When looking for a new or gently-used car, reliability is an important factor in your decision. An unreliable car can lead to costly trips to the mechanic, especially if you don't have car warranty insurance. Checking a car's recall history is an easy way to evaluate reliability.
All Manufacturers Deal with Recalls
While some car companies have fewer recalls than others, all automakers face them. However, not all manufacturers are the same when it comes to recall history. For some, recalls are the exception to the norm, meaning their cars typically run without major issues. Manufacturers with fewer recalls have higher reliability ratings in the annual Consumer Reports owner surveys.
While it’s not always a sure thing, it’s rare that a car with few recalls also has reliability issues. When a manufacturer takes the time to get it right in the factory, the chance of recalls is generally lower. Conversely, manufacturers with many recalls tend to have more reliability issues. So, if a car has a lot of recalls, you might be in for more trips to the garage.
Cars with the Fewest Recalls: Is My Car on the List?
Recalls do more than help you identify whether or not a car is reliable. They’re also indicate a car's safety record. Use an online recall checker and plug the vehicle identification number (VIN) for any cars you wish to buy. You will get an idea of the car's reliability and learn about any outstanding recalls. You'll want to know about important safety issues that could lead to increased driving danger if left unresolved. Checking for recalls should be a regular part of car ownership. If you get a recall notice for a car, here's what you can do.
What cars measure up in terms of reliability? Iseecars.com compared model years from 2013 and 2017, and then calculated the number of recalls per year for every 100,000 units sold. They matched the data with average reliability scores from Consumers Reports, scored from 1-5 (higher is better). The top five most reliable and least recalled cars were:
- Hyundai Accent: 0.10 recall rating, no reliability score
- Chevrolet Equinox: 0.11 recall rating, 4.2 reliability score
- Toyota Corolla: 0.12 recall rating, 4.8 reliability score
- Honda Civic: 0.14 recall rating, 4.2 reliability score
- Honda CR-V: 0.14 recall rating, 4.6 reliability score
While cars with lowest recalls didn't always have the best reliability score, they were still among the top. Brands like Toyota and Honda scored well. On the flip-side, the top five least reliable were:
- Mercedes Benz C-Class: 5.77 recall rating, 3.0 reliability score
- GMC Sierra: 3.25 recall rating, 2.4 reliability score
- BMW 3 and 4 series: 2.95 recall rating, 3.6 reliability score
- Dodge Durango: 2.71 recall rating, 2.0 reliability score
- Nissan Pathfinder: 2.0 recall rating, 2.4 reliability score
Perhaps the most interesting thing is that some cars on the worst recall rating list are actually expensive, premium vehicles. Far more inexpensive economical cars make up three of the five best performing cars. In terms of reliability, spending more may not necessarily improve the odds of getting a more reliable car.
Adding Car Warranty Insurance
No matter what reliability score a car has, there’s always a chance of a surprise breakdown. For cars that are past their new-car warranty, an extended car warranty can protect you. Extended car warranties can help cover most of the costs of these breakdowns. Protect My Car's extended car warranties go beyond just providing financial protection. Coverage from Protect My Car also provides:
- 24/7 roadside assistance
- Backing from one of the top-rated companies in the industry, with a BBB A+ rating
- Knowing a breakdown won’t leave your bank account in pieces
- Full money-back guarantee
- Flexible payment options
Most importantly, keeping your car safe should be the main reason to check for recalls. No matter which brand you pick, regularly checking for recalls protects you and your family.
Be Ready for Breakdowns
In summary, a car's recall history can be a good indicator of how reliable it might be. However, a breakdown can surprise you no matter how reliable your car is. Protect your budget from breakdowns with an extended car warranty from Protect My Car. Remember to check your car for recalls and have them addressed right away. It’s free protection for your car!