There are no bad cars, there are bad manufacturers…

by Mary on November 20, 2014

Vehicle recall is a rather painful process both for car owners and carmakers. Of course, it’s time consuming and not comfortable to take your car for repairs or replacement, however it’s necessary for your family’s safety, especially when some major defects are revealed. So car owner’s motivation is obvious. Now let’s look at the problem from the manufacturer’s point of view.

Such recalls affect both manufacturer’s reputation and pocket. Just imagine you are a big multinational with operations all over the world, you have planned, budgeted and produced a car (that took a lot of time, effort, tests and money) and now you have to recall thousands and thousands of cars because of a single mistake. Sounds like a nightmare, right? So why would automakers do that?

Because they are very responsible people and truly care about their customer. Well, maybe… But I am more pessimistic about that. I would rather believe that they are afraid of far worse consequences that those defects may lead to. Make a simple choice, what would you rather deal with: a group of grumpy customers bringing back their cars for repairs and a little shaken reputation? Or hundreds of lemon law claims, accidents, injuries, deaths…

Some manufacturers identify the problem themselves and act before any big law claims or accidents happen, others (the majority) wait until they are forced to do so.

Here are top 5 car recalls in history:

5) February 1981, General Motors

GM recalled its cars because thanks to a defect on loose suspension bolt, the driver would lose control over the car. Over 5 million cars were recalled, mostly Chevrolet Malibu.

4) January 2010, Toyota
There was a major defect in the gas pedals of Toyota Corollas. The pedal would stick down during acceleration, so the driver couldn’t stop the car. This caused 31 deaths and 9 million vehicles being recalled.

3) 1996, Ford

Back in 1996 Ford Rangers had a bad habit of going into flames with no reason after they were put in park. As a result, people faced burnt houses and Ford faced an issue of recalling nearly 8 million vehicles. Fortunately no one died.

2) 1971, General Motors

The engine mount is a small, but very essential part: it connects the engine to the car frame. It is made out of metal or rubber. In 60s some General Motor cars’ engine mounts would erode due to law quality rubber. This led to 63 accidents and 18 injuries. GM recalled 6.7 million cars for a quick $30 repair. Just imagine, spending 30$ more on each car beforehand would prevent all those accidents.

1) October 1970 – 80, Ford

The largest car recall involved 21 million Ford vehicles. The car would appear in park and immediately slip into reverse mode. This caused 6000 accidents and 1710 injuries. After National Highway Traffic Administration received over 23,000 complaints they forced Ford to act upon the issue.

I just want to say that had the car manufacturers bigger hearts, many lives would have been happier and longer.



Hi, I'm a blogger passionate about all topics law, consumer rights, education and more.

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