5 Car Brands with the Most Recalls—and 6 with the Fewest

Updated: Apr. 01, 2022

This exclusive data from ISeeCars.com breaks down the biggest offenders. Did your car's manufacturer top the list?

Gray car.whitelook/Shutterstock

Car manufacturers issue recalls on their vehicles for a variety of reasons, ranging from serious to minor.

“Recalls can be in the severe case, such as airbags not inflating,” says Julie Blackley, director of communications for ISeeCars.com, a search engine for cars that analyzes data on new and used vehicles. “We’ve seen that automakers can also issue recalls because there was a typo in their manual.” Some car manufacturers are proactive about recalls, while others don’t inform customers until problems arise, she adds.

ISeeCars.com gave Reader’s Digest exclusive data on the car manufacturers in the United States with the most and fewest recalls from 2014 through 2018. Of the leading automakers on the list, General Motors ranked the highest with 213 recalls during that time frame. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that General Motors also makes far more vehicles than other car makers on the list. These are the 10 car brands that cost the least to repair.

Another caveat? Some brands issued fewer recalls than other leading manufacturers, but those recalls stood out in terms of seriousness and scope, Blackley notes. Mercedes-Benz, for example, has recalled millions of models around the world in the past two years over risk of firefaulty airbag indicator lights, and potential faulty parts with the rear brakes. Regulators are now investigating whether the company informed customers about the risks soon enough.

And in 2018, Tesla voluntarily recalled nearly half of the cars the company had produced because of a problem with the power steering. That recall affected 123,000 Model S sedans made before April 2016. Look out for these 14 signs your car is about to die.

That said, here are the manufacturers that had the highest number of recalls over the past five years, according to ISeeCars.com:

General Motors
Recalls: 213
Vehicles affected: 54,942,962

Recalls: 209
Vehicles affected: 24,892,471

Recalls: 208
Vehicles affected: 40,726,068

Recalls: 117
Vehicles affected: 3,150,014

Recalls: 109
Vehicles affected: 6,510,514

And these manufacturers had the lowest number of recalls among top U.S. carmakers from 2014 through 2018:

Recalls: 8
Vehicles affected: 210,727

Volvo LLC
Recalls: 14
Vehicles affected: 190,444

Suzuki Motor of America
Recalls: 24
Vehicles affected: 482,866

Porsche Cars North America
Recalls: 27
Vehicles affected: 257,732

Tie: Subaru of America Inc.
Recalls: 35
Vehicles affected: 3,465,501

Tie: Land Rover
Recalls: 35
Vehicles potentially affected: 477,080

Interested in learning more? You can find additional data on which car manufacturers had the highest and lowest recalls rates from 1985 to 2016. Next, here are 34 secrets your car dealer won’t tell you.