Tesla tops list of predicted lifetime ‘recalls’: iSeeCars

New data based on recalls from the NHTSA found that Tesla vehicles are by far the most likely to be “recalled” over a projected 30-year vehicle lifespan.

The term “recall” has become quite contentious over the past two years as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has hammered Tesla with recall after recall, many of which are fixed by over-the-air updates. Nonetheless, the government agency has yet to change its terminology, and new data from iSeeCars has found that Tesla vehicles are significantly more likely to be recalled over their lifetime than essentially any others.

iSeeCars compiled its list of the top 25 most and least recalled vehicles by analyzing ten years of recalls issued by the NHTSA and projecting that number over a 30-year lifespan, concluding that Tesla took all but one of the top five spots. The top ten most recalled vehicles over their lifetimes are as follows:

RankModelExpected 30-yr lifetime RecallsCompared to the Overall Average
1Tesla Model Y62.415.60x
2Porsche Panamera61.815.45x
3Tesla Model 356.814.2x
4Tesla Model X27.36.83x
5Tesla Model S26.46.60x
6Lincoln Aviator23.05.75x
7Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport22.45.60x
8Volkswagen Atlas20.85.20x
9Ram 150020.55.13x
10Ram 1500 Classic20.55.13x

Besides the obvious discrepancy of Tesla recalls predominantly being recalled for issues fixed by OTA update, iSeeCars also noted that Tesla vehicles are more likely to be recalled later in life than their counterparts. Typically, as a vehicle ages, the number of times it is recalled in any given year decreases. However, this is less the case with Tesla vehicles, which are continually updated with newer software, hence introducing new recalls.

Outside of Tesla, other brands that fared poorly in the iSeeCars analysis include Porsche, which also appeared four times in the top 25; BMW and Jeep, which both appear three times; and Ford, Lincoln, Ram, and Volkswagen, which all appear twice.

On the opposite end of the study, analysts found that Mercedes, Lexus, and Toyota vehicles had the lowest number of lifetime recalls, with most of them not even having one. However, the top spot was taken by the MINI Cooper Convertible with only 0.2 lifetime recalls. The top 10 least recalled vehicles are as follows:

RankModelExpected 30-yr lifetime RecallsCompared to the Overall Average
1MINI Convertible0.20.05x
2Lexus NX 300h0.30.08x
3Lincoln MKZ Hybrid0.50.13x
4Mercedes-Benz CLA0.50.13x
5Lexus RX 450h0.50.13x
6Nissan 370Z0.50.13x
7Hyundai Elantra GT0.60.15x
8Mercedes-Benz GLA0.60.15x
9Mercedes-Benz GLC0.70.18x
10Lexus IS 3000.70.18x
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