Top 2012 Recall Champions

Top 2012 Recall Champions

2012 is over for nearly 2 months now, which means more solid data on what happened that year is available. For instance, which brands were affected the most by recalls. You might think that doesn’t affect you much, or that few are interested in knowing that, besides the owners of those cars, obviously. But what if the brands most affected by recalls are also scoring high in the trust and reliability department? Will that change things?

The 2013 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study revealed that Toyota and Honda rank high in the aforementioned departments. And another study from Harris Interactive places Ford alongside Toyota and Honda in top positions as far as reputation is concerned. It comes to a surprise to know that those same brands issue a lot of recalls in the past year.

Toyota issued recalls during 2012 that affected 5,330,643 vehicles. Honda fared a tad better, standing at 3,363,343 vehicles recalled. Closely following in third position we have General Motors with 1,476,319 vehicles, and thanks to the multiple recalls on the Chevy Cruze, it also managed to keep the spotlight longer than any other brand. Another big name is Ford, who issued recalls for 1,398,837 vehicles last year, including some freshly launched models, like the 2013 Ford Escape.

How do those numbers correlate with the high level of trust? Well, it seems that recalls don’t really affect a buyer’s view on the brand as a whole. After all, most recalls are issued on older models, and studies clearly point out that almost all modern models have less problems than their predecessors. This is shown plainly by comparing the 16.2 million vehicles recalled in 2012 with the massive recalls in 2009 and 2010, or with 2004’s 30 million recalled cars. Furthermore, some buyers like when a company is recalling older models as this shows commitment and care.

Toyota’s recall in 2009-2010 has had an overall beneficial effect on brand loyalty, especially from the owners of recalled vehicles. This just goes to prove the previous point. Industry-intelligence company R.L. Polk, says that Toyota has built a significant reserve of trust with its actions than other carmakers.

Now, let’s see what the list of vehicles which had to be recalled most often in 2012.
• 2013 Ford Escape. It’s not really a good way to advertise your products by recalling them just a few months after they have been launched. But that didn’t bother buyers much.
• 2011-2012 Chevy Cruze. Well, at the very least GM is interested in making it better than it already is.
• 2006-2011 Toyota RAV4. In spite of massive recalls, this model has been widely successful and is still considered a reliable champion in its class.
• 2003-2004 Honda Pilot. Considering the model year, the recalls can only be a good thing, as they lead to improved security.
• 2004-2009 Toyota Prius. Yes, the almighty Prius has been affected by many problems, the steering one being the most troublesome in our opinion. Plus, every Prius made in that timeframe is affected by at least one recall.

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