U.S. Auto Recalls Slow in 2017 From Takata-Boosted Pace

By Ryan Beene | March 9, 2018

The number of U.S. vehicles recalled for safety or technical defects plummeted in 2017 after several years of record levels amid major auto safety crises.

Manufacturers recalled about 30.7 million vehicles last year, down 42 percent from a record of 53 million in 2016, according to figures released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Thursday. Vehicle manufacturers conducted 813 recall campaigns last year, down from 924 callbacks the year before.

Recalls had hovered at around 50 million vehicles per year from 2014 through 2016, fueled by major auto-defect cases including faulty ignition switches in millions of General Motors Co. vehicles and Takata Corp. airbags that were found to explode in crashes.

In a statement, NHTSA said a variety of factors can cause annual recall figures to fluctuate, including if a recalled part is used by multiple manufacturers, such as in the Takata campaigns, and when defects are discovered.

In all, some 65 million defective Takata inflators are slated to be recalled through at least the end of 2018 under a NHTSA plan to replace the faulty parts in phases. The defective inflators have been linked to at least 13 U.S. deaths and hundreds of injuries.

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