Mercedes-Benz has topped a table of car maker recalls in 2019.
The premium German brand issued safety notices on 504,047 cars over the last 12 months, 130,000 more than Vauxhall, and ahead of Ford, BMW and Honda.
However, government data shows that over the last five years Vauxhall has recalled more vehicles than any other brand, followed closely by Mercedes’ rival BMW.
The figures come from new analysis of DVSA figures by financial comparison website Know Your Money. It found that there has been a sharp rise in the number of safety recalls since 2014.
In 2014 only 725,398 cars were recalled, compared to 2,435,701 in 2019. However, 2019 represents a drop from a staggering four million in 2018.
Vehicle recalls are common in the automotive industry and are generally a result of the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), or the manufacturer determining that a fault in a vehicle constitutes a safety defect. There don’t need to be any cases where the fault has caused damage or harm, it is enough for there simply to be a risk.
Five most recalled brands 2019
Rank Brand No. affected cars 1 Mercedes-Benz 504,047 2 Vauxhall 373,529 3 Ford 354,598 4 BMW 251,821 5 Honda 122,945
While manufacturers also issue recalls on motorbikes, trucks and other commercial vehicles, cars account for 94 per cent of all recalls.
Recent years have seen a number of significant global recalls which have affected millions of cars in the UK. The biggest of these is the ongoing replacement of potentially deadly Takata airbags, which has affected more than 20 manufacturers in the UK and 42 million vehicles worldwide.
However, individual brands have also been forced to issue high-profile recalls over serious faults in recent years.
Vauxhall, which has recalled 1.63 million cars since 2014 has issued four separate recalls of the Zafira people carrier, all related to ventilation system faults that have seen more than 100 cars burst into flames.
Five most recalled brands 2014-19
Rank Brand No. affected cars 1 Vauxhall 1,630,115 2 BMW 1,602,308 3 Mercedes-Benz 1,338,059 4 Honda 1,107,520 5 Toyota 982,576
BMW, which has issued the second most recalls, has also been at the centre of two major recalls. In 2018 it was forced to recall 300,000 cars where an electrical fault could cause the car’s engine to cut out suddenly. In the same year it recalled almost 300,000 diesel vehicles over a potential fire risk and in 2019 this was extended to cover another 27,000 cars. In fact, 2018 accounted for 900,000 of the 1.6m cars recalled by the brand since 2014.
According to the analysis, VW Group brands Audi and Volkswagen issued the fewest recalls over the five-year period with 434,440 and 467,634 affected vehicles respectively.
How to check if you car has been recalled
Manufacturers make every effort to contact affected owners directly whenever a recall is issued. However, especially with second-hand cars there is a chance of drivers not being aware of an issue
To check if your vehicle is subject to any outstanding recall you can use the DVSA’s online tool using just the vehicle’s registration number.