Top 5 Largest Recalls Of All Time

by Aryn Plax

Aug 17, 2020

Recalls of large vehicle lineups occur after a defect is found to potentially endanger drivers.

Recalls are typically ordered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after complaints had been issued.

Sometimes, manufacturers will offer free repairs to the recalled vehicles.

Recalls can affect millions of cars across the United States.

Chris Flynn, writer for Hot Cars, listed the top 15 largest individual recalls of all time.

We narrowed that list down to the top five, organized by number of vehicles affected.

Man uses computer to diagnose car issue

1. Learn Roll Away

In 1980, Ford had to recall 21 million cars because they could shift out of parking mode and roll away. This defect was linked to 100 deaths and 6,000 accidents.

2. Way Past The Speed Limit

From 2009-2011, Toyota was embroiled in a scandal regarding cars that would randomly speed up to 100 miles per hour. Several recalls were associated with this scandal, bringing in a cumulative amount of at least 14.7 million vehicles in the United States alone.

3. Engine Would Just Switch Off

In 2005, General Motors had to recall 11.1 million cars in the United States for defective ignition switches that would switch off the engine. This defect is associated with at least 13 deaths.

4. Out-Of-Control Cars

General Motors had to recall about 6.4 million trucks in 1982 because of a bolt that could fall out of the vehicle, sending it out of control.

5. Bags Full Of Shrapnel

Honda recalled 6.3 million vehicles in 2015 for faulty airbags that exploded and sent shrapnel outward. The defect was linked to 11 deaths.