General Motors' recall of 8.4 million vehicles worldwide on Monday helped U.S. automakers secure a record none of them want to be part of: the most vehicles ever recalled in a single year — and in just six months.
The new total is 39.85 million vehicles, surpassing the previous record of 33.01 million in 2004. GM's latest announcement covers six new recall campaigns — bringing to more than 40 the total number of separate safety-related service actions it has taken this year.
Read MoreGM announces 6 new recalls
GM alone has been responsible for the recall of more than 26 million vehicles since January. By comparison, the entire industry called back just 27.96 million vehicles last year.
GM is far from the only maker having some serious safety headaches. Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mazda recalled more than 5 million vehicles worldwide in June due to airbag problems. And a half million or more Nissan and Ram vehicles are now under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration due to various reports of trouble.
—By Mike Strong, NBC News