Skip to main content

As cars become more technologically complex, their recall rate seems to only increase year-over-year. Whether it’s a simple error that requires a painless update to an onboard computer, or a dangerous component failure that requires cars off the road as soon as possible, recalls seem here to stay.

For three companies in particular, the negative hits just keep coming. 2023 has been marked by a large number of recalls, with some familiar names as repeat offenders. But, as we’ll see from digging into the data, the rate of recalls doesn’t always correlate to how many drivers are actually affected.

These three automakers have the most car company recalls

Three automakers have more recalls in 2023 than any others, according to Carscoops:

  • BMW of North America, 18 recalls
  • Chrysler, 26 recalls
  • Ford, 31 recalls

These are shockingly high numbers. But Ford sticks out like a sore thumb. The 120-year-old automaker has had issues with recalls in recent years, and 2023 appears to be no better. It implies quality control issues endemic to Ford’s manufacturing and design processes that need to get addressed as soon as possible.

The recent F-150 recall is a perfect example of the sorts of issues Ford owners often run into. A range of F-150s with a single exhaust system, from model years 2021-2023, are susceptible to spontaneous engagement of the emergency brake. While most of Ford’s recalls are much less dangerous, this one is immensely worrying. Given the massive popularity of the F-150, the automaker needs to get better.

Does the number of car company recalls account for the number of vehicles affected?

The rate of recalls looks bad for all three automakers. But the reality of their respective situations is very different, once the actual number of affected vehicles is accounted for, Kelley Blue Book reports. Unfortunately, Ford doesn’t come out looking much better:

  • BMW of North America, 154,717 vehicles affected
  • Chrysler, 1,736,164 vehicles affected
  • Ford, 4,143,013 vehicles affected

Other automakers outside the top three have more vehicles affected. Meaning, they have bigger problems for their customers to deal with, just not as many. In fact, while a company like Tesla has a comparatively small eight recalls, the number of vehicles impacted is high: 366,922 and counting.

Should you be worried about recalls in 2023?

The large amount of recalls in the news comes at a time when new car sales are spiking. Should consumers be more wary of new vehicles in light of the potential for disruptive or dangerous issues in the near future? Or are most buyers in the clear in 2023?

The answer isn’t as straightforward as it seems at first glance. For example, some brands like Hyundai and Kia have great safety records. But NPR reports that both recently put out a warning for drivers to park over 92,000 cars outside due to fire risk. The affected vehicles are all 2023 and 2024 models, so the situation primarily hits very new car buyers who couldn’t have planned for the situation. Either way, these owners should heed Hyundai and Kia’s warnings.

Then there’s Tesla. The American EV company sells fewer vehicles overall than much of their competition, although the Model Y is the highest-selling SUV in the country. That ranks them as having the highest percentage of recalled vehicles, and some of these issues were known internally before regulators forced the company to acknowledge the issues.

Tesla is addressing each of their recalls properly, but some owners have been left in the cold when diagnosing issues before an official recall was set into motion.


America’s Most Popular SUV Just Got Recalled for This Safety Malfunction