Vehicle recalls may occur when a vehicle’s performance, fitment or design is deemed unsafe. If the defective component could result in a safety hazard, either the manufacturer or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) can initiate a recall. While navigating a recall may seem like a scary or intimidating process, most recalls result in the repair or replacement of a vehicle part at no cost to the consumer and, in rare cases, a refund for the vehicle. Regardless of the bottom line, recalls are important for a car owner to keep up to date to ensure the safest driving conditions.
Fortunately, it’s easy to find out if your vehicle has recently been subject to a recall. If you confirm that action is required on your part, there are steps to make the recall process as smooth as possible and avoid delays in resolving the issue.
Auto recall statistics
- In 2020 alone, over 13 million vehicles were recalled worldwide due to safety concerns.
- NHTSA issued over 1,000 safety recalls in 2021 involving over 35 million vehicles and other equipment.
- 5% of all vehicles in the US were under a new recall notice in 2021.
- In 2021, NHTSA issued 259 recalls, affecting in one way or another over 21 million vehicles in the United States.
- 2021 saw a variety of safety recalls including airbags, software and electronics, locks, steering and suspension, tires, restraint systems and numerous other components.
- A recent major safety recall involves nearly 3 million Ford vehicles, affecting five different Ford Motor Company models. The safety concerns relate to bushing material that causes problems when shifting the vehicles.
- Over 310,000 Ford trucks were affected by recalls filed in 2022 due to airbags not deploying properly.
- In 2022 YTD, according to NHTSA, Ford leads the vehicle manufacturers with the highest number of recalls, followed by Daimler Trucks of North America and Mercedes-Benz USA.
101 car callback
It’s wise to regularly check if your vehicle is affected by a recall so you can ensure you have the latest information about your vehicle’s safety and can take the necessary precautions. Keeping your vehicle updated with the latest safety improvements plays an important role in ensuring both your safety and that of others on the road. You can also download the NHTSA Safety Recall App for iOS or Android to receive notifications when a recall occurs for your vehicle type. NHTSA provides a clear set of steps for recall information, including:
- To report a problem. Multiple reports submitted for the same vehicle issues could indicate a safety vulnerability. If you report a vehicle issue that you notice, the complaint will be added to the NHTSA database and may open further investigations if others make similar reports.
- Remember to only report security-related issues to the NHTSA, such as B. A component that is not working properly and impedes driving. This may include problems with your vehicle’s seats, tires, or other equipment.
- Check the VIN. Enter your 17-digit VIN into the NHTSA database to search for recalls. You can find your VIN either on your insurance cards or on the bottom left of your windscreen.
- Enter the VIN into the databasewhich shows all recalls within the last 15 years affecting your make and model.
- Sign up for notifications Recalls for your vehicle or equipment based on the information you have entered, either via email or through the NHTSA SaferCar app. This step is optional, but may make it easier to stay informed of recalls related to your vehicle.
Remember, safety recalls are issued by vehicle manufacturers, not your car insurance company. If your vehicle is subject to a recall, it shouldn’t affect your rates. However, if the recalled component leads to an accident that was your fault, you should inform your insurer of the recall when you report the claim. Additionally, if you are having the recalled part repaired or replaced, it may be worth providing documentation to your insurance company to show that the necessary repairs were made. You can speak to your insurance agent to see what information they may need from you in the event of a recall notice.
Automakers with the most recalls in 2022
Half of the recalls issued in 2022 (January 1 to July 14) were between just four automakers. The top 4 companies for recalls this year include Ford Motor Company, Daimler Trucks North America, Mercedes-Benz USA and Forest River. During this time, NHTSA issued a variety of safety-related recalls.
- Ford: In addition to the airbag and bushing recalls mentioned above, a safety recall was issued in March 2022 due to an engine oil spill. This affected an estimated 345,000 Ford vehicles, including certain 2020-2022 Escape and 2021-2022 Bronco Sport models equipped with 1.5 L engines. Another recall was made on the same day due to defective brakes due to a software error. This affected an estimated 391,000 Ford vehicles and includes certain F-150, 2022 Maverick, Expedition, Lincoln Navigator, F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550 models.
- Mercedes Benz: The most significant recall affecting Mercedes vehicles took place in March 2022. The NHTSA issued a recall for possible brake booster corrosion. It is estimated that over 292,000 Mercedes vehicles were affected, mainly certain ML-Class, GL-Class and R-Class vehicles from 2006 to 2012.
- Daimler trucks: Several recalls affected Daimler Trucks vehicles in 2022, including a broken steering gear that could cause drivers to lose control. This recall affected nearly 7,000 Daimler Trucks vehicles, including certain 2021-2022 Freightliner (FCCC) MT45, 2022-2023 Western Star 4900 and Freightliner Cascadia.
- forest river: A recall for several Forest River models was issued in April 2022 due to a gas leak and fire risk concerns. It is estimated that over 99,000 Forest River vehicles were affected by the problem, including more than 30 models.
Auto companies with the most recalls over time
It can be helpful to look at the auto companies with the most recalls over time, rather than just looking at a smaller snapshot of those issued in 2022. By looking at the auto companies with the most recalls over time, it can help you make a decision about ownership or a possible purchase.
- General Motors: From January 2000 to July 2022, General Motors (GM) had the most recalls. NHTSA shows 671 recalls during this time frame. Several recalls affect more than a million vehicles, but the most significant recall took place in March 2014. The safety issue involved turning off the ignition and affected over 5 million GM vehicles. Numerous models were recalled including the Chevrolet Impala and Monte Carlo, Chevrolet Malibu, Oldsmobile Alero, Oldsmobile Intrigue, Pontiac Grand Am and Pontiac Grand Prix.
- Ford Motor Company: Since 2000, Ford has received 635 recalls, with September 2005 resulting in a significant number of affected vehicles – over 4.5 million. This safety recall concerned a potential fire originating from the cruise control disable switch. The recall notice has been sent to drivers of certain cruise-controlled pickups and SUVs.
- Chrysler: In May 2018, Chrysler issued a recall potentially affecting nearly 5 million of its vehicles. This issue was due to the cruise control not being able to be disabled, resulting in a software update being required. This affected multiple models including the Dodge Ram, Dodge Journey, Dodge Charger and Durance, and Jeep Cherokee to name a few.
The most common causes of factory recalls
Although NHTSA only recalls vehicles for safety reasons, recall notices can have a number of causes. Many recalls involve a simple replacement of parts, but some may require more extensive repairs. Regardless of the cause, when you receive a notice in the mail from the manufacturer, it is important that you address the recall as quickly as possible according to the instructions to avoid any safety risks. According to the NHTSA database, the top causes of factory recalls in 2022 so far are due to:
*NHTSA data for recalls reported between January 1, 2022 and July 14, 2022.
The final result
The NHTSA is the governing body responsible for gathering information and working with manufacturers regarding necessary safety recalls. There have been over 12,000 recalls since 2000, with most recalled vehicles being from GM, Ford and Chrysler. You can simply enter your VIN into the NHTSA database to see if you own a vehicle that has been subject to a recall in the last 15 years. You can also sign up to receive the latest safety recall alerts either through a mobile app or by email.