Car Recalls, Reliability Ratings, and Insurance

Researchers debate whether reliability and and recalls are correlated. Many statistics support that they are in fact related. Insurance companies agree, in fact auto insurance companies have higher premiums for vehicles with lower reliability ratings.

How To Shop

Ideally you should search for vehicles that have higher reliability ratings because they will have lower insurance premiums. Additionally, they are less likely to be recalled. When a vehicle has a recall on it, it is more of a hassle than anything.


As previously, emphasized your insurance premium is definitely affected by your reliability rating at the time of purchase. Has your vehicle been recalled after purchasing it? Do not fret, it will not affect your current insurance policy. However, the insurance company will not pay for the recall, that is the manufacturer’s job. Just be sure to make your claim as soon as possible.

Different Types of Recalls

Most often when you hear “recall” you immediately think that it is a defect that can cause safety issues. It is still important to get it fixed which is a nuisance to car, evidenced by the fact that 75% of customers ignore a recall that needs repair. But, that is poor practice since the repair is free, even though it must be soon after the recall is issued and it puts your car out of commission for a short amount of time.

Here are some of the vehicles that researchers have found to top the charts of the most and least recalled cars that can give car shoppers an idea of what some of the statistics look like.

Three of the Most Recalled Cars

1. Mercedes-Benz-C-Class

Average Recall Rate (Campaigns/Year Per 100k Units Sold): 5.77 Reliability Rating: 3.0

2. GMC Sierra

Average Recall Rate: 3.25 Reliability Rating: 2.4

3. BMW 3/4 Series

Average Recall Rate: 2.95 Reliability Rating: 3.6

Three of the Least Recalled Cars

1. Chevrolet Equinox

Average Recall Rate: .11 Reliability Rating: 4.2

2. Toyota Corolla

Average Recall Rate: .12 Reliability Rating: 4.8

3. Honda Civic

Average Recall Rate: .14 Reliability Rating: 4.2

As you may notice, the majority of statistics show a relationship with the average amount of recalls and the reliability rating. These are some of the current findings of researchers and is by no means an end all, be all list. Some critics even consider these findings as signs of overall vehicle quality and some consumers would even vouch for that. Just keep in mind that doing your research in terms of reliability ratings will pay off in the long run. Especially, when shopping for the best auto insurance.

Cars with lower reliability ratings should not be completely ruled out if it is a car you are highly considering. The recall rate and reliability rating are just some factors among many that you should consider researching before purchasing a new car or a used car. However, it is helpful if you are caught between two vehicles to consider these ratings and statistics. It is also important to consider these factors if having relatively lower insurance is one of your priorities.