 million in 2006. Nissan recalled about 581,000 vehicles this year, down from 1.3 million in 2007.

Whether you're driving a recalled Ford or a recalled GM, or a Honda on its recall list, or one of the rarer Nissan recalled cars, if it's your car being recalled, it matters.

If you've got a lemon, don't put up with a runaround. Call us (toll free phone 888.331.6422) or email us today. Getting rid of lemons is what we do. All kinds, everyday.

Burdge Law Office
Because life is too short to put up with a lemon.