The Most Defective Car Models of 2021 By Brand

No company is immune to mistakes – even global auto manufacturers. New vehicles can be produced with defects that result in serious safety problems for the driver and those around them. Vehicles are subjected to recalls and lemon claims every year for a range of issues.

If you have one of these vehicles – and it’s covered under the original warranty – the manufacturer should fix it at no cost. If they are not able to fix the defect after a reasonable number of repair attempts, you might be eligible for lemon law benefits.

Without further ado, let’s discuss the most defective car models in 2021, as reported by other sources.


Ford is one of the most iconic American auto brands. Known for heavy-duty trucks, the brand’s famous slogan is “Built Ford Tough” – but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. The following are some of the ford defective car models 2021, and the common defects associated with the vehicles.

  • Ford F-150
  • Ford F-250
  • Ford F-350
  • Ford F-450
  • Ford F-550
  • Ford Bronco Sport
  • Ford Transit Connect
  • Ford Escape
  • Ford Explorer
  • Lincoln Corsair
  • Lincoln Navigator
  • Lincoln Aviator

Common Defect(s)

  • Windshield detachment

Due to improper bonding, Ford truck models have had the glass in the windshield pop out of place. This commonly occurs during an impact.

Models Affected: Ford F-150, Ford F-250, Ford F-350, Ford F-450, Ford F-550

Number of Models Impacted: 79K

  • Fuel Tube Issues

A defective fuel tube can result in fuel leaks and loss of pressure. This can lead to the vehicle stalling or difficulty starting.

Models Affected: Ford Bronco Sport, Ford Escape, Lincoln Corsair

Number of Models Impacted: 10K

  • Airbag Defects

Some airbags in these models were not installed properly, meaning they can detach and fail to deploy.

Models Affected: Lincoln Aviator, Ford Explorer

Number of Models Impacted: 36K

  • Defective Shifter

The bushing attached to the shifting cable has been shown to fall off as it erodes. This prevents the transmission from shifting to the appropriate gear – putting the driver in serious danger.

Models Affected: Ford Transit Connect

Number of Models Impacted: 192K


BMW is synonymous with luxury. But even the most respected car brands are still prone to defects on the assembly line. The following are some of the defective car models 2021, and the common defects associated with the vehicles:

  • BMW Z4 M4oi
  • BMW X4 M4oi
  • BMW 745Le xDrive

Common Defect(s)

  • Oil/Vacuum Pump Defects

This problem is alleged to be caused by a software defect causing loss of vacuum – due to damage from the vacuum/oil pump. This defect can then lead to malfunctions in the brake assist feature.

Models Affected: BMW Z4 M4oi, BMW X4 M4oi, BMW 745Li xDrive

Number of Models Impacted: 50K


Volkswagen is one of Germany’s most popular car brands. Generally, Volkswagen models are viewed as well-built and reliable. However, some lines in the brand’s catalog have experienced more issues than others. The following are some of the defective car models 2021, and the common defects associated with the vehicles:

  • Volkswagen Tiguan
  • Volkswagen Jetta
  • Volkswagen Jetta GLI
  • Volkswagen Golf GTI
  • Volkswagen Atlas
  • Volkswagen Arteon

Common Defect(s)

  • Faulty Rear View Camera

Issues with the ignition may cause problems with the rearview camera/infotainment system – most notably freezing.

Models Affected: Arteon, Tiguan, Jetta, GLI, Golf GTI, Atlas, Atlas Cross Sport

Number of Models Impacted: 34K


Toyota vehicles are renowned for reliability. This reputation has contributed to the brand’s worldwide footprint – but some recent models have had some serious issues. The following are some of the defective car models 2021, and the common defects associated with the vehicles:

  • Toyota Tundra

Common Defect(s)

  • Headlight Overheating

The Tundra’s bulb connector for the headlamps has been shown to overheat and cause a small fire in the vehicle. Not only is this dangerous for the driver, it can potentially damage other parts of the mechanical system.

Models Affected: Toyota Tundra

Number of Models Impacted: 158K

Stellaris North America

Stellaris North America is the umbrella brand covering Dodge, Jeep, and Chrysler. We’ve seen defects with many of these models in the past year. The following are some of the defective car models 2021, and the common defects associated with the vehicles:

  • Dodge Charger
  • Dodge Challenger
  • Chrysler 300
  • Ram 4500
  • Ram 5500
  • Jeep Wrangler
  • Jeep Gladiator

Common Defect(s)

  • Fire Risk

Some of these vehicles have exhibited problems with the heater’s electric relays, which leads to shorting/fires. The brand has acknowledged this defect and has even recommended to park these vehicles outdoors to avoid potential damage to the driver’s home/garage.

Models Affected: Ram 4500, Ram 5500

Number of Models Impacted: 19K

  • Windshield Detachment

The windshield adhesive has shown signs of being formulated improperly. In the event of an impact or accident, the windshield is vulnerable to popping out.

Models Affected: Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, Chrysler

Number of Models Impacted: 21K

  • Fractures in Clutch Plate

This problem generally occurs in 6-speed manual trucks. The transmission may have a defective clutch pressure plate, which can fracture the clutch and potentially create a fire.

