15 GM Recall Statistics, Trends, and Predictions

Historically, General Motors has had more vehicle recalls than any other U.S. automaker. But GM recalls have declined in recent years – even as the yearly total number of vehicle recalls is increasing.

The overall rise in recalls is due to increasingly stringent vehicle safety standards. However, while the Detroit-based automotive manufacturer historically leads in recalls, GM recall statistics show they are one of the more trustworthy brands today.

We've gathered some important statistics to give you a clearer picture of the state of recalls for vehicles under the General Motors umbrella, as well as broader vehicle recalls from other manufacturers.

Let's get started.

Why Are There So Many Recalls?

As we've mentioned, safety standards are becoming more strict. And as vehicles become more complex, there are more opportunities for vehicles to fail to meet those standards.

Problems range from a need to replace single components to structural issues with the car body, powertrain, steering, suspension, or electrical systems.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is responsible for determining safety risks for automotive vehicles in the U.S. When there is a risk or defect, this organization requires manufacturers to either fix the safety issues, replace the vehicle, or offer a refund.

With the advent of electric vehicles (EVs), many repairs take place as over-the-air (OTA) software updates and don't require a physical recall of the vehicle.

GM Recall Statistics - Key Findings

Not only has General Motors had more vehicle recalls than any other U.S. manufacturer, but they've also been involved in numerous deadly, costly, and high-profile recalls.

1. Since 1966, GM has had 1,638 vehicle recalls, more than any other manufacturer.

This has affected 202 million vehicles, and it has mostly involved brakes, steering, seat belts, the fuel system, the electrical system, power train, and airbags. (Source)

General Motors has had 1,642 recalls since 1966

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2. Looking at the past five years, General Motors has fallen to seventh place in the total percentage of recalls by manufacturer, according to NHTSA data.

Between 2019 and 2024, GM has had 159 recalls, which is 9% of the total and potentially affects over 21 million vehicles. In first place was Ford Motor Company with 261 recalls, 14% of the total, potentially affecting over 32 million vehicles. (Source)

3. From 2019 to 2024, airbags have been the leading cause for GM recalls.

Concerns over airbags led to 31 recalls, representing 22% of the total number of GM recalls in that time period and potentially affecting more than 7.7 million vehicles. The second leading cause was the electrical system (18 recalls, 13% of total, roughly 1 million vehicles). In third place was seatbelts (14 recalls, 10% of total, roughly 1.8 million vehicles). (Source)

4. Looking at the past 10 years, GM has had a higher share of the total number of recalls, in fourth place behind Forest River Inc, Ford Motor Company, and Chrysler.

However, while the number of recalls was fewer, these potentially affected more vehicles than the recalls of any other manufacturer.

In that time period, GM had 349 recalls, which was 10% of the total number of recalls and potentially affected 60.1 million vehicles. For context, Forest River's 461 recalls, 13% of the total, but potentially affected only 763,326 vehicles. Ford Motor Company's 440 recalls (13%) potentially affected 57.3 million vehicles, and Chrysler's 399 recalls (11%), potentially affected 55 million vehicles. (Source)

5. Analyzing the past 20 years shows GM's trend of decreasing recalls that has continued to today.

In that time period, GM had the third-highest number of recalls of any manufacturer, with 576 recalls at 11% of the total.

This was behind Ford Motor Company with 587 recalls and Chrysler with 585.

However, once again, while GM had fewer recalls than some competitors, it led with the highest number of vehicles potentially affected. GM's recalls from 1994 to 2024 potentially affected 89.4 million vehicles. Ford Motor Company's 587 recalls potentially affected 89 million vehicles, and Chrysler's 585 recalls potentially affected 75.2 million. (Source)

6. General Motors recalled nearly 1 million vehicles in May 2023 due to fears that airbags may explode, as part of the largest safety recall in history following the deaths of hundreds of people.

