Despite exhaustive testing and daunting development budgets, defects in cars still get revealed only after thousands of examples encounter the real world, away from the development tracks and computer simulations.
The European Union has a unit called the Rapid Exchange of Information System, which seeks to alert safety risks for most products on sale in the EU, including cars. These lead to cars being recalled to have remedial work carried out, almost always at the cost of the original manufacturer, not the consumer. It’s a safety-catch for automotive.
The website car-recalls.euspecialises in deciphering the data from the system, and it’s just compiled a list of the most recalled car brands in Europe for last year. Now clearly the companies with larger model ranges tend to have the most recalls, so please bear that in mind when looking at the data. Looking at 30 car brands in total, we start at the brand with the least recalls in 2018, and work our way up to the car brand with the most recalls in Europe in 2018:
30: Porsche – 3 recalls affecting 3 models
Recalls were issued for the 2015-18 Panamera (pictured) around rear anti-roll stabilisers, the 2016-18 Cayenne for defective centre-rear seatbelt buckles, and the 2013-15 918 Spyder for corrosive suspension arm bolts.
29: Skoda – 3 recalls affecting 5 models
Recalls for Skodas in 2018 were for curtain airbags in the 2017 Karoq SUV, defective towing eyes on the 2017 Rapid and Citigo, and for a weakness in the rear wheel housing of the 2017 Octavia (pictured) and Superb models.
28: Aston Martin – 3 recalls affecting 6 models
Issues were the potential for a battery short-circuit in the DB9 (2003-17), a transmission software failure affecting all its models apart from the Vantage built between 2007 and 2017, and an airbag issue affecting the 2016-2017 DB11 (pictured).
27: Ferrari – 3 recalls affecting 7 models
The Italian premium sports car maker celebrated no recalls at all for its models in 2017, but it crept onto the score sheet in 2018. Problem areas included a software error that prevented a brake disk warning light turning-on on various models including the 488GTB (pictured), and an erroneous front passenger airbag component.
25=: Fiat - 4 recalls affecting 3 models
Two recalls were issued for the 500L for rectification work to prevent fire risks, and on the 2015-18 500X (pictured) around a faulty rear seat latch.
25=: Dodge – 4 recalls affecting 4 models
There were recalls for defective oil-cooler lines on the Challenger and Charger models, an erroneous restraint system controller on the 2011-13 Avenger (pictured), and for a possible water pump failure on the Dodge Ram pick-up (2012-17).
21=: Kia - 4 recalls affecting 4 models
Recalls were issued for the 2011 Sorento (faulty fuel lines), 2017 Rio (rear door lock cable was the incorrect length), 2017 Niro (faulty electrode in clutch actuator), and 2013-14 Soul (steering connection may become loose) - pictured.
21=: Suzuki - 4 recalls affecting 4 models
Recalls were issued for the 2013-15 Swift (brake lines), the 2018 Celerio (airbag webbing), and a potential engine stop-start failure on the 2015-16 Ignis, 2015-17 Swift and 2015-17 Baleno (pictured).
21=: Dacia - 4 recalls affecting 4 models
There were two recalls for the 2016-17 Duster (pictured) around its stop-start system and its tow-bar, for the September 2017 Logan and Sandero (front wheel hub cracks), and the 2013-15 Logan MCV (fuel hose issue).
19=: Land Rover - 4 recalls affecting 5 models
Recalls were issued for the 2016-18 Range Rover, Range Rover Evoque, Range Rover Velar and Discovery Sport models for a fuel-sealing issue, a demisting error on the 2017 Range RoverVelar (pictured), a dysfunctional fuel gauge on the Range Rover (PHEV version), and a possible autonomous braking failure on the 2017-18 Discovery and Range Rover.
19=: Jaguar - 4 recalls affecting 5 models
There was a recall for the XE, XF, E-Pace, F-Pace and F-Type models built between September 2016 and August 2017 concerning fuel leaks in 2-litre petrol engines. There were also two more recalls for the E-Pace (pictured) for the brake hose and reversing lights, and for the 2017-18 Jaguar XF for a malfunction in the restraint system control module.
19=: Chrysler - 4 recalls affecting 5 models
Recalls were issued for the 2006-2008 Crossfire (pictured), 2008 300 and Aspen, and 2011-13 200, all for airbag-related or restraint-system reasons. There was also a recall for the seat belts on the 2015 Pacifica.
