Top 10 Most Recalled Vehicles Manufactured Since 2010

The Toyota Corolla has been recalled 14 times since 2010, making it the most recalled vehicle of the decade. Safety features can lower your car insurance rates by up to 8%.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jan 19, 2021

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Here's what you should know...

  • Vehicle recalls are more common than most car owners think, and it’s vital to your safety that you check for recalls
  • Faulty airbags, malfunctioning engines, sticky accelerators, and broken steering components are some of the most common reasons for a recall
  • You can easily look up any vehicle recalls by entering your vehicle’s identification number (VIN) at SafeCar.gov

Purchasing an automobile is an investment that requires consideration of everything from its technological advancements to its overall safety level. The manufacturer’s dependability is equally important since the last thing you want to do is a buy a car that continually needs repairs.

The need to remove vehicles deemed unsafe from our roadways is made primarily via recalls. As annoying as it may be for the automobile owner, it’s one of the safest ways to ensure safety on our motorways. Automobile accidents are the #1 killer of Americans under 34 years old. One key way to lower this number is by improving highway safety through automobile recalls.

Major Airbag Recall

One of the most recent causes of recalls has been due to faulty airbags. These airbags, made by Takata, were installed in automobiles manufactured from 2002 through 2015. Unfortunately, some of the airbags have deployed explosively, injuring and even killing drivers.

At the root of the problem is the airbag’s inflator, which is a metal cartridge. Loaded with propellant wafers, there are documented cases where these exploded, causing grave injuries by spraying metal shards throughout the vehicle.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) determined that the airbags used an Ammonium nitrate-based propellant that did not contain a drying agent. As suspected, high temperatures and environmental moisture both play a role in the impromptu deployment of the airbags, thus sending the shrapnel into the occupants of the vehicle.

Over the course of the last year, the number of vehicles recalled due to Takata airbags has tripled.

To date, there are more than 100 million automobiles worldwide with airbag inflators that need to be replaced before 2019.

Word on the street is that the NHTSA will be consulting with the affected automobile manufacturers to pinpoint the precise timeframe for the recall, giving highest-risk vehicles the top priority.

Methodology

The rankings of this study were compiled after analysis of statistics made public by the NHTSA. Each vehicle is ranked according to the following categories:

  • Number of recalls
  • Investigations
  • Customer complaints
  • Manufacturer communication

For further information, take a look at the sources used to conduct this study below:

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Top Ten Most Recalled Vehicles

#10 – 2012 Dodge Charger

Total number of recalls: 11
Customer complaints: 319

Any performance-loving person enjoys the thrill of riding in a Dodge Charger. The 2012 Dodge Charger is a favorite among many, particularly because of its incredible horsepower.

Unfortunately, as with most things, there is a downside. Varying recalls due to hazards with numerous components including airbag, transmission, and alternator issues placed this American performance vehicle on a seat at 10th place.

# 9 – 2010 Toyota FJ Cruiser

Total number of recalls: 12
Customer complaints: 40

Its sleek exterior and off-road capabilities have made the Toyota FJ Cruiser one of the most well-respected off-road vehicles to date. Even with recalls that have ranged from potentially fatal airbag injuries to child safety seat issues, as well as defective braking mechanisms, this vehicle has stood the test of time.

#8 – 2014 Chevrolet Impala

Total number of recalls: 12
Customer complaints: 113

For those who love a full-size car with great gas mileage, the Chevrolet Impala has served them well. But over the past several years, GM recalled specific Impala model from 2014-2015 that are equipped with front-vented heated passenger seat citing that that automatic Occupant Sensing (AOS) could fail to suppress the airbag if a child safety seat is in the front passenger seat.

#7 – 2014 GMC Sierra

Total number of recalls: 13
Customer complaints: 95

With its powerful engine and high-tech features, the GMC Sierra took center stage in 2014, sparking delight in the hearts trucker lovers worldwide. Sadly, 13 recalls due to seat belt malfunction, ignition defects and unsecured front seats put a damper on things for those who bought of these automobiles.

#6 – 2010 Toyota Tacoma

Total number of recalls: 13
Customer complaints: 177

For those who are serious about pickup trucks, the 2010 Toyota Tacoma offered reliability and high performance. Unfortunately, recalls due to potential fire hazards due to electrical malfunction within the seats, as well as the possibility of a gas leak from faulty leaf springs in the suspension system may hamper its one-time high resale value.

