5 Chevrolet Models With Most Recalls (Check Before Buying!)

Chevrolet is a famous sub-division of the General Motors Company founded in 1911 by Louis Chevrolet and William Durant. Its fame grew by the year amidst a widely publicized internal struggle and it went on to become the best-selling car brand in the US in 1929.  

The Chevrolet division has expanded its creative tentacles worldwide, with several game-changing vehicles under its belt. However, some of these vehicles have been recalled for varying issues one too many times.

Chevrolet vehicles have been recalled 3,078 times since 1969 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This figure means Chevrolet vehicles alone have accrued 8% of the 36050 vehicle recalls by the NHTSA.

Below is a list of Chevrolet models with the most recalls.

1. Chevrolet Malibu

The Chevrolet Malibu debuted in 1964 as a mid-size car. It entered its 4th generation in 1978 and embarked on a long hiatus in 1983.

Upon its return in 1997, it was named MotorTrend’s Car of the Year and achieved remarkable success in the years after. As of now, it’s Chevrolet’s only sedan offering.

Number of Recalls

On JD Power, the Malibu’s reliability rating stands at 89/100 and, while this is impressive, the number of Malibu recalls tells a different story.

The Malibu has been recalled 156 times since 1978, making it the Chevrolet Model with the most recorded recalls.

Of the 156 recalls, the 2004 and 2006 Malibu have the joint most-recalls with 11 each. So, if you are looking to cop a Malibu, we advise you to avoid these two models.

Other models to look out for include the 2016 model with 9 recalls, the 2014 model with 8 recalls, and the 2008, 2009 and 2013 models, with 9 recalls each.

The 1999 Malibu has been recalled the least with just 1 since it hit the market. Also notable are the 2001, 2002 and 2003 models, with 2 recalls each.

Below is a compilation of the most recurrent issues across the 156 Malibu recalls:

  • Airbag issues (manufacturing flaws and sensor malfunction)
  • Cruise control defects (disengagement difficulty)
  • Automatic transmission problems
  • Wiring issues (voltage fluctuations and increased resistance in the body control module)
  • Exterior lighting defects (brake lights fail to illuminate)
  • Service Brake Flaws (accidental installation of rear rotors)
  • Ignition problems (faulty park lock lever)
  • Fuel system issues(possible fuel pump detachment)

Read more: 11 Chevrolet Malibu Facts & Statistics You Should Know

2. Chevrolet Suburban

The Chevrolet Suburban is a full-size SUV manufactured and marketed by Chevrolet since 1934. Currently, in its twelfth generation, not many cars have attained the Suburban’s level in terms of its many achievements.

It is often listed as one of the longest-lasting vehicles of all time and it received the much-coveted star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Number of Recalls

The Chevrolet Suburban has the second most recalls of any Chevrolet vehicle with 130, which is about 4.2% of the total (3,078). While this is not exactly a praise-worthy feat, it is certainly understandable, given how long it has been around for.

16 out of the 130 Suburban recalls were issued for the 2015 model. If there was any Suburban model to avoid, it would be this one. Other Suburban models to look out for include the 2016 model (12 recalls), the 2000 model (9 recalls), the 2017 model (8 recalls), and the 1995 and 2005 models (6).

The 2011 Suburban has only been recalled once, making it the least recalled Suburban model.

Below are the most recurrent issues listed as reasons for Suburban recalls through the years:

  • Service brake issues (severe corrosion, pedal linkages flaw, and possible failure of wheel speed sensor)
  • Airbag defects (possible non-deployment and weak installation)
  • Electrical system flaws (possible overheating of the control circuit ground wire)
  • Seatbelt issues (abrupt activation of diagnostic test and non-deployment of pre-tensioners)
  • Ignition issues (gets stuck in the “Start” position)

Related: Where Are Chevrolet Suburbans Made? (Solved & Explained)

3. Chevrolet Express

The Chevrolet Express is a line of vans. It debuted in 1996 and has been sold as a single generation with variants, including a passenger van, cargo van, and a cutaway van chassis.

The Chevy Express is often regarded as one of the best vans on the market and competes with the Ford Transit and Ram Promaster, amongst others.

