The Most Recalled Automaker of 2022 Blew Everyone Else Out of the Water

No, it's not the EV brand everyone loves to dunk on

Car dealerships in Colma, California on Friday, July 22, 2022. We take a look at the most recalled automaker of 2022.
Who came out on top this year? Ford, GM, Volkswagen?
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty

When looking at car recalls for the year, there are two metrics the U.S. Department of Transportation hones in on: the number of recalls issued and the number of vehicles potentially affected. In 2021, no single automaker took the top spot, as it was split up between Ford (53 total recalls, 5.4 million vehicles potentially affected) and General Motors (8 million vehicles affected, but just 44 recalls). 

For 2022, one car manufacturer took home the whole shebang. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, Ford was the most recalled automaker of the year, issuing a total of 67 recalls which at most affected a whopping 8,636,265. That’s 22 more recalls than the next highest brand (Volkswagen Group of America at 45) and almost five million more vehicles than the second place finisher in that regard (Tesla at 3,769,581). For its part, General Motors generally turned the ship around in 2022, issuing 32 recalls affecting as many as 3,371,302 vehicles.

The greatest share of Ford’s recalls involved powertrain problems (12 out of the 67), but as Ford Authority notes, the issues varied widely, from fuel injector problems in the Ford Escape and Bronco Sport to blower motor failures in the Expedition and Lincoln Navigator to wiper motor issues in the F-150.

“Ford is well aware of this problem and hired quality turnaround specialist and former J.D. Power Vice President Josh Halliburton as its new executive director of quality back in April to help get it back on track,” the outlet detailed. “Halliburton did acknowlege [sic] that fixing these problems takes time, and noted that Ford’s quality issues should begin to subside in 2023, while the automaker has recently placed a renewed focus on that particular area as well.”

“Should begin to subside” is not the most confidence-inducing phrase, so are there more details from the automaker on this front? Unfortunately, yes. And it won’t exactly be music to Ford devotees’ ears. 

“Fixing quality is my No. 1 priority,” CEO Jim Farley recently explained at a gathering of the Ford Retired Engineering Executives group, according to Ford Authority. “It is the most important initiative in the whole company. And it’s going to take several years. We didn’t lose it in just one or two years. Until we fix quality, nothing else matters.”

Of course, that’s what you hope a CEO would say when faced with numbers like these, but we’ll be keeping an eye on recalls in 2023 to see if Ford can follow through with action. Until then, while the final numbers for 2022 haven’t been released yet, still expect to see the Ford F-Series top the list of best-selling consumer vehicles in the country nonetheless.

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