With the most recalls of them all, is Ford the least reliable brand?

No carmaker is perfect, despite us all having our own sensibilities in regards to which rides we stand by. Chevy fans are hardly polite when it comes to pinpointing the flaws of Fords, especially when it comes to the fight between Mustang and Camaro. In the same respect, members of “Ford families” are raised not to be caught dead in a Silverado, as no other truck but the F150 is “Built Ford Tough.”

One argument many die-hard Chevrolet fanatics will make is that Ford has actually recalled more cars than any other company in American automotive history. Now it’s true that the Blue Oval brand has actually sold more cars than any other specific nameplate stateside. However, the sales figures are disproportionate to the number of cars that Ford has asked buyers to bring back into the dealer compared to other carmakers.

The largest recall Ford ever made involved every car manufactured by the company between 1976 and 1980. This was a dark time for most car manufacturers, as emissions standards forced companies to make smaller, less powerful engines and a gas crisis made getting behind the wheel more boring than ever. But a defect in transmissions produced by the company over that period made it so that many Fords simply would not stay in park and would instead slip into reverse, resulting in more than 6,000 accidents, 1,700 injuries and 98 deaths.

In 1996, Ford issued another apology, to roughly 14 million drivers who drove trucks and large cars produced by the company, including the massively popular Bronco and Explorer SUVs. This time around, a faulty ignition switch used to activate cruise control began bursting into flames across the country. Replacing each switch at roughly $20 a pop cost the company an estimated $280 million.

What’s most embarrassing about the previous recall was that it came just on the heels of another recall that same year, where almost 9 million cars were recalled because of faulty ignition switches that had also started causing Ford’s to set on fire, this time on a car’s steering column.

Were you affected by these recalls, and do you think Ford can be forgiven for the company’s past sins? Leave your thoughts below.

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  • Yes Ford should have to pay for all recalls to the people who bought their product. Right now we’re working with a 2006 Ford Escape and those should be recalled because of people driving these vehicles and the shocks busting through the back wheel wells into the inside of the car causing people to almost wreck when this happens. Ford has yet to make a recall on these SUVs and should be sued for the problems it is caused already with people paying out a lot of money to get this problem fixed. Just don’t understand how they think they can get away with not recalling these SUVs that has rust damage that causes the shocks to bust through the inside of the back of the ford escape that could cause people to lose their lives while driving the vehicle. Ford should be made to settle with people from all these recalls. Money Matters just ask Ford they want it all. Money Matters to people too that have to work hard to pay for Ford vehicles and Ford should be paying the people who have been affected by their vehicles of all kinds no matter their age. Ford is greedy and does not care about your family, only your family’s money.

  • Recall rates don’t tell you everything. Some companies do not issue recalls when they should, and thus leave you with a broken and/or dangerous vehicle and no fix, while other companies are very cautious due to past mistakes and issue recalls over theoretical things that could happen. Next, without a sourced recall rate (your links do not work), this article means nothing. From the only data I could find, it appears that historically, while not great by any means, Ford doesn’t appear to have the worst recall rate, at least according to the time frame the following study (which C&D sourced as well). From 1980-2014 here’s a brand recall rate study from an article by Forbes, of lowest to highest:

    1. Mercedes-Benz USA: 2.1 million recalled/5.2 million sold; 0.41 recall rate.
    2. Mazda Motor Corp: 5.2 million recalled/9.4 million sold; 0.55 recall rate.
    3. General Motors: 99.3 million recalled/153.2 million sold; 0.65 recall rate.
    4. Nissan North America: 19.1 million recalled/26.8 million sold; 0.71 recall rate.
    5. Subaru of America: 4.3 million recalled/6.0 million sold; 0.73 recall rate.
    6. Kia Motors: 3.7 million recalled/4.9 million sold; 0.77 recall rate.
    7. Toyota Motor Corp: 38.6 million recalled/48.1 million sold; 0.80 recall rate.
    8. BMW of North America: 5.1 million recalled/5.7 million sold; 0.90 recall rate.
    9. Ford Motor Co: 97.0 million recalled/104.7 million sold; 0.93 recall rate.
    10. American Honda Motor Co: 31.1 million recalled/32.9 million sold; 0.94 recall rate.
    11. Chrysler Group: 63.2 million recalled/63.2 million sold; 1.00 recall rate.
    12. Volvo Cars of North America: 3.3 million recalled/3.1 million sold; 1.05 recall rate.
    13. Volkswagen of America: 10.2 million recalled/9.7 million sold; 1.06 recall rate.
    14. Mitsubishi Motors North America: 5.3 million recalled/4.8 million sold; 1.09 recall rate.
    15. Hyundai Motor Co: 9.9 million recalled/8.7 million sold; 1.15 recall rate.