2014: Year of the Most Automobile Recalls Ever
A Ford announcement today recalling more than 200,000 of its vehicles for everything from gas leaks to stalling problems helped solidify 2014's place as the year of the most-ever automobile recalls.
Automakers have issued more than 550 recalls for more than 52 million vehicles, according to the Associated Press. The previous record, set in 2004, was 30.8 million recalled automobiles.
Ed Hellwig of the auto website Edmunds.com attributed the record-breaking number to automakers issuing recalls at a higher rate to deal with even the smallest of issues.
"The cars, in terms of quality, are better than ever," Hellwig said. "I think all manufacturers are being more diligent."
General Motors has recalled a whopping 26 million cars this year - even though it has sold only 14 million in the last five years. And many cars under recalls are still carrying defects.
The GM ignition switch, which can cut off power to some moving cars, resulted in a recall of 2.3 million cars on the road. More than half now have a new switch, but that leaves more than 1 million cars still needing a repair. GM has said it has parts available.
The automaker also suggested that drivers take the extra keys off their keychain.
Airbag maker Takata Industries is also scrambling to make millions of replacement parts.
The defective inflator in some of its airbags can explode with too much force, shattering the metal into shards that, car safety advocates say, are believed to have killed four people and caused dozens of injuries.
Many customers have been forced to wait, driving vehicles that could have a dangerous airbag.
In GM's case, it said it was reaching out to customers, trying to get them in to replace ignition switches.
The automaker had even offered $25 gift cards to drivers with affected cars.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.