General Motors today releases a document detailing the automaker’s recall activity so far this year, which has ballooned to 15.8 million vehicles in North America amid fallout from an ignition-switch defect linked to 13 deaths and 47 crashes.

The document (attached below) marks an unusual step for an automaker. The information is available to the public and the media at a special website operated by NHTSA, but GM spokesman Alan Adler says given its recall activity this year the automaker felt compelled to publish an accurate list and will update the totals regularly.

“This will be the gold standard” for GM recall information, Adler tells WardsAuto. “The idea is to have everyone on the same page. We think it’s the right thing to do.”

Keeping tabs on GM’s recalls this year has amounted to following a moving target. As the automaker’s safety scrutiny has accelerated after the ignition-switch scandal, GM has begun calling back vehicles to fix problems perhaps once seen as innocuous.

For example, a recall campaign issued earlier this month on the ’14 Cadillac CTS sedan targets a relatively modest 19,225 vehicles sold in the U.S. to repair wiper systems that may become inoperable if the car is jump-started and the wiper arms are impeded by ice or snow.

Two other safety campaigns target fewer than 60 vehicles.

But after it was revealed earlier this year that GM dragged its feet in recalling 2.6 million small cars built between the ’03 and ’10 model years despite reports of deaths and crashes linked to the defective ignition switch the automaker stepped up its reporting procedures.

GM has gone so far as to reorganize its global engineering group and form a unit focused exclusively on safety with a new safety czar. Results of an internal investigation into why the recall took so long should be made public within weeks, and GM is examining how it might compensate victims involved in crashes linked to the part.

According to today’s document, GM has issued 29 safety campaigns through May 21, calling back 13.8 million vehicles in the U.S. and 15.8 million in North America, including exports.

jamend@wardsauto.com