more, and then waiting days without your car while repairs are underway. But recall campaigns are essential for safety reasons, and if you’ve been dealing with a repetitive repair problem that’s left you wondering if you bought a lemon or if a malfunctioning part or feature has compromised your car’s safety, you might welcome a recall, which replaces or repairs the part at no expense to you.
Recall notices can have multiple sources, with voluntary recalls sometimes issued from manufacturers and recalls issued for safety concerns by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). With 932 safety recalls issued for vehicles in 2022 alone, vehicle owners might wonder, what are the most common reasons for auto recalls?
1. Equipment Recalls
Equipment defects are the most common reason for automotive recalls. Manufacturers frequently issue recalls for airbags, seatbelts, windshield wipers, fan blades, door latches, seat heaters, interior lighting, seat problems, and vent equipment malfunctions. Approximately 29% of all automotive recalls are for faulty equipment.
2. Electrical System Recalls
A vehicle’s electrical system is responsible for the proper functioning of almost all of its parts, so a faulty electrical system can have multiple effects, many of which become a safety hazard. Examples of electrical system problems in cars include problems with the following:
- The starter and battery
- Ignition system
- Power windows
- Dashboard lights
- Cruise control system
- Power locks
- Entertainment system
- Navigation system
- Electronic stability controls
Any of these electrical problems can affect the safety and usability of a vehicle. About 20% of all auto recalls are related to vehicle electrical systems.
3. Steering System Recalls
A motor vehicle’s steering system is of critical importance for safety and maneuverability. Vehicles ranging from Ford to Tesla have all experienced recalls for problems with steering systems. While power steering fluid leaks are the most common problem, Tesla’s steering system recall addressed a problem with the power steering failing altogether after some models hit a pothole or bump in the road. About 7% of all automotive recalls are related to steering system defects.
4. Brake System Recalls
A car’s brake system is as essential as its steering system for safety and both manufacturers and NHTSA take brake defects and failures very seriously. About 5% of all automotive recalls are for problems with a vehicle’s brake system. Brake fluid leaks, faults in brake boosters, parts prone to corrosion, and spontaneous activation of a vehicle’s automatic braking system are all examples of recent recalls related to vehicle brake systems.
5. Tire Recalls
Tire recalls are sadly common, making up 4% of automotive recalls. While any tire model can face a recall, when entire production lines roll out of a manufacturer with faulty tires it triggers massive automotive recalls. Over 4% of all recalls in the auto industry are related to tire defects.
Which Car Company Had The Most Recalls?
The Ford Motor Company issued more recalls in 2022 than any other in the automotive industry with 67 recall campaigns, over 8 million affected vehicles, and issues ranging from oil leaks to cracked driveshafts and faulty software in the braking systems. The Ford F150 pickup truck was the model with the most recalls in 2022.