Number of Recalls

The Chevy Express has been recalled no less than 129 times, which is 4.2% of the total recalls for Chevrolet vehicles.

Of the 129 recalls, the 2006 model ranks #1 with 16 recalls so far. That also puts it atop the list of Chevy Express models to avoid.

Other Chevy Express models to watch out for include the 2005 Express (8 recalls), 2003 Express (10 recalls), 2008 Express (10 recalls), and 2013 Express (12 recalls).

The 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 Chevy Express models all have 1 recall each, making them the least-recalled models. Also notable is the 2015 Chevrolet Express with just 3 recalls since its debut.

Below are the most common issues across Chevrolet Express recalls:

  • Equipment issues (camera defects, possible clogging of fire extinguisher, and mobility aid system defects)
  • Seatbelt problems (buckles unable to latch)
  • Airbag Issues (manufacturing flaws)
  • Fuel system issues (pressure relief vent pipe incorrectly built and possible leakage of natural gas)
  • Absence of Tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS)

4. Chevrolet Tahoe

The Chevrolet Tahoe was first launched in 1994 as a full-size SUV. It is currently in its sixth generation and has enjoyed favorable reception year after year.

The Tahoe is regularly recognized as the best-selling full-size SUV in the US and its relative affordability is one of its strong suits.

Number of Recalls

Since its debut, 107 recalls have been issued for the Chevrolet Tahoe according to data from the NHTSA. That accounts for about 3.5% of total recalls issued for Chevrolet models.

The 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe has been recalled a whooping 20 times, making it the Tahoe model with the most recalls. If there was a list of Tahoe models to be avoided, the 2015 Tahoe should top the list based on that figure.

Other Tahoe models with a significant number of recalls include the 2016 model with 12 recalls and the 2017 model with 7 recalls.

The 1999 and the 2012 models have been recalled just once, making them the least recalled Chevrolet Tahoe models. Other models with very few recalls on the record include the 2004 Tahoe with 2 and the 2006 Tahoe with 3.

The commonly stated issues across the Chevrolet Tahoe recalls include:

  • Seatbelt issues (manufacturing flaw, possible seatbelt retractor crack)
  • Service brake problems (possible wheel speed sensor failure and vacuum pump degradation)
  • Airbag issues (sudden activation of diagnostic test resulting in non-deployment)
  • Ignition issues (ignition stuck in the start position)
  • Structural Problems (running boards with in-built courtesy lights may overheat when exposed to excess moisture or road salt)
  • Sudden loss of power steering assist system

Related: Chevrolet Tahoe In Snow & Winter Driving? (Explained)

5. Chevrolet Impala

The Chevrolet Impala is a full-size car launched in 1958 by Chevrolet and existed for ten generations. It had a very impressive run until it was discontinued in 2020 because of the general decline in the purchase of sedans.

Number of Recalls

The last recorded reliability rating for the Chevy Impala on JD Power is an impressive 82/100.

It has always been regarded as one of the most reliable cars in its class. However, the car has had 100 recalls, placing it at #5 on the list of Chevrolet vehicles with the most recalls.

Of the 100 Impala recalls, the 2014 Chevy Impala alone racked up 13 recalls, making it the model year with the highest number of recalls. If there was ever an Impala model to avoid, it would be the 2014 Impala owing to the staggering number of recalls it accrued.

Other Impala models with a significant number of recalls include the 2001 Impala (8), the 2000 Impala (8), and the 2003 and 2009 models with 6 each.

The 1977, 1983, 2006, 2018 and 2019 models have 1 recall each, making them the least-recalled and least problematic Impala models.

Recurrent problems across Chevy Impala recalls include:

  • Electrical system issues (internally contaminated electric module and abrupt flashing of brake lights)
  • Ignition issues (switch may move out of run position and turn off the engine abruptly)
  • Airbag problems (possible inflator fracture and exposure to damage from the passenger seat frame)
  • Engine issues (possible oil drip onto the exhaust manifold)
  • Seatbelt issues (manufacturing flaw and incompatibility with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standards)
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