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10 Most Recalled Cars Ever (Numbers Don’t Lie)

While recalls may seem inconvenient, they are important for safety. However, car companies do not always like paying out for them.

What does a recall mean to you? Other than a disruption of your normal routine, don’t you think a recall means the automaker is owning up to his or her mistakes and fixing the errors minus a cost to you? Or would you be angry about the fact that they let the mistake slip through in the first place? Whatever be your outlook, we think its better the brand fess up, recall the cars and fix the issue before costing a consumer their life, or other damage. That said; it takes gumption and a whole lot of moolah for car companies to execute the recall considering the cost is borne by them. Taking in the numbers, these are the cars that were recalled in bulk, because their makers had messed up.

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10 A Tailgate Issue that Snowballed: 3.46 Million GM Trucks

A 3.46 million vehicle recall is no small thing. It takes some gumption, especially since GM discovered that the tailgate cables of many of its trucks were prone to corrosion, and could cause risk of injury if the owners opened the tailgate and sat on it. The recalled vehicles were from the GM group. From Chevrolet came the 2014-2018 Silverado, 2015-2018 Suburban and 2015-2018 Tahoe. From GMC it was the 2014-2018 Sierra and 2015-2018 Yukon, and finally the 2015-2017 Cadillac Escalade. After the 1971 engine mount failure involving GM cars, this was the second biggest recall in this carmaker’s history.

9 Just A Seatbelt Buckle, No More: 3.7 Million Honda Cars

In 1995, there was a massive recall floated by NHTSA and backed by carmakers over an issue that may have seemed trivial but could cause injuries. Before the massive Takata airbag recall, this was the Takata seatbelt recall. UV radiation could weaken the seatbelt buckle, causing latch or unlatch problems in many cars. The total recall issued was to the tune of 8.5 million cars, but Honda alone had to call back some 3.7 million of its vehicles for this. These included the 1986-1991 Honda Civic and Prelude, Acura Integra and Legend, and the 1991 Acura NSX.

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8 More Bad News Than a Problem: 6.7 Million Chevy Cars

Way back in 1971 came Chevy’s first big recall – though by now they are recall veterans. But we should rather appreciate Chevy for what they did and owned up to. At least they did not do what Ford did with the Pinto and prefer to pay people after the damage had been caused. All V8 carrying cars of Chevrolet had an engine mounting failure and some 172 cars had engines break off while driving. The cars part of the recall were the 1965-1969 full-size Chevys as well as the smaller Novas, the 1967-1969 Camaros, and also some Chevy and GMC trucks.

7 Unintended Acceleration Problems: 8.2 Million Toyota Vehicles

2009 and 2010 were nightmare years for Toyota who had to shut down its assembly plants to figure things out. Reports were rife that Toyota cars have unintended acceleration, which caused horrific crashes and loss of life. Initially, Toyota tried to brush this off lightly, calling it a rubber mat issue, which they said jammed the gas pedal. Later after the mats were removed in many cars, the issue remained. Finally, it was figured out that the acceleration software overrode the brakes and refused to listen to the brake software. Finally, a total of some 8.2 million Toyota and Lexus cars were recalled to fix this, all 2005-2010 models including cars and trucks.

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6 A Faulty Ignition Switch: 9 Million Ford Cars

Ford seemingly has a penchant for letting loose spontaneous combustion prone cars on the unsuspecting public. Hardly had the Pinto furor died down that Ford repeated another fiery faux pas. This time, this involved Lincoln, Mercury and Ford cars in the conflagration. While after a lot of pressure from the NHTSA Ford did recall and fix some nine million cars, but some 15 million cars with the same faulty ignition switch are still on the roads with their owners blissfully unaware of the danger. Yet again, Ford tried to mislead the NHTSA but after Escorts, Topazes, and Tempos decided to catch fire while parked in garages, the NHTSA wizened up and cracked down on Ford.

5 The VW Dieselgate: 11 Million VW Diesel Vehicles

Every country that Volkswagen sold its diesel cars to is up in arms against it – and not just VW, but also its sister brands Audi, Skoda, and other light commercial vehicles as well. And the reason is that VW or at least some people at VW willfully cheated governments and the public by installing “hacker” software in its diesel cars. This software could detect when the car was being tested for emissions, and accordingly lower the levels. Else, there was nothing clean about these cars. Some 11 million cars in Europe itself are being recalled. This excludes the undecided number of recalls that will come from the US and Asia, who are still waging a war against VW.

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4 The Toyota Power Window Issue: 14 Million Toyota Vehicles

In 2015, Toyota issued a global recall for some 6.5 million vehicles to fix a faulty power window switch that tended to overheat and catch fire – putting the car and its occupants at risk. But long before that, in 2010, Toyota had recalled power window vehicles because of a propensity they had of breaking and shattering, causing damage to a moving vehicle and its occupants. Another recall was issued for Corollas and Matrixes for a similar issue. And in 2018, another 2.5 million vehicles were recalled yet again for a power window issue. The total number of vehicles recalled just because of a power window issue is to the tune of 14 million.

3 Ford Pays Up In 1996: 14 Million Cars And Trucks

In 1996, barely a little while after the nine million ignition switch fires with the Tempo and the Topaz had died down, Ford had to issue more recalls. This time to the tune of 14 million trucks including the Bronco and the Explorer. This time too because of a faulty ignition switch, though this time it was used to activate the cruise control. Yet again, it began to short circuit, and you guessed it, catch fire. The switch in itself was not expensive; it cost just $20 to replace it. However, the bulk of the vehicles involved, some 14 million in total, took this $20 cost to a massive $280 million. Since this one came on the heels of the nine million recall, it was doubly embarrassing for Ford.

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2 A Faulty Ignition And Many Lies: 30 Million GM Cars

You wouldn’t expect GM to float a faulty car in the market, but that’s exactly what it did. The ignition switch for many of GM’s small cars like the Chevy Cobalt, Malibu, and Pontiac cars had an issue with torque and vibration. There were times when the power steering would go off, the brakes would not deploy fully, and, if a collision occurred, the airbags would also not deploy. All in all, it started with an 800,000 car recall in February 2014, but by June 30 – this number had risen to a massive 29 million in North America alone. A total of 30 million recalls happened worldwide, but by then this problem has resulted in much loss of life and enough damage.

1 Takata’s Exploding Airbags: 42 Million Vehicle Recalls

The seatbelt buckle issue may not have hit Takata hard, but when they put an ammonium-nitrate based propellant without a drying agent into their airbags, and things got messy very quick. Reports started to come in of these airbags exploding when deployed, sending fatal shrapnel into the cars. The reason was simple – high temperatures and humidity caused the bag to inflate improperly without the aid of a drying agent, and this caused it to implode. Since Takata could not do much other than file for bankruptcy, the car companies ended up bearing the cost. Almost all top players were caught in it, with 50 car makers recalling their cars at massive costs.

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