Narrowly beating runner-up Ford, with 4,521,993 units, due to a cruise control issue, the recalls have left a serious dent in the reputation of a manufacturer that, until now, typified automotive quality and reliability.
Of those 4.87 million recalls, 4.3 million were a direct result of an unintended acceleration problem with some Toyota and Lexus vehicles.
Toyota's recalls come at a time where unprecedented high numbers of recalls plague the industry average. Last year saw just 8.6 million recalls whereas the industry combined for 15.2 million recalls in 2009.
Toyota and Ford vehicles sold in Australia were not affected by these recalls.