Autos

This Is Just an Average Year for Car Recalls (Aside From GM)


Since we last released our interactive chart covering five years of auto industry recalls, millions of vehicles have been added to the recall rolls—and many have come from General Motors (GM). It’s easy to be amazed at headlines pointing to 44 million recalls in 2014, but without context it’s impossible to grasp how normal the year has been once the massive roster of GM recalls has been removed.

Here’s an update to our chart that let’s you see for yourself:

And here’s what the auto recall totals look like without GM:

Halfway through 2014, the majority of the auto industry seems to be on track for about the same number of recalls as last year. Of course, GM is a major outlier:

It’s pretty clear that GM is altering our perspective of the total number of recalls throughout the industry. The singularity of GM’s unusual 2014 recall strategy makes the public forget that the auto industry typically recalls 10 million to 20 million vehicles annually, no matter what. That’s a huge number—just about as many as are sold every year.

Giorgi is a data researcher and visual journalist for Bloomberg Businessweek.
Eric-chemi
Chemi is head of research for Businessweek and Bloomberg TV.

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