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The Most Recalled Car of 2007: Volkswagen Beetle

Vehicle sales figure for 2007 is predicted to be 16.1 million units and almost equaling this figure is the number of recalls each automaker made for several of their models together.

Last August, Ford announced that they will be recalling their 3.6 million vehicles, mostly in the truck segment from the 1990s model years. The massive recalls were due to defects in the speed control deactivation switch. Similarly, brake light problems have resulted in Volkswagen recalling 1,000,000 units of the Volkswagen Beetle from 2001 to 2007 model years making it the most recalled vehicle model for the year. For Toyota, the 2004-2006 Tundra and the 2004-2007 Sequoia were recalled due to problems in the lower ball joint on the vehicle’s front suspension.

These past few years, almost all automaker have issued vehicle recalls. “Now almost any time you pick up a newspaper, there is a recall,” said Tom Libby, senior director of industry analysis at J.D. Power & Associates in Troy, Michigan.

Even a Ferrari worth $168,000 is not an exception to defective vehicles. In the early months of 2007, the Italian luxury sports car maker recalled 216 of its 2005 and 2006 models of the F430 coupe and spider models. The vehicles were detected to have faulty clutch pumps. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the defect “could result in a reduction in a driver’s ability to shift gears while driving and result in a crash.”

We may wonder that if every year, vehicle quality is upgraded, then why are recalls also rising? According to auto experts, the incidents are due to automakers sharing platforms and parts, therefore increasing the chances that a defective part be used in various models causing problems to all of it. On the other side, Libby said that recalls could be taken as a sign that the automakers are exerting extra efforts to solve vehicle problems, thereby protecting its consumers.

Recalls can be a stain to a vehicle’s brand and model. It may give the consumers the idea that they bought a “lemon” and it is known to all that recalls can be ammunition to product liability attorneys for lawsuits.

“This stuff gets amplified a great deal because there are certain lawyers waiting to use this information, and they are out there actively looking for new business on a class action basis,” VW spokesman Keith Price said.

This year the most recalled vehicles are: Volkswagen New Beetle (with Volkswagen Beetle distributor rotor), Toyota Tundra and Sequoia, Jeep Liberty, Nissan Altima, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Nitro, Suzuki Forenza and Reno, Volkswagen Passat and Passat Wagon, Lexus ES 350 and Chrysler Sebring.

About the Author

Anthony Fontanelle is a 35-year-old automotive buff who grew up in the Windy City. He does freelance work for an automotive magazine when he is not busy customizing cars in his shop.

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