October 04, 2022

BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen lead recall tally in South Korea

PUBLISHED : September 22, 2022 - 09:29

UPDATED : September 22, 2022 - 09:49

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Hyundai Motor Group cars parked next to export shipping dock in the company’s warehouse in the southeastern coastal city of Ulsan, on Sep. 16 (Yonhap)

Germany’s top three carmakers – BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen – topped the list of the most recalled cars in South Korea over the past five years, a recent report showed Wednesday.

According to the report based on data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, vehicles produced by the German big three made up 92.1 percent of the total recalled cars between January 2018 and August 2022.

BMW was ranked first with 2,702 recalls over five years, with the number surging from 417 in 2018 to 703 in 2021. In the first eight months of this year, the figure stood at 371.

Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen recorded 1,555 and 467 recalls, respectively, during the same period.

Mercedes-Benz saw its recalls decline from 302 in 2018 to 216 in 2019. But the figure grew slightly to 234 in 2020 and 234 last year. As of August, it has recalled 258 vehicles.

Volkswagen saw fluctuations in the recall volume. Its tally stood at 102 this year.

Domestic carmakers made up a tiny 6.9 percent of the total recalled cars.

Hyundai Motor Group, which dominates more than 90 percent of the market, had 162 recalls for Hyundai Motor and 96 recalls for its smaller affiliate Kia brand over the past five years.

Their smaller rivals GM, Renault Korea and SsangYong Motor reported 51, 34 and eight recalls during the same period.

In terms of recall rates, Mercedes-Benz showed the highest rate of 88.8 percent, followed by Renault Korea with 85.6 percent and SsangYong Motor with 84.7 percent. The figures for Hyundai Motor and Kia remained below 70 percent.

“Carmakers should make efforts to reduce recalls and make flawless cars,” Rep. Park Sang-hyuck of the Democratic Party of Korea, the author of the report. Based on related regulations, the National Assembly will make sure to save lives and protect the public.”

By Byun Hye-jin (

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