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2014 was a record year for auto recalls in the U.S.

Depending on your point of view, this has either been a very good or very bad year for automobile recalls. Bad, in the sense that automakers issued recalls for a record number of cars and trucks in 2014. Good, in the sense that millions of vehicles with serious defects were taken off the road for repairs before they could injure someone.

With two months left to go in the year, a total of 56 million cars and trucks have been recalled since the beginning of 2014, TIME reports. The car company with the highest-profile series of recalls was probably General Motors, who was forced to recall millions of its products due to faulty ignition switches. The seemingly minor defect has led to at least 13 deaths in car accidents, by causing vehicles to suddenly shut down.

GM is far from the only company to issue big recalls this year. In October alone, Toyota recalled about 2 million vehicles in two separate actions. Some of the vehicles had defective airbags. Ford also recalled 700,000 vehicles earlier this year due to airbag problems.

Owners are supposed to receive notice in the mail if their vehicle is subject to a recall. The letter will have the National Highway Traffic Safety emblem on it and the words “safety recall notice” printed on it. The NHTSA also offers owners the chance to check on its website if your auto has been recalled. A page on its site lets you search by your car’s vehicle identification number.

You can also use the site to search the VIN of a used car you are thinking of buying. One estimate holds that 3.5 million vehicles listed for sale in 2013 had unfixed defects.

Hopefully, auto makers will take this year as a lesson to be more careful when designing and making their products in the future.

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