Top 10 Risky Cars of 2012
Safety complaints are launched to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Safety issues include the brake problems, unintended speed acceleration, seat belts issues, gear shifting problem etc. hence issues related to each part of the car. We can consider that the safety complaints will be against the non-popular cars, whereas, popular and non-popular both categories of brands have been reported with safety issues. Nissan, Ford, Dodge, Mini and Jeep are among the cars with safety risks. NHTSA determines the safety issues on every complaint and asks the manufacturer to issue a recall. As a result to safety calls manufacturer addresses the safety issue. On the other hand other customers also get vigilant and are more likely to register the complaint with NHTSA, if any.
24/7 Wall St. compiled the data of complaints filed with NHTSA from 2007 to 2012. They issued a review on that. Edmunds.com issued the details of brands’ sales 2005 to 2012. Wall St. concluded an analysis based on the sales details issued by edmunds.com and compiled data of complaints filed with NHTSA. Wall St. also consulted consumer reports for that matter and came up with a list of 10 cars with most safety complaints;
1. Mini (124 per 100k)
Came into 1970s has been one of the most popular car in UK whereas in 2009 the sales were 45,225. Its sales have been increasing in the following years and total sales in 2012 have been 66,123 cars. Customers filed 427 complaints during 2012 and 124 complaints per 100,000 of the cars sold from 2005 to 2012. Powertrain, problem with steering, air bags and seat belts have been the safety issues. Customers primarily faced the issues with powertrain with 169 complaints filed during 2012. Other safety issues included 132 steering problems and 81 problems related to airbags and seat belts. This brand with around 124 complaints per 100,000 cars sold takes the lead and is at number one in our list.
2. Jeep (70 per 100k)
In 2012 total sales of Jeep were 474,131 cars whereas 2,036 complaints were filed against Jeep. Safety issues were related to powertrain, interior electronics and hardware, chassis suspensions and axles, fuel/emission/exhaust systems and steering components. This brand with around 70 complaints per 100,000 cars sold is at number two in our list. Wrangler model of Jeep received most of the complaints. Jeep could manage to retain only 27.5% of its old customers who intended to purchase a second model of this brand.
3. Smart (57 per 100k)
From 2008 to 2012 total of 44,000 cars were sold which is less than 100,000. Complaints filed against Smart during 2012 were 25. This brand with around 57 complaints per 100,000 cars sold is at number three in our list. Smart could not retain even one third of its customers who came back to buy a second model.
4. Chrysler (41 per 100k)
In 2012 total sales of Chrysler were 307,967 cars whereas 1,166 complaints were filed against Chrysler. Out of which 463 were related to powertrain whereas 157 problems were related to fuel/emission/exhaust system. From 2005 through 2012 2.86 million cars of Chrysler were sold. This brand with around 41 complaints per 100,000 cars sold is at number four in our list. Town & Country model of Chrysler received most of the complaints.
5. Dodge (40 per 100k)
During first three months of 2013 Dodge sales have been far better than 2012. But in 2012 customers faced safety issues which affected the sales. Customers primarily faced the issues with powertrain. Total sales in 2012 were 524,989 cars whereas 2,304 complaints were filed against Dodge. Out of which 653 were related to powertrain whereas others included problems related to interior electronics and hardware. Grand Caravan model of Dodge received most of the complaints. This car with around 40 complaints per 100,000 cars sold is at number five in our list.
6. Nissan (39 per 100k)
In 2012 total sales of Nissan were 1,021,779 cars whereas 2,485 complaints were filed against all models of Nissan. This car with around 39 complaints per 100,000 cars sold is at number six in our list. It is the second highest among the brands with sales over five million cars in USA from 2005 to 2012. Altima model of Nissan received most of the complaints. Nissan could manage to retain 42% of its old customers who purchased another model of Nissan.
7. BMW (37 per 100k)
BMW sales have been increasing since 2009 but safety issues affected the sales. Customers primarily faced the issues with powertrain. Total sales in 2012 were 281,460 cars whereas 676 complaints were filed against BMW. Out of which 175 were related to airbags and seat belts and 150 were related to powertrains. 3 Series model of BMW received most of the complaints. This car with around 37 complaints per 100,000 cars sold is at number seven in our list.
8. Volkswagen (35 per 100k)
Sales have been increasing after 2008 and in 2012 total sales of Volkswagen were 438,134 cars. On the other hand the safety complaints also increased. Around 667 complaints were filed against Volkswagen during 2012. Out of 667 around 368 were related to powertrains, 65 were related to interior hardware and electronics and 63 were related to body and glass. This car with around 35 complaints per 100,000 cars sold is at number eight in our list. Jetta model of Volkswagen received most of the complaints.
9. Ford (34 per 100k)
During 2010, 2011 and 2012 the Ford has been the best seller of America. Then the safety issues affected the sales. The customers primarily faced the issues with powertrain. Total sales in 2012 were 2,168,392 cars whereas 4,958 complaints were filed against Ford. Escape model of Ford received most of the complaints. This brand with around 34 complaints per 100,000 cars sold is at number nine in our list. Despite of the safety complaints the brand succeeded to retain 50% of its customers.
10. Hyundai (28 per 100k)
From 2005 onwards the sales of Hyundai cars have been increasing every year. Gradually the safety complaints also increased. Total sales of Hyundai in 2012 were 703,007 cars. Around 1,025 complaints were filed against Hyundai during 2012. The safety issues included the problems related to powertrains, airbags, seat belts and interior electronics & hardware. This car with around 28 complaints per 100,000 cars sold is at number ten in our list. Sonata model of Hyundai received most of the complaints.
Safety is definitely a major concern but not every customer really considers it while deciding a brand to purchase. Some people being really concerned of safety issues make sure to lodge it to NHTSA. Still every safety issue is not lodged at NHTSA but the lodged ones do provide some meaningful data for analyzing the brand-wise safety issues. It helps the manufacturer to improve the safety measures.
During 2012 brands lost their customers due to safety issues. Still known brands managed to retain a good percentage of their loyal customers. Complaints lodged to NHTSA are not restricted to non-popular brands only. These include many popular and non-popular brands but Mini, Jeep, Smart, Chrysler, Dodge, Nissan, BMW, Volkswagen, Ford and Hyundai take the top ten positions based on the number of complaints per 100,000 cars sold.