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Reliability - 9 Car Brands With The Most Recalls Last Year And Where Subaru Ranks

Are the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek, Outback, Forester, Ascent, and other new models reliable? One indicator is the number of recalls. See where Subaru ranks with the twelve car brands with the most recalls in 2022.

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Readers often ask if the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek subcompact SUV, Outback midsize SUV, Forester compact SUV, Ascent 3-Row SUV, and other new models are reliable vehicles. One indicator is how many recalls auto manufacturers have for their new cars.

Which automakers have the most recalls? A new report from Automotive News (by subscription) says as of December 19, vehicle manufacturers had issued 390 recalls, affecting more than 25 million U.S. vehicles in 2022. Through December 19, Ford had issued 65 recalls involving more than 8.6 million vehicles in 2022.

2023 Subaru recalls
photo credit: Lancaster Subaru

Here are the twelve automakers with the most recalls in 2022

1. Ford Motor Co.
No. of recalls: 65

Vehicles affected: 8,623,965

2. Volkswagen Group of America
No. of recalls: 45
Vehicles affected: 1,040,885

3. Stellantis North America
No. of recalls: 38
Vehicles affected: 3,041,431

4. General Motors
No. of recalls: 30
Vehicles affected: 3,260,051

5. Mercedes-Benz USA
No. of recalls: 29
Vehicles affected: 969,634

6. Kia America
No. of recalls: 24
Vehicles affected: 1,458,962

7. Hyundai Motor America
No. of recalls: 21
Vehicles affected: 1,451,248

8. Tesla
No. of recalls: 20
Vehicles affected: 3,769,581

9. BMW of North America
No. of recalls: 19
Vehicles affected: 1,000,455

2023 Subaru recalls
photo credit: Don Miller Subaru West

How many recalls did Subaru have in 2022?

In 2022, Subaru of America had seven recalls affecting 520,280 vehicles. Subaru Corporation also recalled the 2023 Subaru Solterra manufactured in Japan by Toyota Motor, and 2,600 EVs were affected.

How is Subaru doing in customer service?

You can have the best car, but it can ruin your new car experience if the service is lousy. Subaru moved from tenth to seventh place in the mainstream brand's overall customer satisfaction index ranking last year.

2022 J.D. Power Customer Service Index study

Based on a 1,000-point scale, the overall mainstream brand customer service average satisfaction score in the 2022 J.D. Power Customer Service Index study was 848. Subaru is steadily improving and has shown continual improvement over the past five years. Subaru of America retailers scored 852 points in 2022, up from last year's 843 points. In 2020, Subaru scored 831 overall for mainstream brands, and in 2019 Subaru scored 829.

Chris Sutton, vice president of automotive retail at J.D. Power, says, "Most customer service work, depending on the type of work that was, 35 percent of the customers said they'll definitely come back and repurchase that brand," said Sutton, citing a 2022 J.D. Power Customer Service Index study. "If a customer comes in on a recall, that goes down to 32 percent of the customers who said they definitely will repurchase the brand."

Consumer Reports reliability scores

In a recent Consumer Reports reliability study of who makes the most reliable new cars, Subaru scores seven out of twenty-four car brands in the U.S. market. They stay the same in the overall ranking but drop their overall reliability score.

Toyota achieves the number one spot with a score of 72, tied with Lexus (72), BMW (65), Mazda (65), Honda (62), Audi (60), Subaru (59), Acura (57), Kia (54), and Lincoln (54). In last year's study, Subaru was number seven overall but scored 66 points in reliability.

The updated CR report says the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek subcompact SUV scores highest with a score of 80 and has "above-average" reliability. The 2023 Forester compact SUV is next, scoring 75 points. The Impreza (56), Outback (51), and Legacy (50) also have above-average reliability. The Ascent (44) scores lowest but is up considerably from last year's score of 18 points. CR did not have scores for the 2022 WRX and 2023 BRZ sports cars.

With seven recalls in 2022, Subaru is far behind the leading automakers with the most recalls. Subaru also has fewer vehicles sold compared with Ford, Stellantis, and General Motors, but not compared with Hyundai, Kia, Volkswagen, and Tesla.

Recently, Subaru announced they are ramping up quality control. The announcement says Subaru will implement a "Quality-First" mindset and "reinforce its organizational efforts and structure." Its Quality Assurance Division personnel will increase by 50 percent over the next three years.

Subaru Corp. will spend $1.4 million for overall quality enhancement by 2025

A new "final vehicle inspection" facility is scheduled to operate by March 2023. Subaru did not say where the new facility is being built. A North American quality team, "FAST" (Fast Action & Solution Team), is being assembled to quickly respond to quality issues and early detection of defect trends based on AI analysis.

To answer the question, are the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek, Outback, Forester, Ascent, and other new models reliable? The number of Subaru recalls is down compared with other automakers in the U.S. market, where Subaru has nearly 70% of its global sales. It's a good indicator that Subaru's quality and reliability have improved.

You Might Also Like: 10 Things Subaru Won’t Change In 2023 And One They Should

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report, where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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