Which? urges recall of seven of Britain’s most popular cars due to 'widespread faults'

Which? has criticised the production of seven popular car models and is urging manufacturers to make a recall. Credit: Getty.
Which? has criticised the production of seven popular car models and is urging manufacturers to make a recall. Credit: Getty.

Consumer watchdog Which? is calling for seven popular car models to be recalled due to a range of faults.

It claims there are serious production issues with vehicles made by Nissan (NSANY), BMW (BMW.DE), Tesla (TSLA) and Land Rover (TATAMOTORS.BO).

A survey of 50,000 car owners revealed seven of Britain’s most popular cars had "prolific problems", from faulty batteries to flawed fuel systems resulting in widespread breakdowns.

Three of these models – the Nissan Qashqai, Tesla Model S and BMW 5 Series Touring – were found to have exactly the same problems when Which? conducted the survey last year. None of the cars were recalled.

Which? found three of the seven cars that owners reported as having a single prolific fault were from Nissan; the Qashqai, Pulsar and Juke all being repeatedly reported as having a common fault.

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The Nissan Qashqai is a UK best-seller but Which? found it was the car with the highest breakdown rate for cars less than three years old.

And one in five (18%) owners of a Tesla Model S car between three and eight years old reported faults with its locks.

When it came to Land Rover, Which? found that five of the seven models included in the survey had problems with the on-board computer software.

The issue affected one in 20 (5%) drivers overall.

Of the 280 car models Which? has reliability data for, three to eight-year-old BMW 5 Series Touring cars (2010 to 2017) have the second-highest fault rate linked to one single problem with a quarter of owners (26%) reporting issues with their suspension.

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Since Which? shared its results, Nissan said it had taken steps to address the issue including replacing its battery supplier. It also contacted 35,000 potentially affected Qashqai owners about getting a free update for their vehicle.

Which? believes the problems uncovered in its survey show that these faults are so widespread that they indicate a weakness in the manufacturing process that should be addressed immediately.

Harry Rose, Editor of Which? Magazine, said: “It is completely unacceptable that these trusted car brands continue to take customer cash without fixing these widespread faults – many of which are already well-known thanks to our comprehensive survey of UK motorists.

“Currently, car owners will have to foot the bill for faults once their car goes out of warranty, but it is not right for anyone to have to pay for production mistakes that these manufacturers are aware of."