This Is the No. 1 Most Recalled Car in America

Whether you’re interested in a new Ford F-150 or a Tesla Model 3, check on the vehicle’s reliability ratings before you buy. The surveys and testing Consumer Reports conducts every year offer a glimpse of how life will be with a specific model.

If you end up with one of the year’s worst, you’ll make multiple trips to the dealership to correct minor problems and, in the worst cases, issues that prompted safety recalls. When you have to deal with this mess, you’ll kick yourself for not doing better research.

A May 2018 study by is a good place to start. The auto research firm rounded up the vehicles with the highest recall rates in the past five years and averaged its reliability ratings over that same period.

Here are the 10 most frequently recalled vehicles since 2013.

10. Chevrolet Tahoe

2017 Chevy Tahoe
2017 Chevy Tahoe | Chevrolet
  • Average recalls per year: 1.52
  • Overall reliability: Below average

At 1.52 recall campaigns per year for every 100,000 sales, Chevy Tahoe has kept owners busy. Meanwhile, the same applied to this model’s overall reliability rating.

In both 2015 and 2017, Consumer Reports hit it with its worst possible score in that department.

Next: For recalls and general safety complaints, Chrysler 300 has been a problem car.

9. Chrysler 300

2016 Chrysler 300C Platinum | Chrysler
  • Average recalls per year: 1.71
  • Overall reliability: Below average

Since Chrysler 300 didn’t get a reliability rating for 2017, the study did not assign it a score. However, a quick check of the stats shows this model was well below average in that department.

Meanwhile, when iSeeCars rounded up vehicles with the most NHTSA safety complaints from 2005-16, Chrysler 300 had the most. To call this car problematic would be an understatement.

Next: This relative of the 300 also had its share of problems.

8. Dodge Charger

2017 Dodge Charger R/T | Dodge
  • Average recalls per year: 1.74
  • Overall reliability: Below average

Since Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 run on the same platform, it makes sense they had nearly the same recall rate and poor reliability scores in recent years. In fact, Fiat-Chrysler was known as the brand that flunks reliability tests for several years.

Charger’s 2018 scores were not terribly encouraging, either.

Next: This Toyota presents a curious case.

7. Toyota 4Runner

2017 Toyota 4Runner | Toyota
2017 Toyota 4Runner | Toyota
  • Average recalls per year: 1.98
  • Overall reliability: The best

Without question, Toyota 4Runner had a high number of recalls at nearly two every year per 100,000 sales. However, looking back at the entire decade of Consumer Reports surveys, 4Runner has also been the most reliable vehicle since 2010. CEO Phong Ly explained how such a thing could happen. “Although there are many recall campaigns for the 4Runner, most are for less severe issues such as improperly tightened roof racks, loose accessories, adhesive for the hood scoop, and spare tire air pressure,” Ly said.

Overall, owners decided they could live with these defects since 4Runner’s engine and transmission continued running like a clock.

Next: Ram pickups combined below average reliability with plenty of recalls.

6. Ram 1500

2017 Ram 1500 Outdoorsman Crew Cab 4x4 EcoDiesel
2017 Ram 1500 Outdoorsman Crew Cab 4×4 EcoDiesel | FCA
  • Average recalls per year: 1.99
  • Overall reliability: Below average

A few bad years (2015-16) doomed most Fiat-Chrysler vehicles since 2015, and that was no different for Ram pickups. In the case of the 1500, two terrible reliability scores dragged down decent ones.

Meanwhile, a high number of recalls made it a headache for owners, no matter which way you look at it.

Next: It’s been a bad few years for the Nissan Pathfinder.

5. Nissan Pathfinder

2017 Nissan Pathfinder | Nissan
  • Average recalls per year: 2.00
  • Overall reliability: Below average

If a vehicle is averaging multiple recalls per year and daily operation is frustrating, too, you’ve got a lemon on your hands. That has been the verdict for the Nissan Pathfinder since 2013.

This model also turned up among the worst SUVs for dependability in J.D. Power rankings for 2018

Next: Another Fiat-Chrysler model checks in at No. 4.

4. Dodge Durango

Shot of gray Dodge Durango
2017 Dodge Durango | Dodge
  • Average recalls per year: 2.71
  • Overall reliability: Poor

With 2.71 recall campaigns every year per 100,000 sales, no one will call the Dodge Durango a convenient vehicle. Low reliability scores match up with that reputation.

“Durango owners have to go through the rigamarole of recall-related repairs … in order to replace airbag control modules, brake calipers, and alternators,” Phony Ly noted.

Next: This luxury nameplate needed recalls and lost value fast.

3. BMW 3 Series and 4 Series

2017 BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe | BMW
  • Average recalls per year: 2.95
  • Overall reliability: Slightly above average

In another study, BMW 3 Series cars had lost nearly half their value after three years of ownership. The luxury market explains some of this drop, but so does the problematic nature of BMW’s entry-level sedans.

Even if the problems are minor, nearly three recall campaigns every year per 100,000 sales will annoy owners to no end.

Next: GMC’s pickup truck checks in at No. 2.

2. GMC Sierra

Exterior view of Sierra 2500HD diesel
2017 GMC Sierra 2500HD | General Motors
  • Average recalls per year: 3.25
  • Overall reliability: Below average

With more than three recalls per year and below-average reliability scores to boot, GMC Sierra has been a frustrating model for owners. Overall, this model sent buyers back to the dealership four times more often than the average vehicle.

The all-new 2019 Sierra will look to correct these shortcomings.

Next: Would you believe a Mercedes is the most recalled vehicle in America?

1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

OEM photo of 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class in blue
2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class | Mercedes-Benz
  • Average recalls per year: 5.77
  • Overall reliability: Average

The Mercedes C-Class sedan had its share of safety recalls (airbag, steering column, sunroof) as well as the type of glitches you find in a luxury sedan.

“Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3 Series are packed with features, and each additional feature can be another point of failure,” Ly said. “This could explain why C-Class owners have to contend with so many recall-related headaches.”

Regardless, with nearly six times the average recall burden, consumers should go into a C-Class purchase with their eyes wide open.

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