The answer might surprise you.
Barely a week goes by without a car manufacturer issuing a recall. Iseecars.com has compiled a list of the most recalled models in America as well cars with the least amount of recalls using data gathered from the NHTSA, and it makes for some interesting reading. Some of the most recalled models on the list will certainly surprise you, since they’re from manufacturers that usually have a reputation for good quality. Of course, recalls can happen for a variety of reasons, and aren’t always related to serious safety issues.
Some recalls concern minor issues like incorrect labels, but it still gives you a good idea of which manufacturers have the best quality control. Surprisingly, the study found that the car with the highest recall rate in America is the Mercedes C-Class. According to the study, the luxury car “has been recalled for a host of safety issues, from several different recall campaigns involving airbags to multiple campaigns involving failure in the steering column.” Another campaign required the C-Class to be recalled because the sunroof had been improperly bonded to the frame, which meant there was a risk it could fall on passengers.
“Luxury cars such as the Mercedes C-Class or the BMW 3-Series and 4-Series, which are third on the list, are packed with features, and each additional feature can be another point of failure. This could explain why C-Class owners have to contend with so many recall-related headaches.” The second most recalled vehicle according to the study is the GMC Sierra. Among its issues that prompted recalls include faulty seat belts, loss of power in steering, brake pedals becoming inoperative, and fuel tanks overfilling, among others. Domestic cars like the Dodge Durango, Ram Pickup, Chrysler 300, Chevrolet Tahoe and Dodge Charger also had some of the highest recall rates.
As you would expect, cars with the lowest recall rates include the Hyundai Accent, Toyota Corolla, as well as the Honda Civic, CR-V and Accord. The study also compared the recall rates to Consumer Reports’ Used Car Reliability ratings. Usually, models with high recall rates tend to have low reliability ratings and vice versa, but one exception was the Toyota 4Runner, which scored a high reliability rating but had several recall campaigns. Most of these recalls were for relatively minor issues however, such as improperly tightened roof racks, loose accessories, adhesive for the hood scoop, and incorrect weight labels and spare tire air pressure.