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A US analysis of government recall data has revealed that electric vehicles dominate the top 10 list of cars with the most projected recalls, ranking in six of the top seven slots. 

The most-recalled EVs include the Porsche Taycan EV at No. 1, with 70.7 expected lifetime recalls; all four Teslas – the Model Y, Model 3, Model S and Model X – and the Lucid Air. Lucid is in position 5.

However when over-the-air (OTA) recalls are excluded, Tesla drops out of the top 25 most recalled list; showing the immense value OTA rectification brings to a car maker.

MINI, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Audi are among the least recalled cars.

Porsche Taycan

These projections are based on NHTSA recall campaigns data for 2015-2024 model year cars. 

US market analyst iSeeCars said in a statement that a vehicle recall is issued when a car has a safety concern that must be addressed. 

“This process usually involves visiting a dealership, which means excessive recalls can negatively impact a car ownership experience. Yet in 2023 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued more than 300 vehicle recalls that involved more than 35 million cars. 

“It is reasonable to assume a car will experience at least one recall over the course of its usable lifespan because cars are complex, mass-produced machines. But after analyzing the latest recall data from NHTSA, we identified the 25 cars with the most projected lifetime recalls and determined that their projected recalls are much greater than a typical car. 

“The Porsche Taycan EV has the most projected lifetime recalls at 70.7. Tesla’s Model Y and Model 3 closely follow in positions 2 and 3, with 66.9 and 60.7 projected recalls, respectively. 

“The most recalled cars have quite a bit more lifetime recalls than the industry median of 3.2, and substantially more than the 25 least recalled cars, which are projected to have less than one recall over the course of a 30-year lifespan. 

“The MINI Convertible leads the industry with just 0.2 projected recalls, followed by the Lexus ES 300h, RX 450h, and NX 300h each having 0.3 projected lifetime recalls. 

Karl Brauer, iSeeCars’ executive analyst, said: “If you’re hoping to avoid recall hassles, you can significantly improve your odds by choosing the right model. 

“A vehicle like the MINI Convertible or Lexus RX 450h has, literally, a fraction of a chance of being recalled even once, versus more than 60 projected recalls for the Porsche Taycan, Tesla Model Y, and Tesla Model 3. 

“Even the industry median of 3.2 lifetime recalls sounds much better than the approximately 15-plus projected recalls for all of the cars on the most recalled list,” he said.  


The 25 Most Recalled Cars

The 25 most recalled cars are projected to have between 14.7 and 70.7 recalls, with Porsche and Tesla appearing at least twice in the top 10 spots. 

Ford and Kia have five models in the top 25. All four of Tesla’s vehicles make the list, with Porsche showing up a total of three times, Ram and Volkswagen appearing twice, and Genesis, Lincoln, Lucid, and Rivian with one model each in the top 25 list.  

While Porsche and Tesla vehicles are prominent among cars with the most projected recalls, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus are among the least-recalled vehicles.


Cars With the least projected recalls:

“With Lexus and Mercedes-Benz occupying 15 of the top 25 slots it’s clear which two manufacturers do the best job of avoiding recalls,” said Brauer. “Nearly every least recalled model comes from a premium brand, with Nissan’s 370Z the only mainstream vehicle to make the list.”

Methodology

iSeeCars analyzed vehicle safety recall campaigns as of May 7, 2024 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for cars from model years 2015-2024. 

The number of campaigns for each model was aggregated and projected for an expected 30-year lifespan, taking into account the overall behavior of the automaker and when each recall campaign was issued in the car’s lifetime. The resulting estimates were then used to rank models with the fewest and most expected safety recalls. 

Heavy-duty vehicles, low-volume models, and models discontinued prior to the 2020 model year were excluded from further analysis.

About iSeeCars.com

iSeeCars.com is a data-driven car search and research company that helps shoppers find the best car deals by providing key insights and valuable resources, including the iSeeCars VIN Check report and Best Cars Rankings. iSeeCars has saved users over $416 million so far by applying big data analytics powered by over 25 billion (and growing) data points and using proprietary algorithms to objectively analyze, score and rank millions of new cars and used cars.

By John Mellor

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