5 Scion Cars With MOST Recalls (Check Before Buying)

Scion is a Toyota brand that was first launched in 2003 with a central mission of appealing to younger customers. Hence, it placed a premium on elegant styling and inexpensive price tags for compact sports vehicles.

Offered in a single trim with a pure, non-negotiable price, sales picked up in 2006 and fell slightly again after the financial crisis of 2007-08. By the end of 2015, the Scion models had sold over 1 million units, making it a fairly successful brand.

Production went on until 2016, when the 2017 model year was canceled and the brand was discontinued.

In its short period of existence, the Scion racked up 128 recalls according to the Auto Recalls for Consumers (ARFC) and the NHTSA. This puts it at #42 on the list of automotive brands with the most lifetime recalls so far.

We have taken the liberty to look through these recalls and highlight specific Scion models with the most recalls below.

1. Scion XB

The Scion XB is a compact car first launched in 2003 for the 2004 model year. Scion XB is often identified by its box shape and 5 doors and it entered its second and last generation in 2007, which ended in 2015.

The car notably won the Top Safety Pick Award by the IIHS six times consecutively, which is a rare feat. It was also named one of the top ten safe vehicles under $25,000 in 2008 and sold hundreds of thousands of units until discontinuation.

Number of Recalls

While the Scion XB was a successful and reliable model, it was recalled at least 50 times, according to the NHTSA. This makes it the most-recalled Scion vehicle mostly because of plenty of issues with certain model years.

The 2009 Scion XB is the most-recalled model, with 11 recalls. It’s hard to make a case for this model’s reliability with this very high figure in its résumé.

Other Scion XB models with a worrying number of recalls include the 2008 XB with 9 recalls, the 2010 XB with 8, and the 2006 XB with 5.

The 2005 Scion XB is the least-recalled model with just 1 recall on record. The 2013, 2014 and 2015 models of the Scion XB also have 2 recalls each, and this figure certainly cranks up their desirability.

Below are some of the most prevalent issues that have been stated as reasons for Scion XB recalls:

  • Airbag defects (possible inflator explosion due to propellant deterioration and improper exposure to high temperature)
  • Equipment issues (Absence of load carrying capacity modification labels as required by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard and incorrect installation of accessories including running boards)
  • Visibility problems (Improperly greased Power Window Master Switch(PWMS) and possible malfunction/overheating)
  • Acceleration issues (Faulty speed control modules and possible malfunction)

Related: How Long Do Toyota Auris Last? (9 Important Facts)

2. Scion TC

The Scion TC is a compact car manufactured and marketed by Scion under the auspices of the Toyota Motor Company. It was introduced in the US in 2004 for the 2005 model year and entered its second generation, which was also its last, in 2010.

Known as the all-time best-selling Scion model, the TC pulled nearly 40% of total sales by the entire Scion brand. It has also garnered mostly satisfactory reviews and ratings from customers and critics alike.

Number of Recalls

25 total recalls puts the Toyota Scion at #2 on the list of most-recalled Scion models. That’s exactly half of the Scion XB’s tally and about 19.5% of all Scion recalls since 2005.

Of the 25 recalls, the 2006 Scion TC alone has 5, which is 1/5 of the total. The 2005 Scion TC follows closely with 4 and the 2008, 2009 and 2016 models have 3 recalls each on record.

The 2012 Scion TC is the least-recalled model with just 1 on its record. Other models with few recalls include the 2007, 2010 and 2015 models with 2 each.

Below are some of the commonly listed reasons for Scion TC recalls:

  • Equipment issues (Incorrect reflection of the added weight of installed accessories by the Load Carrying Capacity Modification Label and outright absence of the LCCM)
  • Airbag defects (Abrupt deployment of side-impact and curtain side airbags and insufficient heating agents for proper deployment during crash)
  • Visibility issues (possible shattering of glass wind deflector when struck lightly by projectiles)

3. Scion XD

The Scion XD is a subcompact crossover SUV first introduced and marketed in 2007 by Toyota. Known as the Toyota Urban Cruiser in Europe and Latin America, the Scion XD had a not-so-impressive commercial run.

It was eventually discontinued in 2014 and succeeded by the Toyota C-HR in 2017.

Number of Recalls

According to data from the NHTSA, Toyota recalled the Scion XD not less than 17 times. This figure shows it accounts for 13.5% of all recalls issued for Scion models since 2005.

The 2009 Scion XD has the most recalls with 6 on record. It is closely followed by the 2008 Scion XD with 5 and the 2010 Scion XD with 4. If you are looking to cop a used Scion XD, you might want to stay away from these models.

With just one recall each, the 2006 and 2011 Scion XD models have the fewest recalls on record.

Below are some of the most prevalent Scion XD issues, as shown in recall statements:

  • Equipment Issues (Absence of Load Carrying Capacity Modification Label as required by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard)
  • Visibility issues (improperly lubricated power window master switch assemblies and likely malfunction and overheating)
  • Service brake problems (possible blockage of intake manifold suction port for the brake vacuum under low temperatures)
  • Seat problems (possible breakage of springs on seat rails of driver’s seat and front passenger’s seat)

Related: 5 Nissan Models With Most Recalls (Check Before Buying!)

4. Scion FR-S

The Scion FR-S was launched in North America in 2012 and discontinued in 2016. It was named the best affordable sports car in 2012 by US News and sold tens of thousands of units.

Also known as the Toyota GT86 in Europe, the last model year (2016) of the Scion FR-S notably scored a critics’ rating of 9.0/10 on US News. This shows its reliability and efficiency even amidst lackluster sale figures.

Number of Recalls

During its run in the US, the Scion FR-S received 17 total recalls, making it the third-most recalled Scion model alongside the Scion XD. What makes this particularly worrying is that it came much later than most other Scion models.

Of the 17 total recalls, the 2016 and 2013 models have 5 recalls each, making them the most-recalled Scion FR-S models. The 2014 and 2015 models have the fewest recalls, with 3 and 4 respectively.

You should also be reading our article which talks about 5 Cadillac Models With Most Recalls

The numbers show clearly that every model of the Scion FR-S has been recalled at least thrice.

Below are some of the most prevalent reasons for Scion FR-S recalls:

  • Equipment issues (incorrect reflection of added weight of installed accessories by the Load Carrying Capacity Modification Label, Improperly installed accessories including running boards)
  • Ignition and transmission issues (possibility of ignition key removal even when the transmission is not in “park” position)

Related: 5 Audi Models With The Most Recalls (Check Before Buying!)

5. Scion XA

The Scion XA was manufactured and marketed in the United States from 2004 to 2006. Classified as a five-door subcompact hatchback, the XA was shortly discontinued and succeeded by the earlier mentioned Scion XD.

Number of Recalls

The Scion XA notably accrued 10 recalls across 4 model years. This is about 7.8% of total recalls issued for Scion vehicles and places it at #5 on the list of most-recalled Scion models.

5 of the 10 recalls were issued for the 2006 Scion XA, making it the XA model with the highest number of recalls. The 2005 and 2007 XA models have 2 recalls each and the debut 2004 model is the least-recalled model with just 1.

Below are some of the most common Scion XA issues as gleaned from recall statements:

  • Airbag problems (possible internal short circuit in the airbag control module resulting in abrupt deployment or deactivation)
  • Speed control issues (faulty on/off switch and resultant malfunction)
  • Equipment issues (lack of load carrying capacity modification labels as required by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard)
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