According to Mark Rosekind, the new boss of the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the public attention surrounding the auto-safety flaws could lead to 2015 US auto recalls surpassing the incredible record of more than 60 million units seen in 2014.
Rosekind told reporters today in Washington that his first task as the new head of the US auto regulator is to ensure the agency can improve the system it uses to track potential defects and make automakers treat recalls as a top propriety. He added that US safety regulators should also follow up on the safety campaigns, making sure the safety problems also get fixed, not just announced. Rosekind added that due to increased publicity on the matter – including congressional hearings that called up front top executives from GM, Honda, Toyota and Takata – the agency received in excess of 75,000 vehicle owner complaints highlighting possible auto safety flaws. The figure compares to the usual 40,000 to 45,000 yearly quota previously.
Last year, for the first time in history, US recall campaigns called back into services in excess of 60 million autos, which is more than double the previous record set back in 2004 at 30.8 million units, shows an analysis of data on NHTSA’s website. The surge is mainly attributable to GM’s ignition switch debacle – the No. 1 US automaker alone recalled 27 million cars and trucks in the US in 2014, also a record for any auto company – and Takata’s airbag issues.