#5 – 2010 Toyota Rav4

Total number of recalls: 13
Customer complaints: 261

With seating for up to seven passengers and V6 engine, the 2010 Toyota Rav4 is a perfect option for active millennials. However, defective windshield wipers, power window malfunctioning, and heating elements issues within the copper stranding found in the seats are among the reasons for recall.

#4 – 2013 Ford Escape

Total number of recalls: 13
Customer complaints: 460

With a choice of highly impressive engine options and a power liftgate, this compact SUV surprisingly has had short-circuiting airbags and defective engine sensors sit high on the list of potentially fatal consequences, which have resulted in over 13 manufacturer recalls.

#3 – 2010 Toyota Tundra

Total number of recalls: 14
Customer complaints: 95

Equipped with a 4.6-liter engine and electronic stability control helped this full-sized pickup earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety award. Oddly enough, problems with electrical wiring in conjunction with malfunctioning airbags prompted 14 recalls of the 2010 Toyota Tundra.

#2 – 2014 Chevrolet Silverado

Total number of recalls: 14
Customer complaints: 121

With a V6 economy streamlined exterior and air suspension systems, the Chevrolet Silverado scored big points in 2014. However, since then, GM cited numerous equipment failure as the reason behind 14 recalls on the Chevrolet Silverado.

Customers complaints include defective ignitions, while GM announced the improper welding techniques of seating could have serious, if not fatal consequences for passengers.

#1 – 2010 Toyota Corolla

Total number of recalls: 14
Customer complaints: 794

Compact car lovers rejoiced with the release of the 2010 Toyota Corolla. Its fuel efficiency and overall upgrades including larger tires and acceleration speed of zero to 60 in less than eight seconds made it the prime choice for city dwellers.

Sadly, faulty airbags, electrical wiring issues, and structural defects place the Toyota Corolla at the top of the list with 14 factory recalls and 794 customer complaints.

How is an Automobile Recall Initiated?

Most recalls are initiated by the manufacturers themselves, while others are either a result of complaints by vehicle owners or are influenced by NHTSA investigators.

Manufacturers must notify all registered owners via first-class mail about the existence of problems and assess its risk of overall vehicle safety. The manufacturer must also explain all of the potential safety hazards possibly present due to the problem.

How Do I Find Out if My Car is Being Recalled?

There are a few ways to find out if there has been a recall made on your vehicle. The US Department of Transportation provides consumers with recall information dating back to 1966 until today.

On NHTSA’s safety search, you will find a wealth of information in regards to safety-related defects or vehicles that did not comply with federal motor vehicle safety standards.

Also, Consumer Reports allows you to do is input the year, make and model of your car to see if there is anything you need to have repaired.

Another way to find out if a recall has been issued for your vehicle is by searching its vehicle identification number (VIN). On NHTSA’s VIN search, you are able to enter your car’s VIN to see if there have been any recalls issued.

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Legal Recourse

Automobile recalls may be inconvenient, but they can save the life you and your family. If you’ve been involved in an accident due to manufacturer defect, a product liability suit could be filed on your behalf. You can find out more information at Find Law.

Do Your Part

Recalls are a serious matter, so it’s imperative to have your car repaired as soon as possible. You can do your part to help keep our highways safe in several ways including:

  • Check on a regular basis to see if a recall has been issued on your vehicle
  • Register your used car with the manufacturer to ensure you receive notification of recalls
  • Inform the manufacturer promptly of any change of address

Complete Rankings: Most Recalled Vehicles Manufactured Since 2010

– To sort the table by category, click on header columns.

– Click here for the full stats and sources for each category. For all media inquiries, please email: Tyler Spraul

RANKVEHICLERECALLSINVESTIGATIONSCOMPLAINTSMANUFACTURER COMMUNICATIONSMANUFACTURER
12010 TOYOTA COROLLA14279442Toyota Motor Corporation
22014 CHEVROLET SILVERADO14012169General Motors LLC
32010 TOYOTA TUNDRA1409533Toyota Motor Corporation
42013 FORD ESCAPE13046072Ford Motor Company
52010 TOYOTA RAV413126133Toyota Motor Corporation
62010 TOYOTA TACOMA13017743Toyota Motor Corporation
72014 GMC SIERRA1309559General Motors LLC
82014 CHEVROLET IMPALA121113166General Motors LLC
92010 TOYOTA FJ CRUISER1204023Toyota Motor Corporation
102012 DODGE CHARGER11231942Chrysler (FCA US LLC)
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