5 Mitsubishi Models With Most Recalls (Check Before Buying)

Mitsubishi is a Japanese auto manufacturer with headquarters in Minato, Japan. Founded in 1870, Mitsubishi has overcome many hurdles to become one of the biggest multinational auto companies worldwide.

The company has allied with several other auto companies, including Hyundai, Proton, Volkswagen, and Suzuki. Most recently, it became a partner in the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi partnership.

As of now, most of Mitsubishi’s lineup consists of SUVs, except for a few models. The vehicles have also had trouble getting into the good graces of pundits and critics, with many calling its entire lineup underwhelming.

However, amidst the criticism, two qualities that stand out in Mitsubishi models are their affordability and fuel economies.

Since 1982, Mitsubishi has recalled several of its models 772 times. According to ARFC.org, this represents 2.3% of recalls for all vehicle models as recorded by the NHTSA. It also stands at #14 on the list of most recalls by an auto manufacturer.

Below is a list of Mitsubishi models with the most recalls:

1. Mitsubishi Outlander

The Mitsubishi Outlander is a compact crossover SUV and has been in production since 2001. It is famous for its diverse trim levels, and it also has a plug-in hybrid variant which was Europe’s best-selling PHEV between 2015 and 2019.

With over 1 million units sold and rave reviews from critics, the Outlander is a top-notch SUV and one of Mitsubishi’s more excellent offerings.

Number of Recalls

Of the 772 Mitsubishi recalls, 104 of that has been for the Mitsubishi Outlander in a little over two decades of existence. This figure represents 13.5% of all Mitsubishi recalls and makes the Outlander the most-recalled Mitsubishi model on record.

With 16 recalls on record, the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander has the most recalls amongst Outlander model years. The 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander earns a spot right behind with 13 recalls, and the 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander is #3 on the list with 11 recalls.

The 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander also adds 10 to the tally, and the 2010 Outlander closes out the list at 5th with 9 recalls.

These recall figures indicate a deluge of functional problems, and you may want to avoid these problematic model years.

Moving on to less sinister figures, the 2005, 2006, and 2014 models have the joint most recalls amongst Mitsubishi Outlander models with 1 each. The 2015 and 2019 models of the Mitsubishi Outlander are #2 on the list with 2 recalls.

Below is a list of common problems with the Outlander that have triggered recalls from Mitsubishi Motors:

  • Visibility problems (possible water intrusion between the hood and windshield and resultant corrosion of the front wiper link ball joint )
  • Electrical system faults (Incorrect software and improper/prolonged application of brakes even when no pedestrian is in view; incorrect software for electronic control unit and resultant hindrance to the intervention of safety systems like ABS)
  • Suspension problems (detachment of front lower control arms due to corrosion of front members, especially on salted roads)

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

2. Mitsubishi Eclipse

The Mitsubishi Eclipse is a compact sports car produced between 1989 and 2011 across four generations. It has campaigned in several racing events and often delivered average performances.

Number of Recalls

Even though it has been discontinued since 2011, the Mitsubishi Eclipse remains the second most-recalled Mitsubishi model on record. The Eclipse has been recalled 83 times, and this figure equates to 10.8% of all Mitsubishi recalls.

With 14 recalls on record, the 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse has more recalls than any other Eclipse model in history. The 2001 Mitsubishi Eclipse takes the second spot on the list with 8 recalls, while the 1990 and 1995 models share the 3rd spot with 7 recalls each.

If you are interested in buying an old Mitsubishi Eclipse, the models above reek of an ocean of problems, so you should exercise caution.

On the other end, we have the 1992-1994, 2008, and 2009 models of the Mitsubishi Eclipse as the least-recalled models with just 1 each. In a poetic or alliterative fashion, the 2002 model is 2nd on the list, with 2 recalls.

Below is a complication of usual problems with the Mitsubishi Eclipse, as gotten from recall announcements:

  • Suspension problems (possible damage of lateral arm ball joints and resultant water and debris intrusion)
  • Service brake faults (corrosion inside the Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and resultant seizure of one or more of the internal valves and reduced braking efficiency)
  • Automatic transmission issues (manufacturing flaws; possible inoperativeness of interlock system and resultant removal of ignition key without proper placement of gear shift mechanism)
  • Fuel system issues (improperly formed bracket for the fuel tank mounting strap and possible fuel leak during severe collision; restricted fuel return line hose and build-up of excessive fuel pressure, resulting in a leak)

3. Mitsubishi Galant

The Mitsubishi Galant is one of the longest-lived Mitsubishi models of all time, produced between 1969 and 2012. Classified first as a compact car and later as a mid-size car, the Galant recorded over 5 million sales across nine generations.

After a successful run, consumer interest waned, and Mitsubishi ended the model to save production costs.

Number of Recalls

Of the 772 Mitsubishi recalls, 75 of them belong to the great Mitsubishi Galant. This makes it the third most-recalled Mitsubishi model while accounting for about 9.7% of all recalls for Mitsubishi models.