The recall involved a total of 67 million Takata airbags and 19 different auto manufacturers including BMW, Toyota, and Honda. For GM, it affected GM's Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, and Chevy Traverse manufactured from 2014 to 2017. (Source)

7. GM's most controversial recall was a 2014 recall of 2.6 million cars.

A faulty ignition switch would disable the engine and airbags while driving, leading to at least 97 deaths. In addition to paying at least $1.7 billion for the recalls and $550 million to compensate victims, due to its delayed handling of the issue, the U.S. Department of Transportation fined GM the maximum $35 million. (Source)

8. In 2023, GM initiated 25 recalls on 2 million vehicles.

While this placed GM in fifth place among motor companies with the most recalls, this is a 40% reduction in the total GM vehicles recalled over the previous year. (Source)

9. In 2022, GM had 32 recalls, with over 3.3 million vehicles affected.

This represented 8% of the total U.S. vehicle recalls in 2022, but it's important to note that GM is America's largest vehicle manufacturer, with 17.09% of the market share. (Source)

GM Recall Statistics for 2024

Here are statistics surrounding GM recalls so far in 2024.

10. So far in 2024, GM has had five recalls, representing 8% of recalls across the board.

This is a three-way tie for third place, with Mercedes-Benz USA and Chrysler. In first place is Forest River Inc. with 15 recalls and 25% of the whole, and in second place is Ford Motor Company with six recalls and 10% of the whole. (Source)

GM's five 2024 recalls to date potentially affect 379,411 vehicles.

However, this is less than 20% of Ford Motor Company's six recalls potentially affecting 2,123,724 vehicles. In second place is Honda with three recalls potentially affecting 767,674 vehicles. (Source)

These five GM recalls were due to issues with seatbelts (potentially affecting 352 vehicles), the power train (66 vehicles), the electrical system (55,755 vehicles) airbags (six vehicles), and latches, locks, and linkages (323,232 vehicles). (Source)

11. GM recalled over 323,232 vehicles in February 2024 due to an issue with power-unlatching tailgates that would potentially open while driving.

The recall affected various models of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. (Source)

Additional Vehicle Recall Statistics

While General Motors has seen fewer recalls in recent years, vehicle recalls across the board have been increasing over the past few decades. Here's a look at some important vehicle recall statistics that show the bigger picture.

12. According to a major study released in 2023, the U.S. has seen a total of 22,651 recalls over the past 40 years.

This includes 19,686 vehicle recalls, 2,303 equipment recalls, 442 tire recalls, and 220 child seat recalls. (Source)

22,651 total recalls from 1983 to 2022

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These total recalls impacted more than 1.08 billion people over the past 40 years. Of these, 776 million people were affected by vehicle recalls, 208 million were affected by equipment recalls, 60 million by child seat recalls, and 37 million by tire recalls. (Source)

Total recalls affected 1,081M people from 1983 to 2022

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13. Over the past four decades, equipment has been the top component resulting in recalls.

This peaked in 2022 with 212 recalls. The second most common component that caused recalls was the electrical system, followed by steering, suspension, hydraulic brakes, gasoline fuel systems, power train, structure, engine and engine cooling, and air bags. (Source)

Top 10 vehicle components resulting in recalls

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14. There was a statistically significant drop in the total number of recalls in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The past five years of data in the Visual Capitalist study shows there were 932 recalls in 2022 and 987 recalls in 2021, but only 784 recalls in 2020. However, the previous two years, 2019 and 2018, saw 880 and 911 recalls, respectively. (Source)

15. In 2022, there were 932 vehicle recalls in the U.S., affecting 30.8 million vehicles.


If the 932 vehicles recalled in 2023 were all cars, at an average vehicle length of 14.7 feet, they would wrap around the planet 3.44 times if lined up bumper to bumper. (Source)

16. Ford Motors initiated the most recall campaigns in 2023, with 58 recalls representing 16% of the total and affecting 6.1 million vehicles.

In second place was Chrysler with 45 recalls. However, Honda recalled the most vehicles in that year, with 6.3 million vehicles affected. (Source)

What These GM Recall Statistics Show Us

Selling approximately 2.6 million vehicles in 2023, GM remains America's top automaker. As this is a 14.1% increase over the previous year, that's unlikely to change anytime soon. So it's reasonable to expect that GM vehicles would represent a large share of the total recalled vehicles.

However, persistent issues with airbags have contributed to GM's recalls often affecting an outsized proportion of vehicles than the number of recalls might suggest. Likewise, high-profile and controversial recalls have historically contributed to negative headlines for GM.

Data from recent years indicate a trend of fewer GM vehicles affected by recalls, suggesting the Detroit-based auto manufacturer will likely continue to see fewer total recalls affecting fewer vehicles in the future.

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