The Blue Oval issued 65 recalls in 2022 affecting over 8.6 million vehicles.
For the second year in a row, Ford has issued more recalls in the US than any other automaker. The data, via Automotive News, comes from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). We must point out that this data only accounts for recalls through December 19, 2022, so it remains only partial at this time. Still, it's complete enough to conclude the Blue Oval still has quality control issues to resolve.
In 2022, Ford issued a total of 65 recalls that affected over 8.6 million vehicles in the United States alone. The year prior, it issued 53 recalls for almost 5.4 million vehicles. Ford CEO Jim Farley has previously acknowledged he's well aware of the problem and appropriate steps are now being taken to greatly reduce future recalls.
For example, he appointed new management a couple of months ago, including a quality czar. Issuing recalls, for any automaker, is very expensive.
The billions being spent by Ford to do this is needed elsewhere, such as electric vehicle R&D. One of the biggest recalls Ford announced last year came in November when almost 634,000 Bronco Sport and Escape crossovers were recalled - globally - due to a fire risk.
A few months prior, a stop-sale order was issued for the Mustang Mach-E because of a potential power loss. There was also a federal investigation last year into "catastrophic engine failures" in the 2021 Bronco. Ford fully acknowledges the problem and reiterates corrective steps are being taken.
"While we don't ever want customers inconvenienced by problems with our products, when it's necessary, we're going to use recalls to call attention to them," Ford spokesperson Maria Buczkowski said. "We're improving our launch and initial quality, but our overall quality isn't as good as it should and can be. That's why we're deploying a comprehensive end-to-end process to raise quality and keep it high - in design, production, delivery and after-sale service and support."
The automaker's ultimate goal is to prevent quality issues from happening at all. If they do happen, Ford will use "technology to detect and resolve them before they become a bigger deal for more customers." It's also important to know that it was Ford itself that decided to issue all of these recalls.
The NHTSA is unable to investigate every single reported problem and issue recalls; it's equally (if not more so) up to automakers to address possible defects. Ford rightly took a zero-chance approach over the past two years in initiating recalls to avoid potentially greater problems. Still, the number of recalls needs to significantly drop as Ford knows all too well.