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A Look Back at the Automakers With the Highest Number of Vehicle Safety Recalls in 2023

A man appears stressed while looking at his car's open hood on the side of a tree-lined street.

As we move into a new year, it’s sometimes helpful to look back on some of the trends we experienced over the course of the previous year. Those looking to purchase or lease a new or gently used vehicle want to trust that the car or truck they take home with them will operate safely and be free of major defects. Unfortunately, mistakes or oversights that take place during the manufacturing, production, or assembly of a vehicle can lead to safety hazards or recurring issues in a car or truck. Suddenly, you find yourself spending more time at the repair shop than on the road, interfering with your job and home life. When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is made aware of or uncovers a safety defect in a specific make and model, it will announce an official auto safety recall campaign to alert affected drivers and urge them to take their vehicles to the dealer for the recommended recall repairs or replacement parts at no cost to the consumer. If your vehicle continues to experience significant safety problems that cannot be repaired successfully after a reasonable number of attempts have been made, California’s lemon law may entitle you to receive a replacement vehicle or refund for your troubles. Whether you have questions about a recent NHTSA recall campaign or you are struggling with a defective vehicle that eludes repair, consider enlisting the guidance of a trusted and friendly Berkeley lemon law attorney. Together, you can explore the specifics of your situation and identify the most strategic path forward. In the meantime, let’s take a look back at the automakers who experienced the highest number of safety recalls in 2023.

A Big Year For Auto Safety Recalls

Over the course of 2023, regulators issued over 320 safety recall campaigns for major car manufacturers in the United States. These recalls potentially impacted over 32 million vehicle models. Some of these recalls arose after fatalities took place because of the underlying defect, such as Tesla’s defective Autopilot system that led to deadly collisions because the feature did not ensure that drivers remained alert and attentive behind the wheel. Below are the carmakers with the highest number of recalls in 2023.

Ford Motor Company

Over the course of 2023, Ford Motor Company issued a total of 56 recalls, potentially affecting 5.9 million vehicles. In July, Ford announced a recall of more than 870,000 F-150 pickup trucks (manufactured between 2021 and 2023) due to an issue with the electric parking brakes turning on unexpectedly. Since the Ford F-150 and other F-Series trucks are among the top-selling and most popular vehicles in the country, the sheer scale of this recall impacted millions of customers. Ford launched another safety recall campaign in October concerning defective rear axle mounting bolts in approximately 238,360 Ford Explorer models. These vehicles contained defective rear axle mounting bolts that were prone to fracturing and causing the driveshaft to disconnect, which led to a loss of drive power or vehicle rollaway in many cases.


The automaker with the second-highest number of safety recalls in 2023 was Chrysler, with 45 recalls impacting over 2.7 million vehicles across the country. In February, Chrysler recalled approximately 31,000 Ram diesel trucks because of a faulty electrical connector that was prone to overheating and starting a fire in some cases. One owner reported that a fire started even after the vehicle’s engine was shut off. The company is urging affected customers to park their vehicles outside until they are able to receive the replacement connectors. So far, six reports of fires relating to this defect have been documented. Another recall concerning over 132,000 2014-2016 Jeep Cherokee vehicles was announced in May. This recall pertained to a defect increasing the risk of fire as well. Again, affected drivers have been notified to park their vehicles outdoors until they have obtained the recommended recall repair at the local dealership.

Mercedes-Benz and BMW

With 31 recalls impacting over 478,173 vehicles, Mercedes-Benz comes in third for the highest number of recalls in 2023. BMW was not far behind, announcing 30 recalls affecting 332,952 potential vehicles. In December 2023, BMW launched a recall of several SUVs in the United States because of defective and dangerous airbag inflators. These defective components were determined to blow apart in a collision, throwing metal shrapnel into the air and possibly causing injury or death to the occupants in the vehicle.

General Motors

General Motors also experienced a significant number of recall campaigns last year, totaling 25 recalls affecting approximately 2 million vehicles. Once General Motors discovered a potential leak in brake fluid that could ignite a fire, the automaker launched a recall for 4500HD, 5500HD, and 6500HD Chevrolet Silverado trucks with model years between 2019 and 2023. An estimated 40,400 vehicles were recalled under this campaign.


With 23 safety recalls affecting 1.8 million vehicles, Nissan experienced its fair share of safety issues this past year. In February, Nissan issued a recall over a defective steering wheel emblem that fell loose when the airbag deployed, putting drivers at increased risk of injury as a result. This recall affected more than 463,000 Nissan vehicles (mostly older models, such as those from 2008 through 2011). That same month, Nissan recalled over 809,000 small SUVs due to a key-related issue that can cause the ignition to shut off while the vehicle is still in motion.

Contact a Trusted Berkeley Lemon Law Attorney Today

California’s lemon laws protect consumers from purchasing defective or unsafe products, including cars and trucks. If you believe you have a lemon on your hands, get in touch with a trusted and friendly Berkeley lemon law attorney who can help you determine the most appropriate path forward. Together, you can pursue the refund or replacement vehicle available to you under California’s Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act.

If you think you have a defective vehicle (also known as a “lemon”) on your hands, you may be entitled to a replacement vehicle or refund under California’s lemon law. Call Lemon Law Partners, LLP, today at (510) 944-0336 to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced and friendly Berkeley attorney.

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