Car Recalls: An Overview of Major Car Recalls in the Past Year

January 27, 2011 Updated: February 8, 2011

With Japan-based car manufacturer Toyota Motor Corp. last Wednesday announcing a new product recall of 1.7 million vehicles provoked by faulty fuel pressure sensors in, among other models, it's North American Lexus IS and GS luxury sedans, concerns are growing over the rising number of car recalls in the industry.

Let us take a look at some of the major recalls in the past 12 months.

Starting early February 2010, Toyota, the world's biggest automaker by volume, kicked off the trend with a recall concerning the faulty brake pedal in its popular hybrid Prius, affecting about 400,000 cars.

The recall, which put Toyota under investigation by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, came after customers reported inconsistent brake feel on rough or slippery surfaces. Instead of a mechanical problem, it was caused by software control, the company said.

Next in line came Honda Motor Co. with a massive worldwide recall of its Odyssey and Element models in March, affecting about 412,000 products. The recall occurred after growing concerns over dysfunctional brake pedals.

Then, in May, Ford Motor Co. recalled 200,000 Ford Focus models over concerns with the cars' ignition systems, breaking the record for the largest auto recall in China. Ford, Japan’s Mazda Motor Corp., and China’s Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. jointly made the vehicles.

In October, Toyota again recalled 1.53 million Lexus, Avalon, and Highlander models after discovering brake problems in multiple countries. Customers were notified by first-class mail of a free replacement of the leaky master cylinder seals.

BMW recalled 130,000 cars with pump problems in the same month.

General Motors Corp. announced a recall of 27,000 trucks and SUVs over axle cross pin concerns in December 2010 and January 2011. In addition to the issue of cross pins, which the automaker said may crack due to heat, customers also reported rear axle power loss.