With the recent news that Toyota was recalling nearly 2 million third generation Prius cars due to a software problem, here at Weekly Cover we decided to take a trip down memory lane and look at the biggest car recalls of all time.
1. Ford – 12 million vehicles, 2008
Back in February of 2008, problems with the cruise-control switch led the Ford Motor Company to recall a staggering 12 million Lincoln and Mercury SUVs, pickups, cars and vans from between 1993 and 2004.
It was a recall they had to reissue 7 months later, following slow owner response after 5 million remained unreported.
2. Ford – 8.6 million vehicles, 1996
The 2008 lesson should have been one that they learned 12 years earlier.
When almost 1,000 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles inexplicably burst into flames – many of which were just stationary in garages – the Ford Motor Company recalled 8.6 million vehicles that had been manufactured between 1988 and 1993. Combined, Ford had to recall over 20 million of the vehicles they produced during the 16 year period between 1988 and 2004.
3. General Motors – 6.7 million vehicles, 1971
The American automotive giant has had more than its fair share of vehicle recall disasters, but this one back in 1971 is the largest, when 6.7 million ’65-’69 model Camaro, Nova and Impalas had to be recalled due to faulty engine mounts. This problem would lead to uncontrolled acceleration when the rubber within the mount would deteriorate and cause the engine to shift, activating the throttle linkage.
4. Honda Motor Company – 3.7 million vehicles, 1995
Have you ever tried to get out of your car after parking up only to find that the seatbelt won’t release? Chances are you were driving one of the 3.7 million Honda Accord, Civic or Preludes which were recalled due to a deteriorating seatbelt release button.
Aside from providing a cause of frustration to owners, it was also a major safety issue should those cars be involved in an accident.
5. Volkswagen – 3.7 million vehicles, 1972
Neck and neck with Honda in terms of numbers, a problem with loose windscreen wipers led to a recall of 3.7 million Volkswagens that had been produced during a 20 year period between 1949 and 1969. It may sound like a minor issue, but imagine your windscreen wiper flying off during a snow or rain storm.