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Study Finds Lexus SUVs Among Lowest Recall Rates, Tesla Among the Highest

Recalls are never fun. A new study says that if you wish to avoid the hassles of recalls, skip the Tesla Model Y and buy a Lexus Hybrid SUV.

A new study by iSeeCars has found that the ultra-low volume Porsche Taycan and MINI convertible have the most and least recalls. The SUVs with the lowest projected lifetime recalls are the Lexus RX450h and Lexus NX300h hybrids. The SUV with the highest projected recall rate is the Tesla Model Y.

“If you’re hoping to avoid recall hassles, you can significantly improve your odds by choosing the right model,” said Karl Brauer, iSeeCars’ Executive Analyst. “A vehicle like the MINI Convertible or Lexus RX 450h has, literally, a fractional chance of being recalled even once, versus more than 60 projected recalls for the Porsche Taycan, Tesla Model Y, and Tesla Model 3. Even the industry median of 3.2 lifetime recalls sounds much better than the approximately 15-plus projected recalls for all of the cars on the most recalled list.” 

The data iSeeCars presents shows the Tesla Model Y will have about 67 lifetime recalls. By contrast, the Lexus RX and NX on the list are projected to have less than 1 on average. Many recalls can be handled over the air. This is now true of nearly every brand. When OTA recalls are removed from the total, Tesla Model Y owners are still expected to have over 11 lifetime recalls that require the owner to have the vehicle brought to a center for the resolution of the recall. With Lexus having a less than 1 total recall average the point is moot. 

Premium brands fare better than mainstream models when it comes to having a low recall rate. “Nearly every least recalled model comes from a premium brand, with Nissan’s 370Z the only mainstream vehicle to make the list,” said Mr. Brauer. 

How Can You Check For Recalls?
Checking for recalls is super easy. You can phone your local dealer, use a brand-specific recall lookup page online, or you can simply plug your VIN into the NHTSA Recall Lookup Tool Here. 

How Did iSeeCars Arrive At Its Conclusions?
iSeeCars says that its research team analyzed vehicle safety recall campaigns as of May 7, 2024 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for cars from model years 2015-2024. The number of campaigns for each model was aggregated and projected by the team for an expected 30-year lifespan, taking into account the overall behavior of the automaker and when each recall campaign was issued in the car’s lifetime. The resulting estimates were then used by the researchers to rank models with the fewest and most expected safety recalls. The group excluded heavy-duty vehicles, low-volume models, and models discontinued prior to the 2020 model year.

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John Goreham is an experienced New England Motor Press Association member and expert vehicle tester. John completed an engineering program with a focus on electric vehicles, followed by two decades of work in high-tech, biopharma, and the automotive supply chain before becoming a news contributor. In addition to his eleven years of work at Torque News, John has published thousands of articles and reviews at American news outlets. He is known for offering unfiltered opinions on vehicle topics. You can connect with John on Linkedin and follow his work at our X channel. Please note that stories carrying John's by-line are never AI-generated, but he does employ Grammarly grammar and punctuation software when proofreading. 

Image courtesy of Lexus Media support.