With an increase in recall activity for the second-straight quarter, 2021 ended up surpassing 2020 for the total number of automotive events (770 versus 739). A total of 209 product recalls were recorded in the fourth quarter of 2021, representing an eight-quarter high and a slight increase on the 207 recalls of the preceding quarter.
While the number of product recalls in the fourth quarter marginally increased, the number of affected units fell 22.7% to approximately 3.6 million. In total, there were 28.4 million recalled units in 2021, 43.7% less than in 2020, which saw 50.3 million.
As it has been for the last 10 consecutive quarters, ‘equipment’ was the leading category of product recall events in the fourth quarter. In terms of impacted units, ‘airbags’ once again led the categories. There were 16 airbag recalls involving a total of 827,198 units in the fourth quarter. While that is not an insignificant number, it is one recall event less, and nearly half of the 1.6 million airbags impacted in the preceding quarter.