18: Mazda – 5 recalls affecting 5 models
Recalls were issued on the 2012-14 Mazda6 (parking brake), 2003-2008 RX8 (steering/suspension), 2002-2005 Mazda6 (driver & passenger airbags), 2014-17 MX-5, 2014-17 Mazda2, and 2015-17 CX3 (risk of short circuit and fire) – pictured.
16=: Hyundai – 5 recalls affecting 6 models
There were recalls for the 17-18 Santa Fe (steering wheel fault), while there was a recall around a fire risk concern with the previous generation Santa Fe and 2011 Tuscon.
The Ioniq (pictured) had two recalls around coolant and an oil leak possibility. The 2011-12 i40 had a clutch-related recall, and there was a fire risk concern recall for the 2004-13 Sonata and Grandeur.
16=: Audi – 5 recalls affecting 6 models
There were recalls for the 2016 Audi Q3 (airbag related), 2011 A3 (overheating starter-motor), 2015-17 A4 and A5 (exterior trim detaching), 2018 Q5 (brake calipers), and 2015-17 R8 (oil leak causing risk of fire in racetrack conditions).
15: Jeep – 6 recalls affecting 3 models
Recalls were issued for the 2017 Compass (passenger airbag securing nuts), 2018 Compass (suspension arm)(pictured), 2016-17 Compass (daytime running lights), and 2017-18 Compass (seatback lock). There were also recalls for the 2003-2007 Liberty (suspension arms), and also for the 2011-13 Liberty and Jeep Cherokee (occupant restraint controller).
14: Honda – 6 recalls affecting 6 models
Recalls were issued for 2009-2010 Civic, CR-V, Jazz (pictured), and Insight, all for airbag-related issues, with another airbag –related issue affecting the 2016-17 Civic. There was also a recall for the 2014-18 HR-V, for a suspension issue. The 2010-17 Odyssey had two recalls, both due to poorly secured second-row of seats.
13: Lexus – 6 recalls affecting 8 models
Recalls were issued for the 2016-17 CT200h (for a possible fuel leak), the 2015 NX300h and RX450h (airbag sensor failure), and the 2014-17 RC-F (fuel pump). 2005-2014 GS350 and GS450h were recalled because of possible crack in the fuel pulsation damper, and there was a recall of the 2016-18 LC500h (pictured) to rectify a situation where the hybrid system can suddenly switch off.
12: Nissan – 7 recalls affecting 5 models
Recalls were issued for the 2016-18 NV400 (for a fuel fiter issue) and 2016-17 NV400 (steering issue). There were two recalls for the 2017 Micra, concerning the front wheel hub, and a seat belt retractor. 2017 Juke and NV200 were recalled because of a defective ignition switch, while there was a body control software-related recall for the 2017-18 Qashqai and incorrectly stated gross weight on VIN label for the 2017 Qashqai (pictured).
11: Seat – 8 recalls affecting 8 models
Recalls were issued for examples produced between March 18 and May 28 2011 of the Altea, Leon, Ibiza and Alhambra due to a starter motor relay spring issue. The 2014 Leon and 2016 Alhambra were also recalled for airbag issues. Early 2018 examples of the Ibiza and Arona had recalls because of seatbelt buckles, while the Ibiza TGI CNG-powered version was recalled over a possible gas leak.
August 2018 Atecas were recalled over wheel-bearing issues, while the 2017 Mii was recalled because of a possibly defective towing-eye.
10: BMW - 8 recalls affecting 10 models
2006-2011 examples of the 1 Series, X1, 3 Series, M3 and Z4 were recalled because of a defective battery cable plug. 2017-18 X3s (pictured) were recalled due to a rear-spoiler defect, and again for an airbag issue. 2 Series and X1 produced briefly at the end of April 2018 were recalled for defective front axle bearings.
2001-02 X5s were recalled for an airbag issue, along with X3 and X4 (rear brake caliper piston) and X5 and X6 (wheel bolts not tightened properly).
9: Renault – 9 recalls affecting 5 models
2013-2017 Captur and Clio were recalled for a headlamp issue, and those briefly produced in September 2017 for a front wheel hub cracking issue – an issue that also affected the Zoe (pictured). The Zoe also had a gearbox-related recall for cars built from October 2016 onwards, and an accelerator pedal issue. There were also three recalls for the Master van.
8: Ford – 13 recalls affecting 13 models
The most significant recall was that impacting the many Ford models including Fiesta and Focus that feature the 1.0-litre EcoBoost, 1.6-litre EcoBoost and 2.0-litre Duratorq petrol engines - all were recalled to rectify overheating issues.
