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Tesla occupies four of the top five spots for the most projected safety recalls. This EV brand has become the most recalled brand, with all four passenger vehicles in the top part of this negative list. This should be alarming news for Tesla owners, but these recalls might not be as problematic as many would imagine.

How many potential Tesla recalls could occur?

Red Tesla Model Y - This Tesla has the highest projected recalls over the next 30 years
Tesla Model Y | Tesla

According to a recent iSeeCars study, the average number of vehicle safety recalls over 30 years is four. Currently, all Tesla passenger vehicles are on pace for a greater number of recalls for each model. The pace for the Tesla vehicles is:

  • Tesla Model Y – 62.4
  • Tesla Model 3 – 56.8
  • Tesla Model X – 27.3
  • Tesla Model S – 26.4

As you can see, Tesla is on pace for many times the average number of recalls. Still, we don’t see many reports of Tesla owners dumping or trading their vehicles due to the number of recalls. Why is that?

Tesla is the over-the-air champion

In previous decades, addressing a recall, even one for software issues, required a vehicle’s owner to visit the brand dealership to have updates installed. In today’s world, over-the-air (OTA) updates are a reality. These updates were brought to us by Tesla as a method of updating software and allowing drivers to subscribe to various paid services as desired.

Another benefit to these OTA updates is the capability to address safety recalls involving software updates. Although all safety recalls are issues because the NHTSA identified a safety-related defect that violates its vehicle safety standards, updating these vehicles through OTA updates changes the projected recalls list.

Where does Tesla fall when OTA updates are considered in recalls?

Blue 2023 Porsche Panamera - This Porsche has the most projected recalls once OTA updates are removed
2023 Porsche Panamera | Porsche

Once iSeeCars excludes recalls addressed using OTA updates, the vehicles with the most projected recalled over 30 years changed dramatically. The top ten is now:

  • Porsche Panamera – 61.6
  • Lincoln Aviator – 23.5
  • Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport – 22.7
  • Volkswagen Atlas – 20.9
  • Ram 1500 Classic – 20.9
  • Ram 1500 – 20.8
  • Tesla Model Y – 19.3
  • Ford F-150 – 16.8
  • Porsche Macan – 16.5
  • Porsche Cayenne – 16.5

The Porsche Panamera is the only model in the original top five that doesn’t come from Tesla. The Tesla Model Y falls dramatically on this list, and the other Tesla vehicles don’t crack the top ten. In fact, if we look down the list, no other Tesla passenger vehicle breaks into the top 25 vehicles with the projected most recalls.

Should we consider brand longevity in the Tesla recalls calculation?

Compared to Porsche, Volkswagen, Ford, Lincoln, and Ram, Tesla is only a toddler in the automotive world. The number of projected recalls from iSeeCars takes the current number of recalls and extrapolates them out to 30 years. Could we see far fewer EV recalls from this brand as it gains experience in the automotive world? It’s certainly something to consider.

Although Tesla faces the greatest number of projected safety recalls for its four EVs, most are easily addressed through OTA updates. This is certainly why most Tesla owners shouldn’t be overly concerned about the high recall rate for Tesla EVs.