4 Renault Models With The Most Recalls (Check Before Buying!)

Renault is a French multinational automaker established in February 1899, right before the start of the 20th century. The company boasts a range of vehicles, including cars, trucks, tractors, vans, buses, amongst others.

In 2016, it became the ninth biggest automaker in the world. Its alliance with Nissan and Mitsubishi bore huge fruits when it became the world’s largest manufacturer of light vehicles in 2017.

Headquartered in Boulogne Billancourt, Renault models have won multiple awards. Its models have most notably won the European Car of the Year Award six times in four years, alongside other awards across Europe.

Renault prides itself in the comfort and driving pleasure it affords its customer through its sleek models. The brand was also an electric vehicle giant in Europe, having led the entire continent in electric vehicle sales in 2013.

Data from the NHTSA revealed that since 1972, Renault has only issued 72 recalls for its models. Hence, according to ARFC.org, it accounts for less than 1.0% of the total number of vehicle recalls in the NHTSA database. These numbers make it the 46th most-recalled automaker in the world.

Below is a list of Renault models that make up the bulk of its recall figure.

1. Renault Alliance

The Renault Alliance was a subcompact car with front-wheel drive and a front-engine. It was marketed in the North American continent by the American Motors Corporation (AMC) between 1983 and 1987.

It was famously listed as one of Car and Driver’s best cars in 1983 and also won MotorTrend’s Car of the Year award that same year. These accolades led to a mighty surge in sales, which went on until its discontinuation in 1987.

Number of Recalls

While it caught the attention of customers and critics during its time, the Renault Alliance also had a number of issues. These issues could not be overlooked, in which case, Renault had to issue a recall, and it did that, no less than 13 times for the Alliance.

13 recalls make the Alliance the most-recalled Renault model according to NHTSA records. An estimation by ARFC.org also reveals that the figure represents 18.1% of all Renault recalls.

The title of the most-recalled Renault Alliance models remains with the 1983,1984 and 1985 model years. They all have three recalls each, and they account for almost 70% of all Renault Alliance recalls on record.

To end the list, we have the 1986 and 1987 models, which were also the last Renault Alliance models before the discontinuation, with 2 recalls each.

Below are some of the common issues responsible for these Renault Alliance recalls:

  • Visibility problems (Inadequate venting capacity of the system pressure cap and resulting in cooling system pressures exceeding the strength capability of some components; possible rupture of the end cap linking the heat exchanger’s core to the cooling system and resultant escape of hot coolant into the passenger compartment)
  • Fuel system issues (Possible deterioration of the five fuel hoses in the engine compartment after some time)
  • Seat problems (Likely separation of driver’s seat adjuster mechanism at the front attachment as a result of fatigue failure of the adjuster bracket)

Related: 3 Peugeot Models With The Most Recalls (Check Before Buying)

2. Renault Encore

The Renault Encore was manufactured alongside the Renault Alliance as the American variants of the Renault 9 and 11. It uses a transverse front-wheel-drive configuration and a four-wheel independent suspension.

The car was renamed the Alliance hatchback in 1987, which was, unfortunately, the same year AMC had to halt its Renault-selling operations in North America.

Number of Recalls

According to NHTSA, Renault has only issued about 12 recalls for the Encore during its time on the market. This makes it the second most-recalled Renault model on record, according to NHTSA, while holding about 16.7% of all Renault recalls.

Of all the Encore models, the 1984 and 1985 models have the most recalls with 3 each. They represent exactly half of total Encore recalls, while the other half is shared amongst the trio of the 1983, 1986, and 1987 models, with 2 each.

Below are some issues that triggered these recalls for the Renault Encore:

  • Visibility problems (Inadequate venting capacity of the system pressure cap and resulting in cooling system pressures exceeding the strength capability of some components; possible rupture of the end cap linking the heat exchanger’s core to the cooling system and resultant escape of hot coolant into the passenger compartment)
  • Fuel system issues (Possible deterioration of the five fuel hoses in the engine compartment after some time)
  • Seat problems (Likely separation of driver’s seat adjuster mechanism at the front attachment as a result of fatigue failure of the adjuster bracket)

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

3. Renault LE Car

The Renault LE Car is the official nameplate adopted to market and sell the Renault 5 in the United States. It is a four-passenger, front-wheel drive hatchback that went on sale in 1972 across Europe, then in the U.S. until AMC stopped operations.

Renault has plans for the return of the LE Car variant, Renault 5, in 2024 as an electric-powered hatchback.

Number of Recalls

The Renault LE Car had several technical issues spread across its models, which explains why it has been recalled 10 times. Renault first issued a recall for the LE Car in 1987 and added another 9 in later years. It became the third most-recalled Renault model on record, with 13.9% of the tally.

Of the 10 recalls, the 1980 Renault LE Car scooped 4, making it the most-recalled LE Car model on record. The 1976 model is right behind on the list with 2 recalls, while the 1977, 1978, 1981, and 1982 models have 1 each.

Below is a list of some issues responsible for the Renault LE Car recalls:

  • Vehicle speed control faults (improperly seated bushing in the carburetor secondary barrel body and the possibility of a portion of the spiral return spring restricting the free return of the secondary barrel throttle plate)
  • Equipment issues (some models have defective spare tire restraints with the spare tires stored on the floor in the cargo area)
  • Fuel system issues (possible damage to fuel filler cap as revealed in rear impact test and possibility of dangerous fuel spillage during collision)
  • Seatbelt problems (front seat belt buckles assembly required more exertion than usual)

Related: 6 Electric Car Recalls You Should Know About

4. Renault 18I

The Renault 18I is the North American variant of the Renault 18, which had been in production since 1978. In the U.S., it was marketed as a sport wagon between 1981 and 1986, with the 1986 units being leftovers of the previous year, 1985.

Number of Recalls

With 8 recalls listed in NHTSA records, the Renault 18I is the fourth most-recalled Renault model. According to ARFC.org, it holds 11.1% of all Renault recalls, and the first-ever recall was issued in 1980.

The debut model, i.e. the 1981 Renault 18I, is the most-recalled Renault model on record with 5. It is responsible for more than half of the total, which indicates a divergence of issues with the model year. The 1983, 1984, and 1985 models have 1 recall each, making them the least-recalled Renault 18I models.

Below are issues that necessitated Renault 18I recalls:

  • Seatbelt problems (spacer on the seatbelt anchorage bolts may affect load capacity of the anchorage bolts and this may ultimately lead to failure of the system to safely restrain passenger during a crash)
  • Fuel system issues (possibility of a restricted fuel supply system resulting in unexpected stoppages even when the fuel gauge indicates fuel availability)
  • Equipment issues (wiring harness of the A/C system may unduly transmit power to the ignition circuit while it is off)
  • Electrical system faults (improperly routed wiring system and resultant contact with engine compartment components)
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