2021: Detailed statistics of vehicle recalls in Europe



In 2021, 358 recalls were announced by 45 carmakers, affecting 270 models.

The 2021 data are based on an analysis of the Weekly overviews of Rapex notifications issued by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Protection, 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 2020, but the number of models and brands recalled has increased. As can be seen from the table below, Mercedes-Benz reported the most recalls to Rapex in 2021 again (67), followed by Volkswagen (25), Citroen (21), Audi and Opel (19).

BMW (17), Peugeot (16), Porsche (13), Toyota and Volvo (12) can also be found in the Top10. By the way, this is the first time Porsche has appeared this high; by contrast, Renault, which had recalled virtually only the Master van in 2021, dropped down.



The most common reasons

Engine faults were the most common in 2021 (109 compared to 94 in 2020), followed by fire risk (105/114), airbag faults (94/95) and brake problems (84/83). The suspension was flagged as a reason for recall 73 times (67 in 2020) while steering 26 times (31). In 62 cases, we used the EV/Hybrid label regardless of whether the fault was with the electric drive or other car parts (e.g. the suspension on the Porsche Taycan or Tesla).

Complex technology, too fast development

Alarmingly, the number of recalls has increased sixfold in the last ten years. According to a study on Recall Trends of Global Automakers, this is due to the technical complexity of modern cars and the high competitive pressure forcing carmakers to launch new models in ever shorter time frames. Manufacturers are not producing up to 75% of parts themselves but shifting production to global suppliers. This makes quality control more difficult. In addition, they push suppliers to cut costs, which risks reducing quality. The use of modular and common part platforms is causing an ampler spread of defects between different models. When you use the same imperfect solution on ten different models of different brands, the number of recalls is multiplied.



We should also not forget that the growing number of recalls may be just the tip of the iceberg regarding the quality of today’s cars. Manufacturers are only obliged by law to issue recalls when safety, health or the environment is at risk. Various functional and design defects, where “only” the customer’s wallet and, in the worst case, the lifetime of the car or part is at risk, need not be reported anywhere. It can only be preventatively improved as a TSB (Technical Service Bulletins) to those who go to authorised dealers for regular inspections. Independent garages usually don’t have a chance to know about the problem. Follow our guide and ask your nearest official dealer if there are any open recalls or technical service bulletins on your car.

A detailed overview of recalls in 2021

In our detailed overview, we traditionally dedicate a special page to each manufacturer with a description of all the defects of the concerned models. Simply click on the link in the table where we also list the number of recalls/number of recalled models for each make in 2018 – 2020 for comparison. The number in brackets next to the ranking is the position the manufacturer had last year.

You can also see which 25 cars had more than five recalls.





Number of recalls by Manufacturer in 2021


Order 1 – 10

# (2020) Make Recalls Models 2020 2019 2018
1 (1) Mercedes-Benz 67 21 57/27 56/19 36/17
2 (4) Volkswagen 25 15 24/12 17/13 25/18
3 (7) Citroen & DS 21 18 18/13 25/14 17/13
4 (6) Audi 19 17 19/12 19/12 5/6
5 (10) Opel 19 11 14/7 18/8 20/11
6 (8) BMW 17 17 17/18 18/19 8/10
7 (2) Peugeot 16 15 28/11 23/12 23/12
8 (28) Porsche 13 8 3/2 11/7 3/3
9 (5) Toyota 12 13 22/14 14/11 14/16
= (11) Volvo 12 13 10/15 11/15 2/1



Order 11 – 20

# (2020) Make Recalls Models 2020 2019 2018
11 (3) Ford 11 11 24/16 15/12 13/13
12 (20) Hyundai 10 10 6/5 6/6 5/6
13 (16) Fiat 10 5 7/4 12/7 4/3
14 (17) Land Rover 10 4 7/3 6/4 4/4
15 (13) Mazda 8 6 8/5 10/10 5/5
16 (15) Jeep 7 3 7/5 9/4 6/3
= (9) Renault 7 3 15/11 14/11 9/5
18 (23) Mitsubishi 6 7 4/3 3/4 14/6
19 (24) Dodge 6 6 4/2 14/4 4/3
20 (26) Škoda 5 7 3/4 9/7 3/5



Order 21 – 30

# (2020) Make Recalls Models 2020 2019 2018
21 (22) Kia 4 4 5/4 4/4 4/4
22 (27) Dacia 4 3 3/3 6/6 4/4
= (14) Nissan 4 3 7/11 6/10 7/5
= (19) Subaru 4 3 6/6 3/8 3/3
= (-) Tesla 4 3 0/0 0/0 0/0
26 (18) Seat & Cupra 3 6 6/6 8/6 8/8
27 (32) Infiniti 3 4 1/2 0/0 1/2
28 (-) Alfa Romeo 3 2 0/0 5/2 2/3
= (21) Bentley 3 2 6/3 3/2 0/0
= (33) Lamborghini 3 2 1/1 1/1 0/0



Order 31 – 40

# (2020) Make Recalls Models 2020 2019 2018
= (33) Suzuki 3 2 1/1 1/1 4/4
32 (29) Jaguar 2 4 2/3 5/7 4/5
33 (25) Lexus 2 3 3/4 6/7 6/8
34 (33) Cadillac 2 2 1/1 2/3 2/2
= (12) Honda 2 2 8/6 6/4 6/6
36 (-) Smart 2 1 0/0 0/0 0/0
37 (-) SsangYong 1 3 0/0 1/2 0/0
38 (33) Alpina 1 2 1/1 2/3 0/0
= (-) Bugatti 1 2 0/0 0/0 2/1
= (33) Ferrari 1 2 1/1 4/11 3/7



Order 41 – 45

# (2020) Make Recalls Models 2020 2019 2018
41 (30) Mini 1 1 2/2 1/3 2/1
= (30) Chevrolet 1 1 0/0 1/2 0/0
= (30) Maserati 1 1 0/0 1/2 2/3
= (-) e.GO 1 1 0/0 0/0 0/0
= (-) Aiways 1 1

* 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 Mercedes-Benz


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What the owner should do?

If you read about a recall that you think may affect your car, you should make immediate contact with a dealer or workshop that’s been officially authorised to perform repairs on behalf of the manufacturer and ask for the details.

If you wish to know more about eventual problems of a specific car (e.g. real mileage, potential traffic accidents damages, odometer rollback, repairs, etc.), then we suggest going to HPI-Check.

Check the vehicle's history


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All non-English texts are machine translated. Car-Recalls.eu accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of the translation. In case of discrepancies, the English version will prevail.

Deutsche version
Based on Weekly overview reports of RAPEX notifications, published free of charge in English on https://ec.europa.eu/rapex, © European Union, 2005 – 2022
The official contact points of the Member and EFTA-EEA States provide the information published in these weekly overviews. Under the terms of Annex II.10 to the General Product Safety Directive (2001/95/EC) responsibility for the information provided lies with the notifying party. The Commission nor the car-recalls.eu does not take any responsibility for the accuracy of the information provided.
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