Recalls can be a real pain, especially if the vehicle has to be left with the dealer for extended repairs or parts delays. However, some models see far fewer recalls over their lifetimes than others, and as iSeeCars’ new study shows, some might almost never be recalled.
iSeeCars analyzed data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to create a model that predicts the likelihood of a recall over a 30-year vehicle lifespan. So, while the numbers are based on current recall data, they should be viewed as rough estimates rather than set-in-stone numbers. Still, the results are interesting, and they show that commonly held views on vehicle reliability and lifetime maintenance costs don’t tell the whole picture.
The 10 least-recalled vehicles:
10. Lexus IS 300: 0.7 recalls over a 30-year period
9. Mercedes-Benz GLC: 0.7 recalls
8. Mercedes-Benz GLA: 0.6 recalls
7. Hyundai Elantra GT: 0.6
6. Nissan 370Z: 0.5
5. Lexus RX 450h: 0.5
4. Mercedes-Benz CLA: 0.5
3. Lincoln MKZ Hybrid: 0.5
2. Lexus NX 300h: 0.3
1. Mini Convertible: 0.2
Seeing the Lexus name on the least-recalled list isn’t surprising, but it might be a shock to see Mercedes and Mini so high on the list. In between several Japanese brands, five other Benzes, two Ford Fusion variants, and the Chevy Trailblazer ranked on the full list of 33 least-recalled vehicles.
For every “best” list, there has to be a “worst” list, and in this case, iSeeCars found 25 models that take recalls to a whole new level. The Tesla Model Y is projected to rack up 62.4 recalls over its lifetime, followed by the Porsche Panamera at 61.8 and the Tesla Model 3 at 56.8.
Luckily, many Tesla recalls are handled with an over-the-air update instead of a trip to the dealer, but the numbers are concerning. Plus, iSeeCars pointed out that Teslas buck the normal recall trends. Most new models tend to see fewer recalls over time, but some of the American EV maker’s vehicles see consistent recall activity and even increases in the number of actions.