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Visualized: 40 Years of U.S. Automobile Recalls

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Open the large interactive version here automobile recalls in the U.S. from 1983 to 2022

Open the large interactive version here automobile recalls in the U.S. from 1983 to 2022

Visualized: 40 Years of Automobile Recalls in the U.S.

In early February 2023, Honda issued a “Do Not Drive” warning for around 8,200 older cars equipped with the infamous Takata airbags.

These faulty airbags, installed by 19 different automakers including BMW and Toyota from 2002 to 2015, can explode when deployed and have led to numerous tragic accidents. Their recall affected 67 million airbags (including Honda’s vehicles above) and has been known as the largest safety recall in U.S. history.

Over the past four decades, there have been over 22,000 automobile recalls in the United States.

In this interactive piece, Chimdi Nwosu uses data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to visualize the types of automobile recalls over the past 40 years, the companies with the most recalls, the components that were recalled the most, and, most importantly, their impacts on people.

Breaking Down U.S. Automobile Recalls

Whether a recall affects specific vehicle components, equipment, or vehicles as a whole, it affects the lives of millions of automobile users.

When combined, these numbers ramp up exponentially. The U.S. alone has seen a total of 22,651 recalls over the past 40 years, impacting more than one billion people.

Recall Type# of U.S. Recalls (1983‒2022)People Affected
Vehicle19,686776.42M
Equipment2,303207.51M
Tire44236.53M
Car Seat22060.39M
Total22,6511,080.84M

Almost 72% of these people were affected by nearly 20,000 vehicle recalls, while around 19% were impacted by over 2,000 equipment recalls during this period. Comparatively, the 442 tire recalls and 220 child seat recalls affected significantly less, but still a total of 96.9 million people.

While an inconvenience to many, the recall of these faulty vehicle parts saves many more from unfortunate incidents that may have occurred if left unchecked.

Minor and Major Recalls

One of the largest recalls in history took place in 2014 when General Motors—the manufacturer with the highest total of recalls in four decades—recalled millions of vehicles including the 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalt, 2007 Pontiac G5, and 2006-2007 Chevrolet HHR, amongst others.

RankTop Manufacturer by
Recalls
# of U.S. Recalls (1983‒2022)
1General Motors1,237
2Ford1,056
3Chrysler909
4Forest River480
5Daimler Trucks474
6BMW463
7Volkswagen435
8Mercedes-Benz378
9Honda377
10Blue Bird359

The reason for this recall was a faulty ignition switch that caused the vehicle’s engine to shut down while driving, disabling safety systems including airbags. This fault led to the death of hundreds of people.

However, not all recalls are this severe. BMW, for example, recalled just four vehicles in December last year because one of the four bolts in the driver’s backrest was not attached properly.

Similarly in 2020, Ford recalled some of its vehicles due to a faulty door latch. While this recall inconvenienced over two million users, it was less likely to lead to severe consequences if left unchecked.

A Safer Future?

The number of automobile recalls over the past four decades has seen a steep rise. As have car safety standards.

While recalls could hint at the risks involved in taking your car out for a drive, they also indicate manufacturers taking responsibility for their faulty commodities, and affect a very small percentage of vehicles on the road.

To improve automobile safety, the NHTSA proposed a New Car Assessment Program in 2022, which provides vehicle users with safety ratings for every new vehicle. This five-star safety rating program rates the vehicles’ safety features, crashworthiness, and resistance to rollover.

With self-driving cars now also entering the mix, we need to stay informed about vehicle safety to keep our vehicles, our streets, and ourselves safe in the future.

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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Energy

Visualizing Saudi Aramco’s Massive Oil Reserves

Saudi Aramco controls almost 259 billion barrels worth of oil and gas reserves.

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Visualizing Saudi Aramco’s Massive Oil Reserves

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Saudi Aramco controls 259 billion barrels worth of oil and gas reserves, which is unmatched by any other company globally. This is a key factor in the company’s massive $1.8 trillion valuation.

To illustrate that, this chart compares the proved reserves of major oil companies as of 2022. Data was compiled by Statista from various company reports.

Crown Jewel

Saudi Aramco is the national oil company of Saudi Arabia. As of 2024, it is the sixth-largest company in the world by market capitalization.

Its oil reserves are over four times bigger than the reserves of all the other six companies on our list combined.

CompanyProved reserves (billion barrels of oil equivalent)
Saudi Aramco258.8
ExxonMobil17.7
Chevron11.2
Total Energies10.2
Shell9.6
BP7.2
Eni6.6

Behind Saudi Aramco, American company ExxonMobil comes in second with 17.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent, followed by another American company, Chevron, with 11.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

Saudi Aramco produces 9 million barrels of oil a day, more than any other firm and nearly a tenth of the world’s total.

In addition, the state-run oil giant is the world’s most profitable company, generating $722 billion in profits between 2016 and 2023.

Saudi Aramco is also expected to play a big part in Saudi Arabia’s plans to diversify its economy and reduce oil dependence. Recently, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman confirmed that the kingdom is in talks to sell a 1% stake in the state oil giant, which could help fund the country’s projects in clean energy and technology.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out this graphic, which ranks oil production by country.

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