There was another major recall affecting 2014-18 C-Max, Focus, Kuga, Mondeo, Galaxy and Transit Connect models, for a clutch issue. Finally, 2014-18 Edge, Mondeo (pictured), S-Max and Galaxy were recalled because part of the air-conditioner could become loose.
7: Mitsubishi – 14 recalls affecting 6 models
ASX and Outlander were both recalled because of issues with locks, handbrakes, water entering wiper-motor, exhaust, and belt tensioner. 2008-2009 Outlander, Lancer and Lancer Sportback all had a sunroof-related recall, while the Eclipse Cross had a recall over possible failures of its Active Stability Control and Forward Collision Mitigation systems.
6: Toyota – 14 recalls affecting 16 models
2006-13 Auris and Corollas were recalled for an airbag issue, as were 2001-06 Avensis, Corolla, Picnic and Yaris. There were recalls over hybrid system issues in Prius, Auris HV and C-HR Hybrid, and there were three recalls for the ProAce van. 2005-14 Aygos (pictured) were recalled over rear-door glass adhesion issues.
5: Citroën – 17 recalls affecting 13 models
Several different eras of C4 Picasso, C4, DS4, and C5 were recalled due to an overheating issue. C4 Aircross built at various stages between 2011 and 2016 were recalled for various issues involving the ECU, locks, parking brake, and hatchback door strut. There were three recalls for the 2007-2012 C-Crosser (pictured) for water-entering-wiper motor, sunroof, and auxiliary belt -issues.
4: Vauxhall/Opel – 20 recalls affecting 11 models
There was a major recall for an oil-leak related issue on Astra, Cascada, Insignia and Zafira built in early 2018. There were five recalls each for Insignia and Grandland X for reasons including engine and suspension issues.
There were three recalls for the Crossland X (pictured), a steering-related recalls for the 2016-18 Ampera, 2016-17 Movano and 2018 Combo, while Corsas built between February and May 2018 were recalled because of a bonnet issue.
3: Peugeot – 23 recalls affecting 12 models
Late 2017-produced 2008, 208, 3008, 308, 5008, 508, and Partner were all recalled over adverse engine performance issues. Engines in 3008, 308 (pictured), 5008 and 508 produced in 2013-15 may overheat and oil leakage may occur, prompting another major recall to rectify.
The 2016-18 3008, 308 and 5008 were recalled over engine software, while certain 308, 3008, 5008, Traveler and Expert made between April and May 2018 were recalled because of an oil plug issue.
2: Volkswagen – 25 recalls affecting 18 models
Models produced between March and July 2011 were recalled in a wide-ranging recall involving Golf, Golf Convertible, Passat, Polo, Sharan, Golf Plus, Scirocco, Passat CC, Eos, Touran, Golf Variant, Jetta, Beetle, Beetle Cabrio and Tiguan - with the aim to resolve an overheating starter motor. The 2015-17 Amarok and 2016-17 T6 both had hose-related issues.
Tiguan, Golf, Passat and Arteon produced briefly early in 2018 were recalled to rectify brake disc issues, while there was a recall of Arteon, Passat, Golf and T-Roc (pictured) to deal with a headrest unit.
1: Mercedes-Benz – 36 recalls affecting 17 models
Mercedes has a vast range these days – 23 models are currently on sale in the UK, against 16 for VW – so its presence here should not come as large a surprise as it might do. Among other things, there was a major recall affecting A, B, C, and E-Class, AMG GT, GLA and GLC models manufactured from January to March 2018 to deal with an airbag issue. April to June 2018 CLE and GLS (pictured) models were recalled because of faulty rear-brake calipers.
Do you own one of the cars listed in this story? Don't fret - an easy solution is on the next slide:
You can see the full table and other useful recall information from car-recalls.eu here
How do I find out if my car is affected by a recall that I’m not aware of?
UK car-owners can easily find out by visiting this DVLA website and entering your car registration number; it will also reveal your car’s current MOT status.
You should normally have been contacted by a manufacturer automatically if you are listed as a registered keeper of a car affected by a recall. However, if you believe there's been a recall but your car has not had remedial work applied, then you should contact a main franchised dealer for your car’s make in your locality for further assistance. Such work is normally carried out free-of-charge, though your car may be off the road for a period and a courtesy car is not always offered.
It’s very important that the indicated remedial work is carried out as soon as possible as there may be a safety issue; additionally, your car may prove hard to sell on if recall-work has not been done.
Non-UK drivers can check their car’s recall status by sending their car’s unique VIN number to a relevant local franchised dealer.
You can see the full table and other useful recall information from car-recalls.euhere