Approximately 30 vehicles are recalled in the EU Information System Rapex every month.

Car recalls are extremely common. In 2018 alone, 29 million cars were recalled by their manufacturers.


What is a vehicle recall?

A recall occurs when a car manufacturer or the DVSA recognises there is a potential safety issue/defect with a particular component on a vehicle. Your car can be recalled for any number of reasons. To name a few examples, defects can affect steering, brakes, tyres, seat belts, airbags or the ignition switch.

Did you know that 25% of recalled vehicles are left unrepaired?

Recalls generally have no expiration date and so if you didn’t purchase your car straight from the manufacturer or were not the owner at the time of the recall you are still entitled to this recalled repair fix, even if it’s spotted late. And the good news is that recalls are free. So if you are the 1 in 4 who haven’t repaired your car’s issue you should definitely consider it.

What to do if a franchised dealer tries to charge you?

Recall repairs are carried out by franchised dealerships on behalf of car makers and the cost of all work should be covered by the car company. If a franchised dealer tries to charge you, refuse and contact Trading Standards.

If you were unaware of ‘recalls’ and want to double-check, you can do this on the GOV website by entering your registration number to see if your car has been subject to a recall notice (or if one you’re thinking of buying has).

Most Common Car Recall Defects

LeaseLoco has analysed the 14,123 car recalls since 1992 to reveal the top 20 most common recall defects.

The top 15 car recall defects:


Recall type Quantity
Brake 1,940
Airbag 1,125
Fuel 1,049
Steering 1,019
Engine 1,019
Fire 781
Wheels 521
Seat belt 325
Oil 322
Suspension 310
Lights 233
Gear/Gearbox 313
Exhaust 195
Battery 180
Emissions 172



The Car Makes Who Have Submitted The Most Recalls


LeaseLoco looked further into the GOV data to reveal which car make has had to submit the most car recalls since 1992.

Top 10 car makes for recalls are:


Make Quantity
BMW 726
VW 337
FORD 335


Out of the 446 car makes, Mercedes-Benz Cars UK Ltd came out on top with 892 car recalls in the last 29 years. Toyota fell in the second position with 832, and BMW in third.

Mercedes Benz appears twice on the list as Mercedes Benz and Mercedes Benz Cars UK Ltd are classed as different car ‘makes’. Mercedes-Benz Cars UK Limited is a company registered in England and Wales.


To see the full LeaseLoco research, click here.