Australia's best-selling car, the Holden Commodore, has certainly attracted more than its fair share – since 1998, the VT-VX models have been hit with 12 separate safety-related rectification programs.
Defending the number of recalls affecting the late-model Commodore, a Holden spokesman says the car is one of the most complex products a consumer can buy and involves a wide array of technologies and suppliers in its production.
"Holden, because of its profile and volume of sales, tends to attract a greater level of interest when recalls occur, which may generate a notion of greater activity in people's minds," he says.
"These initiatives should not simply be seen as a negative, but a response by the industry to customer care and customer service when situations arise that impact on the customer's product."
Even so, Holden chairman and managing director Peter Hanenberger is well aware that there's plenty of room for improvement in the quality control of the Commodore.
One of the most lurid was the propensity of some early VT electric seats to catch fire due to an unprotected wiring harness to the seat lifter motor, which led to short-circuits.
VT Commodore police cars were also recalled to fix a possible short-circuit in a seat cushion – another potential fire risk.
Other VT problems included a faulty airbag sensing and diagnostic module, which may have reduced the effectiveness of the restraint system, and bad welds on brake-pedal assemblies that could have broken, resulting in brake failure.
The 1999 VT Series II had a litany of safety-related problems. Incorrectly assembled steering gear may have caused unpredictable steering and a loss of control. The same model had welding faults in rear trailing arms, which could have resulted in a loss of control. Both arms were replaced.
Another recalled model is the HSV GTS300 – to fix an SRS (airbag) warning light.