Normally, I would provide some type of analysis on the topic at hand, but for this post I’m just going to post a bunch of graphs. I haven’t been able to ascertain a story from the data I’ve been fuddling with, so rather than throwing the Excel files in the Recycle Bin I thought I’d post them here.

This data comes directly from NHTSA (as of Nov 13, 2014). I filtered out certain categories such as; tires, trailers, motorcycles and RVs. I did this because I wanted to keep this data set as focused on automakers (i.e. cars, trucks, minivans, hatchbacks, wagons) as I could.


GM is #1 in terms of vehicles recalled in 2014. Nothing newsworthy here.

Recalls-Chart-1This is the “holy #($* that’s a lot of recalls” chart.

Recalls-Chart-2Here we have the count of unique recall campaigns by year. Again, 2014 leads by a large margin in terms of total number of campaigns. Sitting aside the mild anomalies in 2000 and 2004 there appear to be a natural rise-and-fall around every 5-6 years, which is also the same time frame between vehicle models.  One might make the conclusion that new vehicles = new problems. That would be an interesting piece of data to explore further.

Recalls-Chart-3I’m bad at math, really bad – like how do I make this number a fraction bad, but Excel is very good at math. This graph (if I did it right) should indicate how many cars per recall campaign are affected. Why is that important? .

Well one might assume that as we get further down the road of homogenization / modular vehicle platforms we could see a larger number of vehicles covered under a single campaign. Then again wouldn’t the old days of badge engineering would have resulted in the same? This is another topic-to-watch.

End of the Graph Train

Keep in mind, I’m not a data scientist (but if you are please contact me, OK?).  This is the best I could do with the data I had in the spare time that I had (while not at work, changing baby diapers or raking the 47 million leaves in my yard).

So there you have it. The year Twenty Fourteen will go down as the Year of the Recall.

At least until 2015 arrives…