Models Affected: Jeep Gladiator, Jeep Wrangler

Number of Models Impacted: 42K


Nissan is another car brand known for dependability – a reputation that stretches across the globe. Even with favorable reliability scores, no brand is perfect. The following are some of the defective car models 2021, and the common defects associated with the vehicles:

  • Nissan Armada
  • Infiniti QX80
  • Nissan Sentra
  • Nissan Rogue
  • Nissan Rogue Sport

Common Defect(s)

  • Unsecured Seating

Some vehicles noted above have shown installation issues with the seat frame. This makes the vehicle unable to meet child restraint anchorage system guidelines.

Models Affected: Nissan Rogue

Number of Models Impacted: 47K

  • Unresponsive Steering

We’ve seen problems with the tie rods bending or breaking. These issues significantly impair the steering, putting the driver and those around them at risk.

Models Affected: Nissan Sentra

Number of Models Impacted: 138K

  • Defective Fuel Pump

Problems in the manufacturing process may lead to faultiness with the fuel pumps. This may cause binding and stalling while the vehicle is being driven.

Models Affected: Nissan Armada, Infiniti QX80

Number of Models Impacted: 24K

  • Tailgate Detachment

The hinges have been shown to cause the tailgate to become detached from the vehicle – especially in collisions.

Models Affected: Nissan Rogue Sport

Number of Models Impacted: 13K


The Jaguar brand has long been known as a brand of class and quality. Unfortunately, we’ve seen problems with many different models – including the Land Rover (a subsidiary of Jaguar). The following are some of the defective car models 2021, and the common defects associated with the vehicles:

  • Jaguar F-Pace SUVs
  • Jaguar F-Type Coupe
  • Jaguar XF Sedans
  • Range Rover
  • Range Rover Velar
  • Range Rover Discovery Sport
  • Range Rover Discovery

Number of Impacted Jaguar Models: 28K

Common Defect(s)

  • Child Restraint Defects

The automatic locking retractor may cause seatbelts to become unsecured in child-restraint mechanisms, creating a significant safety issue.


Hyundai is known as a brand where quality meets affordability. While the automaker has many famed models, a few have recurring defects. The following are some of the defective car models 2021, and the common defects associated with the vehicles:

  • Elantra
  • Veloster
  • Kona

Common Defect(s)

  • Risk of Oil Fire

Defective piston rings have been attributed to leaking and engine troubles, which can create a fire risk.

Models Affected: Elantra, Veloster, Kona

Number of Models Impacted: 125K

General Motors

General Motors – or just GM – is the face of the American car industry. The brand has added a great deal of innovation to the market for over a century. But, there have been plenty of mechanical issues in recent years. The following are some of the defective car models 2021, and the common defects associated with the vehicles:

  • Chevrolet Bolt EV
  • Chevrolet Equinox
  • Chevrolet Tahoe
  • Chevrolet Express
  • Chevrolet Corvette
  • Chevrolet Suburban
  • Chevrolet Trailblazer
  • GMC Terrain
  • GMC Savana
  • GMC Yukon
  • GMC Yukon XL
  • Cadillac CT4
  • Cadillac CT5
  • Cadillac Escalade
  • Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • Buick Encore GX
  • Buick Envision

Common Defect(s)

  • Battery Problems

Tears in the anode tab and a folded separator has shown to create problems with the battery – and can cause them to catch on fire.

Models Affected: Chevrolet Bolt

Number of Models Impacted: 63K

  • Tire Tread Loss

Some tires sold with GM models are over-cured, which can cause sudden deflation or tread loss. This is due to the separation of the belt.

Models Affected: Chevrolet Express, GMC Savana

Number of Models Impacted: 33K

  • Tire Delamination

We’ve seen reports that some GM models come with defective tires that were not cured properly, leading to blowouts.

Models Affected: Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain

Number of Models Impacted: 7K

  • Power Steering Loss

A defective steering motor kit has been shown to cause the loss of power steering assist. This issue can also be attributed to a software glitch.

Models Affects: Cadillac Escalade, Cadillac Escalade ESV, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon, GMC Yukon XL

Number of Models Impacted: 26K

  • Emergency Jack Fractures

The plastic emergency jack has been defective in nearly all models. The jack has been shown to easily fracture, which can cause the vehicle to drop and cause a potential injury.

Model Affected: Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trailblazer

Number of Models Impacted: 135K

  • Faulty Airbag Warning Light

Issues with the communication – caused by software failures – can result in the airbag warning light failing to illuminate. This can make the passenger believe the airbags are functioning properly, even if they are defective.

Models Affected: Buick Envision, Cadillac CT4, Cadillac CT5, Cadillac Escalade, Cadillac Escalade ESV, Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon, GMC Yukon XL

Number of Models Impacted: 285K

The Next Step

If you are experiencing defects in any of the models listed above, contact a lemon law lawyer for instructions on your next move. In the event the manufacturer is not able to repair these defects, you may be eligible for benefits under California lemon law.

Chances are, you’ve never been sold a defective vehicle – especially a new one. Knowing what to do is not always clear. Moreover, manufacturers have no problem giving you false information in hopes they can avoid compensating you appropriately.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to a lemon law attorney in California from Cline APC. Even if you don’t have a valid claim (yet), we’re happy to answer your questions and point you in the right direction. Call our office at 888-982-6915, send an email to, or fill out a free case evaluation.

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