NHTSA announced that in 2012 manufactures filed more than 650 safety recalls which in essence affected more than 17,8 million vehicles, child safety seats, or vehicle equipment.
Most of the recalls were initiated by consumer complaints according to the announcement.
Many recalls are initiated by consumer complaints. In 2012, NHTSA received 41,912 complaints concerning potential safety defects, 49,417 in 2011, and 65,765 in 2010. "The role of the consumer in influencing auto recalls cannot be under-estimated," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. "Consumers are the lifeblood of the recall process and recalls are often the direct result of a government investigation into consumer complaints."