The National Highway Traffic safety Administration (NHTSA) announced today that automakers filed more than 650 recall campaigns in 2012, affecting over 17.8 million vehicles, vehicle equipment and child-safety seats.
NHTSA reports that most of last year’s recalls were initiated by consumer safety complaints, which have declined from the number in 2010 and 2011. Last year consumers filed 41,912 safety complaints – down more than 36 percent since 2010.
“The role of the consumer in influencing auto recalls cannot be under-estimated,” NHTSA administrator David Strickland said in a press release. “Consumers are the lifeblood of the recall process and recalls are often the direct result of a government investigation into consumer complaints.”
Despite that, there were actually more vehicles recalled this year than in 2011. NHTSA data shows that there were about 15.5 million recalls in 2011.
Among those recalled, the 2013 Ford Escape crossover (pictured above), which is all-new for the 2013 model year, saw several recalls last year including a fire risk that prompted Ford to advise owners to stop driving their Escapes immediately.