Industry > Recall

Can you guess the most recalled car manufacturer in the US last year?

Hint: It’s one of the biggest American automakers

Ford's home market was also the place where it had the most recalls, unsurprisingly. PHOTO FROM FORD

When you buy a car, no matter if it’s new or used, you want to be reasonably sure that your money is well spent. It’s just fair to expect that the lump of metal you received in exchange for a lot of money is properly designed and of good quality.

This is why recall statistics can be a useful tool. Across the pond from us, the United States Department of Transportation recently released a data set that outlines the most recalled manufacturers in 2022, and while that information won’t apply to our shores, it still gives us a good idea of which firms are doing well and which ones appear to have quality issues.

These companies made up the top rankings in the NHTSA's list of recalls. PHOTOS FROM VOLKSWAGEN, TESLA, AND DAIMLER TRUCK

Ford is topping the list of most recalled auto manufacturers in 2022, and does so by quite some margin. The Blue Oval issued a grand total of 67 of them, affecting 8,636,265 vehicles and making up 17% of all recalls in the US car industry during that period. Second-placed Volkswagen had 45 recalls potentially affecting 1,040,885 cars, while Daimler Truck, the commercial vehicle arm of the German carmaker, placed third with 42 recalls.

Others on the list include Chrysler (38 recalls and 3,041,431 vehicles), Forest River (an RV maker; 35 and 203,694), Mercedes-Benz (33 and 969,993), General Motors (32 and 3,371,302), Kia (24 and 1,458,962), Hyundai (22 and 1,452,101), Navistar (22 and 105,880), Tesla (20 and 3,769,581), and BMW (19 and 1,000,455).

What’s noteworthy here is the difference between the number of recalls and the number of cars that were potentially affected by them. While Ford is leading in both categories, if we just look at the number of affected vehicles, Tesla would actually be in second place, and General Motors would be third.

These Ford vehicles were part of the recalls last year. PHOTOS FROM FORD

Among the 67 recalls Ford issued were at least 12 powertrain-related ones, including driveshaft issues impacting nearly 250,000 F-250 and F-350 Super Duty vehicles, electrical systems faults, and an engine oil leak that could be a problem for almost 350,000 Bronco and Escape units.

Some of the issues affecting other manufacturers included faulty wiring harnesses at Volkswagen; transmission fluid leaks and a resulting engine fire risk at Chrysler; moisture accumulating in and potentially corroding brake boosters in certain Mercedes models; faulty windshield wipers at General Motors; and software glitches at Tesla.

Other manufacturers also had their fair shares of gremlins. PHOTOS FROM KIA AND BMW

Over at BMW, recalls were issued for an electrical fault that could cause engine fires, while Kia had to call back a number of cars over concerns that airbags may not work as expected in a crash. The overall number of recalls shows that with cars getting more and more complex, the number of potential issues also increases.

As for Ford’s unenviable title as most recalled manufacturer in 2022, the company is well aware of the issue and has already hired an industry specialist to improve its products. According to the firm, quality should increase in 2023. We guess we will see if that’s true when we publish the next edition of this story next year.

Frank Schuengel

Frank is a German e-commerce executive who loves his wife, a Filipina, so much he decided to base himself in Manila. He has interesting thoughts on Philippine motoring. He writes the aptly named ‘Frankly’ column.