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Toyota tops all others for recalls in 2009

by Drew Johnson

Toyota has built a solid reputation for quality and reliability over the past several decades, but that streak hit the skids in 2009. Marking a first for the Japanese automaker, Toyota lead the industry in safety recalls during 2009.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Toyot's 9 safety recalls involving 4,872,583 was tops in the industry this year. Toyota narrowly beat out Ford's 4,521,993 recalled vehicles to take the title of most recalled automaker for the first time in company history.

Of those 4.87 million recalls, 4.3 million were a direct result of an unintended acceleration problem with some Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Toyota was forced to issue the recall after a fiery crash tragically claimed the lives of four family members.

On the whole, the industry saw a marked increase in the number of recalls. Last year saw just 8.6 million recalls whereas the industry combined for 15.2 million recalls in 2009.

The Detroit Three also saw an increase of recalls this year, although the story is a bit skewed. Ford's second highest recall rate was due cruise control issue that plagued older vehicles, but absent of that, the Blue Oval would have set a company low for recalls.

Toyota also took home one other company first in 2009 - the company's first operating loss.