Most recalled car brands exposed

Some surprising car makers have topped the list of the most recalled brands in the country in 2021, including the nation’s favourite brand.

Some of the country’s most trusted and respected car brands have topped the list of product recalls in the past 12 months.

Recalls are part of the car industry and as cars become more hi-tech, faults are more likely to occur.

It’s important to look beyond the raw numbers, though, as some brands have more expansive and complicated ranges, which increases the chance of recalls.

Most recalls are precautionary, with no incidents reported in Australia, and involve a wide range of issues from relatively minor faults to potentially fatal accident causing issues.

Recalled vehicles are always repaired free of charge by the manufacturer. You can check whether your car is affected here.

These are the 10 most recalled car brands in the country.


The German maker issued 48 recall notices in 2021, which is more than three times the next most recalled brand.

Mercedes-Benz has 34 different models on sales in Australia, which is one of the largest ranges in the country.

That means it’ll have a higher chance of issuing recalls due to the sheer volume of models on sale.

Even taking this into account it still had 1.4 recalls per model, which is at the top end of recalls ratios in the nation. And some recall notices included several models.

Some issues were minor and only required an over-the-air update similar to how your smartphone updates its software.

Others were more serious and included faulty airbag sensors that could cause airbags not to deploy in an accident.


Australia’s biggest selling car brand came in second.

The Japanese giant issued 15 recalls in 2021. It sells 25 different vehicles in Australia meaning it has a recall ratio of just 0.6 recalls per vehicle.

Toyota recalled the HiLux ute – the nation’s most popular new vehicle – five times in 2021.

These included some trivial issues such as an incorrectly printed compliance label and the chance the licence plate might fall off. But others were for potential deadly faults that could cause an increased risk of fire.


Nissan issued 10 recall notices in 2021. It sells 10 different models in Australia, giving it a recall ratio of 1.

Some of the recalls affected older models no longer on sale such as a 2021 Infiniti Q70, which only affected 59 vehicles.

More popular models such as the Nissan Juke small SUV and Navara ute were both subject to recalls for faults that could potentially lead to serious accidents.


Land Rover and Range Rover had 10 recall notices in 2021. It had a recall ratio of 1.4. Many were for the new Discovery and Defender, which have become much more hi-tech.

Some were for faulty seat belts and others were for issues such as dodgy sensors that could give incorrect warning lights.


The Japanese brand issued nine recalls last year. It sells eight vehicles locally giving it a recall ratio of 1.1.

Several notices affect the new Outback wagon, including one for faulty safety tech that could misdiagnose an object ahead and slam on the brakes unexpectedly.


Suzuki had one of the worst recall ratios in the nation at 1.5. The Japanese brand sells six models and issued nine recalls.

Seven of these were for the Jimny, the brand’s cheap little four-wheel drive.

Issues included improperly sealed glass that could leak and faulty door wiring that could result in side airbags failing to deploy.


Despite issuing nine recalls, Hyundai had a recall ratio of just 0.5 – which was one of the best in the country.

But some of its recalls were doozies. One was for a potential fire risk that affected more than 90,000 Tucson SUVs. Another was for battery fires in its Kona Electric SUV, with Hyundai advising owners to park their vehicles away from property to minimise potential collateral damage.


VW’s recall ratio was just 0.4. It issued eight recall notices but has a range of 20 vehicles.

Most were for minor issues but some were serious including one affecting the Passat that could result in the brake pedal no longer working.


Jeep has made a conscious effort to improve its reliability and customer service in the past few years.

It issued eight recalls in 2021, but only sells five vehicles giving it a disappointing recall ratio of 1.6.

Many of the recalls involved a faulty transmission harness that could result in an unexpected fire or the disabling of safety systems leading to an engine stall. Both could cause a serious accident.


The German luxury brand issued seven recall notices in 2021 and sells 17 different model. This gives it a low recall ratio of 0.4.


1. Mercedes Benz – 48 recalls from 34 models (1.4 recalls per model)

2. Toyota – 15 recalls from 25 models (0.6 recalls per model)

3. Nissan – 10 recalls from 10 models (1 recall per model)

3. Land Rover – 10 recalls from seven models (1.4 recalls per model)

5. Subaru – Nine recalls from eight models (1.1 recalls per model)

5. Suzuki – Nine recalls from six models (1.5 recalls per model)

5. Hyundai – Nine recalls from 17 models (0.5 recalls per model)

8. Volkswagen – Eight recalls from 20 models (0.4 recalls per model)

8. Jeep – Eight recalls from five models (1.6 recalls per model)

10. Audi – Seven recalls from 17 models (0.4 recalls per model)

Originally published as Top 10 most recalled car brands in Australia revealed

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