This paper examines patterns and trends in motor vehicle safety recalls using a dataset based on 23.1 million vehicles registered in the UK between 1992 and 2002. A safety recall occurs when vehicle manufacturers call vehicles that have been sold and are in use back to their dealership for safety-related remedial work. Safety recalls can be costly for car makers, and potentially harmful to brand and image. The data show that the incidence of vehicle recalls has been increasing between 1998 and 2002 there was an average of over 120 recall incidents per annum in the UK, compared to less than 50 per annum between 1992 and 1994. Total numbers of vehicles recalled show no trend over time, but absolute level of recalls year on year is very high: 10.8 million vehicles were recalled during 1992-2002, representing 47% of all vehicle registrations in the period. Moreover, there are substantial differences in recall rates between different car manufacturers, suggesting that recall rates may be a useful final indicator of process performance in the car design-and-production chain. European and American producers have recall rates that are nearly three times greater than their East Asian counterparts. This paper offers some suggestions for corporate differences in propensity to recall, and concludes with an agenda for further research. A later version of this paper will be published in Omega Vol. 35, Issue 2, April 2007: 202-210. For further details please click here.