The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that recalls for automobiles and light trucks in 2008 were down 30% from 2007. Carmakers issued recalls on 10.2 million vehicles in 2008, the lowest yearly amount since 1994, the NHTSA says.
When a problem is found with a vehicle, the automaker will launch a recall campaign bringing every car or truck that could be affected in to dealerhips to repair or replace defective parts. While the total number of vehicles recalled was down, the number of recall campaigns was up. Automakers issued 642 recall campaigns in 2008, up 9% from the 588 in 2007.
The low number of cars and trucks recalled is most likely because of improvements in monitoring problems in vehicles, according to The Detroit News. Because automakers are catching problems more quickly than ever, they can fix most problems before they affect a large number of consumers. Being able to quickly catch problems lets automakers fix problems early in a production run, lowering the number of vehicles affected.
"We’re working to get more information from manufacturers and customers earlier," David Kelly, acting NHTSA administrator said. "Manufacturers don’t want to be labeled as having an unsafe car. They are paying attention."