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Car Manufacturers With The Most Recalls

  • Auto recalls are on the rise, with the United States Department of Transportation reporting a shocking 927 recalls, impacting 53.2 million vehicles, in 2016. It's impossible to predict which manufacturer will release concerning information next; even those with stellar safety ratings regularly issue recalls. That being said, some automakers are more prone to recalls than others. The following car manufacturers have faced the most recalls in recent years:


    Outside of non-luxury Volkswagen cars, Chyrsler issues the most recalls. A notable iSeeCars study drawing on three decades of NHTSA data observed a recall rate of 1,422 for every 1,000 Chrysler vehicles sold between 1985 and 2016. That's right — the manufacturer recalled more vehicles than it sold. This high rate can be attributed to multiple recalls targeting the same cars. Recent recalls involve engine stalling, airbag inflation issues, and brake switch malfunctions. 


    Although known for their advanced safety features, Honda vehicles suffer recalls on a regular basis. Between January 1985 and September 2016, Honda sold 35,276,710 vehicles and recalled 46,117,074 for a total recall rate of 1,307 per 1,000 cars. Recently, ConsumerAffairs reported a major Honda recall of 700,000 vehicles for airbag issues. The manufacturer also recalled several Odysseys due to tipping second-row seats.


    With a recall rate of 1,266 per 1,000 vehicles, Hyundai owners should be prepared to receive notification of faulty parts. While recalls often target newer cars, older vehicles are far from immune. For example, in early 2018, Hyundai recalled 88,000 cars due to electrical shorts. Affecting the antilock brake system, these shorts could lead to engine compartment fires. USA Today reports that the recall primarily targeted 2006 Sonatas and Azeras produced between 2006 and 2011. 

    Volkswagen Group

    Volkswagen presents something of a mixed bag for recall rates. While research suggests that luxury brand Porsche boasts the lowest recall rate in a three-decade period, Volkswagen's non-luxury vehicles saw the highest recall rate during that time. Between 1985 and 2016, Volkswagen sold 7,415,150 vehicles and recalled 13,381,639. The total recall rate: an astounding 1,805 per 1,000 vehicles sold. 


    Why Are So Many Vehicles Being Recalled?

    Recall rates are currently at an all-time high. Although the average across the 31 years of iSeeCars' study reached just 1,115 recalls per 1,000 vehicles, that figure has shot up to an astounding 2,380 recalls per 1,000 units sold in the last five years. Often, a single recall simultaneously impacts several manufacturers, which tend to share suppliers for specific parts. For example, Takata Corp's defective airbags affected millions of vehicles from a variety of manufacturers. 

    Record highs in recall rates don't necessarily indicate that cars are more dangerous now than in the past. Oversight from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has increased dramatically in recent years, with the Department of Justice often involved in cases related to vehicle safety. Consumer advocacy groups are also increasingly placing pressure on automakers. Eager to avoid steep fines such as the $1.2 billion Toyota faced in 2014, automakers have ramped up their self-policing efforts. By initiating recalls, they hope to catch problems early and avoid bad publicity. 

    Given the prevalence of recalls among the Volkswagen Group, Honda, Hyundai, Chrysler, and several other manufacturers, vigilance is imperative among vehicle owners. Keep an eye out for recalls and seek assistance immediately if any are issued. Abiding by recall requests will reduce your risk of injury and increase your likelihood of securing damages if you later file a personal injury lawsuit