13 recalls were enough to make the 2000 Mitsubishi Galant the most-recalled Mitsubishi model on record. The 1999 Mitsubishi Galant accrued 11 recalls, making it the second most-recalled Galant model. The third and fourth spot go to the 2001 Mitsubishi Galant with 8 and the 1995 Galant with 7, respectively.

If you are itching to cop a classic Mitsubishi Galant of your own, you may want to avoid the models listed directly above.

The 1992, 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2010 models have the joint fewest recalls amongst Mitsubishi models with 1 each. The 1986, 1987, 1989-1991, 1997, 1998, and 2002-2004 models have 2 recalls each, which earns them the #2 spot on the least recalled list.

Below are the most common problems with the Mitsubishi Galant that have triggered recalls:

  • Suspension problems (possible damage of lateral arm ball joints and resultant water and debris intrusion)
  • Exterior lighting defects (loosening or possible breakage of column switch levers over time, misapplication of grease to the contact point during the assembling of the stop lamp switch)
  • Fuel system issues (improperly formed bracket for the fuel tank mounting strap and possible fuel leak during severe collision; restricted fuel return line hose and build-up of excessive fuel pressure, resulting in a leak)
  • Electrical system faults (inappropriate routing of vehicle’s front harness and possible contact with rough edge, resulting in abrasion, possible malfunction of interlock system, and resultant removal of ignition key without proper placement of gear shift mechanism)

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

4. Mitsubishi Montero

The Mitsubishi Montero, also known as the Mitsubishi Pajero, is a full-size SUV manufactured by Mitsubishi between 1981 and 2021. The model was also famously discontinued in the U. S after the 2006 model year and continued to sell in other regions until 2021.

It has sold over 3 million units worldwide, and critics have praised its 40-year run of being a true 4×4 SUV.

Number of Recalls

With 65 recalls according to NHTSA records, the Mitsubishi Montero is the fourth most-recalled Mitsubishi model in history. ARFC.org estimates that the Montero accounts for approximately 8.4% of all Mitsubishi recalls since it started in 1982.

Amongst Montero models, the 1994 Mitsubishi Montero has the most recalls with 7. The 2001 Mitsubishi Montero is second on the list, with 6 recalls on record. Meanwhile, the third spot is shared by the 1992, 1993, and 1998 Mitsubishi Montero models, with 5 recalls each.

The 1984 Mitsubishi Montero has been recalled just once, making it the least-recalled Montero model in history. It is followed closely by the 1986-1988, 1990, 1991, 2000, and 2003 models of the Mitsubishi Montero with 2 recalls each.

Below is a list of issues that have necessitated Mitsubishi Montero recalls:

  • Service brake problems (improperly manufactured accumulator installed on the hydraulic brake booster and possible leak of pressurized nitrogen gas from the accumulator)
  • Engine cooling issues (potential loosening of the bolt securing the crankshaft pulley and possible detachment of pulley)
  • Seatbelt problems (possible breakage of front safety belt buckle release buttons and resultant impediment to buckle operations)
  • Fuel system faults (absence of proper sealing in fuel tank leveling valve)
  • Equipment issues (airbag warning labels on dashboard and sunvisor are inconsistent with standard requirements)

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

5. Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is one of the trim levels of the Mitsubishi Outlander. While critics do not find its features impressive enough, the Outlander Sport is considered a reliable model, notching an 86/100 reliability score on J.D. Power.

Number of Recalls

The first recall for the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport was issued in 2012, and another 58 have been issued since then, making 59 recalls. It accounts for 7.6% of all Mitsubishi recalls, according to ARFC.org, and closes out the list of most-recalled Mitsubishi models at fifth.

With 12 recalls, the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has the most recalls in the trim level. The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport follows with 11, and the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport sits pretty at the 3rd spot with 10 recalls.

These recall figures reveal these models struggle with several technical issues, so you should be careful of them.

The 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has 4 recalls, and it is the least-recalled Outlander Sport model on record.

Below are some recurring problems with the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport that have provoked recalls:

  • Visibility problems (possible water intrusion between the hood and windshield and resultant corrosion of the front wiper link ball joint )
  • Electrical system faults (Incorrect software and improper/prolonged application of brakes even when no pedestrian is in view; incorrect software for electronic control unit and resultant hindrance to the intervention of safety systems like ABS; absence of fuel-sending units)
  • Automatic transmission issues (Improper shielding of constant velocity transmission (CVT) hose resulting in leakage of transmission fluid; possible hindrance to acceleration by CVT)
  • Seatbelt problems (Inadequately torqued passenger seatbelt attachment fastener and possible loosening of fastener)
  • Liftgate defects (insufficient anti-corrosion treatment for liftgate support outer tube and resultant corrosion of tube due to salt and water intrusion)
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