What Cars Have the Highest Recall Rates?

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Did you know that the government recalls over 30 million vehicles every year––which is almost three times the number of new cars that were produced during the same period? The government and auto manufacturers both must keep drivers, passengers, and anyone near a vehicle safe, and unfortunately, because cars are such complex machines, this often is not possible the first time around. Recently, Toyota vehicles have had to be recalled for sudden and unexpected acceleration, and GM has had faulty ignition switches, to name two.

Though you might be familiar with some of the most public recall incidents in recent years, you might be surprised by the cars that are impacted more and less than others by recalls. It is impossible to predict the future, but the past is a good indicator. Taking car recalls into consideration before buying a new vehicle is a wise decision.

Why Are Vehicles Recalled? 

A vehicle recall campaign is initiated when either the manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determines that a vehicle or a part of a car creates a severe safety risk to drivers, passengers, and others on the road. Unfortunately, this process takes place more often than one would expect. It is usually one that manufacturers comply with, and they are required to offer a refund, provide a replacement part or vehicle, or fix the problem. The government provides a national registry using VIN lookup that can help you access any recall information.

It is important to pay close attention to auto recalls so you can get your vehicle taken care of as soon as possible.

What Is The Recall Rate? 

It is never a good thing when a vehicle is recalled, and companies try to avoid having to do this at all costs. For this article, the recall rate is the annual number of recall campaigns per 100,000 vehicles sold. We are only taking into consideration cars that have model years 2013-2017, the past five years. 

The average recall rate across all vehicles made in 2013-2017 and sold in the United States is 0.79, which means that each year, for every 100,000 cars that are sold, there is fewer than one campaign to pull the vehicles off of the road because of an issue caused by the manufacturer. A higher than average recall rate means that the car is pulled off the road more often than other vehicles, and a lower than average recall rate means that the vehicle is pulled off the road less often. 

Vehicles With The Highest Recall Rates

These cars are recalled most often among all cars sold in the United States that were produced between 2013 and 2017. The data is from a new study by automotive research firm iSeeCars.com.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class 

Recall rate: 5.77

Compared to average: +7.3 times above average

GMC Sierra

Recall rate: 3.25

Compared to average: 4.1 times above average

BMW ¾ Series

Recall rate: 2.95

Compared to average: 3.7 times above average

Dodge Durango

Recall rate: 2.71

Compared to average: 3.4 times above average

Nissan Pathfinder 

Recall rate: 2.00

Compared to average: 2.5 times above average

Ram Pickup 

Recall rate: 1.99

Compared to average: 2.5 times above average

Toyota 4Runner

Recall rate: 1.98

Compared to average: 2.5 times above average

Dodge Charger 

Recall rate: 1.74

Compared to average: 2.2 times above average

Chrysler 300

Recall rate: 1.71

Compared to average: 2.2 times above average

Chevrolet Tahoe

Recall rate: 1.52

Compared to average: 1.9 times above average

Lowest Recall Rates

These cars are recalled least often among all vehicles sold in the United States that were produced between 2013 and 2017. 

Hyundai Accent

Recall rate: 0.10

Compared to average: one-tenth of the average rate

Chevrolet Equinox

Recall rate: 0.11

Compared to average: one-tenth of the average rate

Toyota Corolla

Recall rate: 0.12

Compared to average: one-tenth of the average rate

Honda Civic

Recall rate: 0.14

Compared to average: two-tenths of the average rate

Honda CR-V

Recall rate: 0.14

Compared to average: two-tenths of the average rate

Honda Accord

Recall rate: 0.16

Compared to average: two-tenths of the average rate

Subaru Crosstrek

Recall rate: 0.18

Compared to average: two-tenths of the average rate

Toyota Camry

Recall rate: 0.23

Compared to average: three-tenths of the average rate

Hyundai Elantra

Recall rate: 0.23

Compared to average: three-tenths of the average rate

GMC Terrain

Recall rate: 0.26

Compared to average: one-quarter of the average rate