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In A Year of Record Sales… US Auto Industry Recalls Soar To Record Levels

While the US auto industry is flying high at sales levels not seen since 2003, it is also besieged by controversy.

2014 began with millions of faulty ignition switch recalls of GM vehicles, linked last week to a total of 42 deaths and 58 injuries in a report by GM appointed claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg.

The recall of 7.8 million vehicles in the US from 10 automakers including American, German and Asian brands, for lethally defective airbags, shines a light on the challenges of the globalized parts marketplace.

The rate of US auto recalls is double previous highs posted in 2004 with some 700 issued on more than 60 million vehicles. Though it is worth noting that many recalls are administrative and mandated by claims mitigation guidelines, critics associate the increase with laxity in oversight industry-wide as car companies revel in a boisterous recovery.

A perceived lapse in government oversight is being addressed by the anticipated Senate approval of the highly respected Mark Rosekind as boss of the industry watchdog National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, which has been without a permanent Administrator for a year.

This is George Polgar of GT Marketing for KYW News Radio