The massive recalls by Toyota and others have made 2010 the busiest year for recalls in more than half a decade - over 20 million vehicles recalled in the US alone in 2010 according to federal safety investigator's statistics.
Just the six largest suppliers of automobiles have recalled more than 19 million vehicles in about 600 recall campaigns - the highest number since 2004, when the industry set a record with 30.8 million recalled vehicles in one year.
Here's the list of top recalling motor vehicle manufacturers in 2010, by Make, Number of Recall Programs (each program can cover multiple model and year vehicles), and the Number of Vehicles Recalled:
Toyota 18 7,100,000
General Motors 21 4,000,000
Honda 15 2,400,000
Nissan 16 2,100,000
Chrysler 17 1,600,000
Ford 9 581,000
VW 2 393,000
BMW 15 288,000
Mazda 3 243,000
Others ? 1,595,000
Oddly enough, while many industry pundits are touting higher levels of quality, the quantity of vehicles recalled for dangerous defects seems to be rising too.
It's certainly seems to be true that the number of recalls from the recent past can be a sign or a problem vehicle model that you may want to avoid. Automotive.com has talked about this before and it's worth taking a look at their "least reliable cars matrix" to see what models you may want to avoid.
Meanwhile, Toyota says that it has repaired most of the cars and trucks that were on its recall lists issued during the last year, according to MSNBC news reports. That's good, but the whole experience has cost Toyota dearly in terms of customer loyalty and reputation, to say nothing for the multimillion dollar fine it had to pay.
So, check the list above and do some serious research before you put down your hard earned money on a new or used car that may just be a lemon. And if you get one, don't forget that getting rid of lemon cars and lemon trucks is what we do. Like we always say, life's too short to drive a lemon.