In 2020, 353 passenger car recalls were announced, which affected 248 models of 38 carmakers.
The data is based on an analysis of the Weekly overviews of RAPEX notifications issued by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Protection, which is compiled annually into a well-arranged form by the Car-Recalls.eu website. The Rapex system only registers dangerous safety, health and environmental hazards.
The number of recalls is comparable to the previous year 2019, but a significant year-on-year increase occurred a year ago. The main table below shows that Mercedes-Benz (57) reported the most recalls to Rapex in 2020 again, followed by Peugeot (28), Ford and Volkswagen (24).
Toyota (22), Audi (19), Citroën (18), BMW (17), Renault (15) and Opel (14) also appear in the top ten. The representation of brands in the highest positions is the same as a year ago, and only their order has changed. Ford, Volkswagen and Toyota are several places higher, while Audi, Citroën, BMW and Opel headed in the opposite direction. Regardless of the order, the number of recalls increased for almost all manufacturers in the Top ten.
The most common reasons
Compared to previous years, the number of brake defects increased significantly (83 vs 49 in 2019). The risk of fire (114/116) appeared to a greater extent with hybrid and electric cars, for which we introduced a new EV/Hybrid label in 2020. Problems with the suspension (67/65) and steering (31/35) remain at about the same values as in previous years. There was a significant decrease in records due to airbags (95/144) and engine (94/134) failures.
The most recalled cars
Fourteen models of six brands had six or more recalls in 2020. Among the passenger cars, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Peugeot 208 were the most recalled. We also find two BMWs and one Toyota on the list. Citroën Jumpy / Spacetourer, Peugeot Expert / Traveler and Ford Transit had the most defects among the vans. Their owners had to go to the workshop nine times. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter had seven recalls. See more details in our article: These 14 cars had the most recalls in 2020.
A detailed overview of recalls in 2020
In our detailed overview, we dedicate a special page to each manufacturer with a detailed description of problematic models’ defects. For the comparison, we also show the recalls and number of models affected between 2017 to 2019.
A low position in the ranking does not automatically mean higher quality, and conversely, a high position that the manufacturer regularly fails. The disadvantages are mainly producers with a wide production range, where a larger number of issues can occur and manufacturers who offer more technologically complicated vehicles with advanced technologies. This applies in particular to premium brands.
* Minor recalls concerning cars produced over just a few days are not usually listed.
* Data for this unofficial summary is sourced from the weekly overview of reports from RAPEX notifications.
Illustrative photo: source Ford
Number of recalls by Make in 2020
Order 1 – 10 / trend compared to 2019
Order 11 – 20 / trend compared to 2019
|17 (23)||Land Rover||7||3||6/4||4/4||9/5|
Order 21 – 30 / trend compared to 2019
Order 31 – 38 / trend compared to 2019
|31 (36)||Aston Martin||1||3||1/3||3/6||3/2|