Toyota Led Industry for Recalls in 2013, But Is There a Silver Lining?

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Toyota U S A Headquarters exteriors, Torrance, Ca.

There are certainly benefits to being the world’s largest automaker by volume, though as Toyota (NYSE:TM) is finding out, there are also drawbacks. When you’re making the most units of something, everything is big — big materials, big manufacturing, big supply networks, and when things go bad, big recalls.

Toyota was slapped with the dubious honor of leading the industry in recalls in 2013, having pulled back some 5 million units during the 12-month period. It wasn’t just Toyota, though — a government report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that automakers initiated more recalls than ever before in 2013, and Toyota happened to be leading the pack, Automotive News reports.

All told, 632 recall campaigns were executed in the United States in 2013, cumulatively covering 22 million vehicles, the report said. That’s a rather significant increase from 2012, when the collective industry launched 581 vehicle recalls covering 16.4 million vehicles.

It should be pointed out that motorcycles, heavy trucks, and buses were also covered in that figure, though light-duty passenger vehicles likely make up the bulk of the affected units. The largest 18 auto manufacturers were responsible for 184 recalls in the U.S. during the year, covering the vast majority of vehicles, at about 19.6 million.

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