Mercedes-Benz Quietly Wins the Prize for Most 2021 Recalls (so far)

Shall we call it the pie chart of shame? Or maybe the pie chart of doom. Whatever, so far in 2021, Mercedes-Benz wins for the most recalls with 27. A dubious win to be sure, and somewhat surprising.

NHTSA pie chart of 2021 recalls
2021 NHTSA Recalls so far | NHTSA

But according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, the numbers don’t lie. The list of Mercedes vehicles and reasons for these recalls are vast and many. Doing the quick math that is over four recalls a month. Talk about letting your customers do your research and development. 

You just don’t think of Mercedes as the King of Recalls

A white 2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan parked on a stage at an auto show
2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class | Geoff Robins / Stringer via Getty Images

Certain brands just seem to have issues baked into them like Jaguar or Mitsubishi. But Mercedes? You rarely see them pop up on those “Worst Cars” lists in USA Today. And you rarely hear of recalls involving Mercedes vehicles.

The car “Engineered Like No Other” seems to be engineered for recalls, and plenty of them. It is known for its build quality, advanced engineering, and high-end materials. A Mercedes represents prestige like a Rolex watch or Gucci handbag. 

But there are clearly issues that come with a Mercedes purchase. While we can’t predict the next Mercedes recall, we can cover some of the general issues that should cause you to think twice about owning a new or used (especially a used) Mercedes.

Depreciation

A silver 2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S next to a tan stone wall
2021 Mercedes-AMG E63 S | Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes drop in value the second you drive it off of the lot, and we mean drop like a rock. Within just four or five years on average a Mercedes value drops around 50 percent. Half of its resale value went into the ether. Poof. And buying one that is only one or two years old will cost you.

Service and Maintenance

The cost of service and maintenance is a back-breaker. An ounce of power steering fluid for a 2000s CL 500 coupe is over $45 if that is any indication. Specialized tools and specially trained technicians mean higher costs. You don’t want your dropping investment to have a poor repair fixed a second time. 

Warranty costs

A black 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 in a park parking lot
2021 Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 | Matthew Skwarczek

Whatever you do if you purchase a Mercedes, get a service warranty. And once the warranty has expired so has your safety net as service can cost big. And not all repairs are covered. But a warranty goes a long way to at least satisfying the expensive service proposition.

Component availability

Not all Mercedes dealers stock up on all of the suspect parts that go out in Mercedes cars. So finding parts, even for a new Mercedes, can be a wait-and-see proposition. And if you live in a rural area good luck getting your Mercedes repaired in an acceptable amount of time.

Overengineering and complication

A white Mercedes M-Class SUV on display
M-Class | Hannelore Foerster/Bloomberg via Getty Images

If there is an easier, less expensive way to do something, Mercedes doesn’t want to know. It takes its engineering reputation way too far at times. Overcomplication is a hallmark of Mercedes vehicles, and that means more cost and more costly repairs, too. 

In all, there are better vehicles out there with far less complication and recalls. They are probably going to be a lot cheaper to buy, and cheaper to repair as well. So the next time you see a Mercedes you might just pity the driver rather than envy him or her. 

RELATED: Mercedes-Benz Is Issuing a Recall to Fix a Previous Recall