Car recalls can be a big inconvenience. Automakers are using technology to change that

utomotive recalls have been running at or near record levels in recent years. Last year, around 31 million vehicles were recalled for safety-related problems in the U.S., more than twice as many as in 2010, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA. Government data show that a growing share of the recalls involve glitches in the software controlling the fast-expanding array of onboard computer systems. And, in many cases, it’s now becoming possible to fix these problems remotely.