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Australia on track for record recalls in 2014

For the first time the number of calls recalled by manufacturers may eclipse the number of new cars sold in Australia.

Australia is on track for a record number of recalls this year – and it will be a close call to eclipse the number of new cars sold.

More than 1.1 million cars have been called back to dealers for rectification work that varies from serious (a brake failure) to silly (windscreen wipers).

And although 2014 is likely to be the first big sales dip since the Global Financial Crisis, the number of new car sold is also likely to top 1.1 million.

The last time more cars were recalled than sold in a year was 2001.

It's been a bad year for recalls globally too.

General Motors has recalled 2.59 million cars because of an ignition fault so far linked to at least 30 deaths, as part of a recall of 13.8 million cars this year for other ignition problems or keys slipping out of position.

But the biggest of all is the Takata airbag recall which has so far been linked to six deaths after shrapnel fired from the airbags.

It's a big problem because Takata supplies 20 per cent of the world's airbags and it has taken in cars made by Honda, Toyota, Mazda, BMW, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Chrysler, Ford and General Motors.

More than 18 million cars around the world have been recalled for the Takata airbag problem including 110,000 in Australia.

Meantime the dubious honour of most recalls this year is a dead heat between Holden and Jeep with a record 14 each. Never before has any brand recalled so many cars in one year.

Market leader Toyota was next with nine recalls ahead of Mitsubishi 8, Nissan 6, Ford 4, Volkswagen 4, Hyundai 3, Mazda 3, Land Rover 3 and Peugeot with 2.

Then again the year isn't quite over yet. There may be more.