Newsweek.com has a great profile of famous corporate recalls through the years.
The automotive highlights:
1. Ford Pinto, 1978
2. Ford Ignitions, 1996
From Newsweek: Ford recalled 8.6 million cars and trucks in 1996 after reports that their ignition switches were catching fire. More than 1,000 blazes had resulted in 21 injuries—two of them serious—across a spectrum of Ford vehicles in the 1988 through 1993 model years, from the Taurus to F-150 pickups to the Mustang.
3. Firestone Tires, 2000
From Newsweek: The flaw caused an estimated 200 deaths and thousands of injuries. As a result, Ford said it would replace Firestones on 13 million vehicles, while Firestone itself recalled 6.5 million tires.
4. Toyota, 2009
From Newsweek: Toyota first issued a recall for more than 4 million vehicles in November 2009, saying that flawed floormats on the driver’s side of some cars were causing the accelerator pedals to become stuck, potentially causing accidents when the vehicles couldn’t stop.