How dangerous does a vehicle need to be in order to be recalled? It turns out that even if a defective vehicle or a defective automotive part hasn’t caused any injuries or deaths, it can and should still be recalled if it has the potential to injure or kill someone in the future.
In the past (and even sometimes to this day) automotive companies would not make known defects public. Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Authority (NHTSA) holds automakers accountable and ensures they are all held to the same safety standards. If an automotive defect is dangerous enough to be a threat to public health, the affected vehicles will be recalled (sometimes including millions of vehicles!) or the specific part will be fixed for free by the manufacturer.
This timeline from YourLawyer.com reveals the biggest automobile recalls of all time.