Already Over 13 Million Cars Have Been Recalled In First Half Of 2020

It’s a comforting thought. Not that 13 million cars have been recalled in the first half of 2020 due to safety flaws. No! But that there were so many more that weren’t. It’s the glass half-full rather than half-empty. Because if you look at a recall like the latter it’s scary. It makes you glad that we’re not at the flying car stage of transportation. But the manufacturers that made this list of most recalled will surprise you, especially number one.

The number one position belongs to Toyota

Workers inspect Toyota Corollas at a factory
Workers make final check of a Corolla vehicle at Toyota assembly plant | TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP via Getty Images

This brand has a solid reputation for building strong, reliable cars. The number one position belongs to Toyota. These stats are based on numbers compiled by Finance in Bold. So far this year Toyota has recalled right at about 4 million vehicles. Yikes! And of the American manufacturers, Ford tops the list. Overall they are at number two at almost 3 million vehicles recalled. 

In third place is Volvo. In case you forgot in March it recalled everything it made in 2019 and 2020 over a brake issue. Every model, every car! It affected over 850,000 Volvos. Next up is Fiat Chrysler at number Four. Chrysler products have always had recall issues. And Fiat? It’s reputation goes back decades and it has remained the same, which is bad. So those companies joined at the hip was going to be up in the top five. But number five will surprise you, too.

Who would have thought Honda would even make it into the top safety recall list?

A Honda Civic being assembled at a factory
Workers assemble a Honda Civic at a factory | Barry Batchelor – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

At the fifth spot is Honda. Reliable, well-built, Japanese engineering at its finest. Who would have thought Honda would even make it into the top 10? Honda accounts for almost 1.5 million cars recalled in 2020 so far. 

Most of these companies are cranking out vehicles. At the pace they produce them it’s no wonder there are not more that slip through the cracks. In all Toyota has made around 9 million vehicles worldwide every year since 2013. That’s 45 million just in the last five years. 

These safety recalls don’t bode well for Volvo, however

A view of Volvo offices in Gent, Belgium. | Getty

Fiat Chrysler is in a similar situation to mega-production. Just in the US alone, it has made over 2 million vehicles each year for the last two. That does not take in Fiat, Alfa Romeo, and Maserati. These stats don’t bode well for Volvo, however. It produces about 340,000 vehicles worldwide. So, this amount of recalls factored into overall sales is not a good report card for the Swedish manufacturer.

You don’t believe that, do you?

An NHTSA employee poses with crash test dummies
An NHTSA employee poses with crash test dummies | Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Never Try to Fix Your Car Recall Yourself

But here’s the main thing. All of the car companies have their eyes completely on the customer’s safety in these recalls. You don’t believe that, do you? The way these deals work is that the company making the defective Belchmobile 800, looks at the cost of fixing the issue. Then it looks at the potential for litigation and what it might cost if they lose a class-action lawsuit. Finally, it factors in publicity and reputation loss. There must be an actuary for it because these three things become the factors in determining recalls. 

We’d like to think that these days are the safest days ever in terms of vehicle engineering. And in reality it seems that way. But these statistics tell a different story. LEt’s hope that one of the many changes we see in 2021 is a return to better=built vehicles and less recalls per 1,000 miles driven.