The number of vehicles recalled rose more than 25 percent in 2007, but the biggest recalls mostly involved older models, the Detroit News reported.
Overall, 14.2 million vehicles were recalled this year, compared to 11.2 million in 2006. But that's still well below the 30.8 million recalled in 2004, according to preliminary figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
This year's increase can be attributed largely to a jump at Ford Motor Co., which recalled 5.5 million vehicles this year, the Detroit News reported. About 4.8 million of those were from 2004 and earlier model years. Most were recalled for the cruise control deactivation switch the automaker has been dealing with for years.
The other top five automakers saw their recall numbers decline. GM recalled 537,992 vehicles as of Dec. 21, a 61 percent drop from 1.37 million in 2006. Honda Motor Co. saw a 54 percent decrease to 547,215 vehicles, from 1.19 million in 2006. Chrysler LLC and Toyota Motor Corp. also recalled fewer vehicles.
Volkswagen of America recalled 1.5 million vehicles, mostly by expanding recalls of parts used in multiple vehicles.