US: record recall numbers on fast approach image

Looks like 2014 is shaping up to be the year of recalls in the US, and to a little extent in the rest of the world as well. With the latest callbacks from Ford, the tally is fast approaching the negative record of 2004.

Yesterday, Ford, the second biggest US automaker announced new recalls for around 1.4 million cars – a round of actions that would usually go almost unnoticed – but this is no ordinary year. Ever since GM triggered its well known recall for 2.6 million cars equipped with defective ignition switches, all other automakers seem to have also found a new love for checking and double-checking their problems, in a strive to avoid the embarrassment, public outcry and, of course, federal probing that GM saw with its mistreatment of a recall of cars associated to at least 13 deaths.

Now, with the 1.4 million cars in Ford’s actions, the US tally is fast approaching the internal recall record set in 2004, when 30.4 million vehicles were serviced for different problems.

“It is tough to say if recalls from past vehicles has already peaked, as the team has not yet completed mining the data,” says about GM Brian Johnson, an analyst with Barclays. “Also, it is possible that GM may issue further recalls for vehicles which have already been recalled.”

The recalls from automakers implicated on the US market are swiftly coming up now, as US and Canadian safety regulators are now pressuring companies to reveal current and past problems to avoid a repeat of the GM scandal.