5. Subaru of North America
Subaru rated number five according to reports from iSeeCars.com, which uses National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall data gathered between 1985 and 2014, and AxleGeeks, which considered this official body’s statistics reported after 1 January, 2015. According to the iSeeCars.com report, which considers performance over a greater period of time, Subaru’s American arm has a recall rate of just 0.73. It’s notable that Subaru initiated its own recall for potential steering problems in its 2013 Legacy sedan and Outback wagons. This proactive step shows how seriously Subaru takes safety.
Jaguar didn’t feature in the iSeeCars.com report, as the study only analyzed automakers that sold at least 1 million cars during the 33-year time frame. However, Jaguar’s number one rating in the AxleGeeks study point to its impressive safety credentials. AxleGeeks noted five safety recalls issued since the start of 2015, affecting just 13,427 Jaguar vehicles, less than a third of the number of vehicles recalled by the third-place getter Volvo.
The Swedish car manufacturer has long held a reputation as one of the safest brands on the market. It was the world’s first to implement a number of safety features including three-point lap/shoulder seat belts, rear-facing child seats, side-impact protection systems, and rollover stability control. AxleGeeks noted that while Volvo has issued 15 safety recalls since 2015, they affected just 45,318 vehicles, far less than many of the maker’s luxury competitors.
Mazda is a relatively small fish in the United States market, but if safety matters to you it’s a car manufacturer worth considering. The maker finished second in iSeeCars.com report with a recall rate of 0.55, beating out several more prestigious names including BMW and Volvo.
Mazda could only be bested in the iSeeCars.com recall report by the clout of German prestige brand Mercedes-Benz. It logged the lowest rate of safety recalls between 1985 and 2014, with a recall rate of a mere 0.28. “Safety is a central element of the Mercedes-Benz brand,” Dieter Zetsche, Daimler chairman and Mercedes chief executive officer, once said in a statement. “In this respect we have been setting the pace in the market for almost 70 years.” While a low recall rate can indicate a car maker’s commitment to sound manufacturing and quality control processes, simply assessing an organization’s recall rates cannot tell the whole story. Some manufacturers are known for issuing a high number of recalls because they are proactive and transparent. Research not just the number of safety recalls, but also the results of the recalls, crash reports, and safety features to get a better idea of a car maker’s true safety credentials.