"These numbers are getting incredibly large and so it can't be that all of these issues have been festering in the system for so long and they have not been surfaced," Marchionne said on "Squawk on the Street." "So there is a change in attitude. Whether all that change is justified or not is unclear to me."
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Ensuring a car's safety is obviously important, but automakers have become so stringent in their inspections that even concerns about customer satisfaction now warrant recalls, Marchionne said.
"Some of these recalls may not be safety related and if we're covering every ounce of risk in covering areas that are really not related to the operation of the vehicle—they're being done for customer satisfaction issues like this—we're giving the business the wrong reputation," Marchionne said. "I mean it's not as if we can't make cars anymore. It can't be that all of the sudden we woke up and we realized that we made defective cars."
Marchionne said it remains to be seen whether all of these auto recalls will deter people from buying cars, but he added the U.S. customer is "very strong" right now.
—By CNBC's Drew Sandholm.