BERLIN, March 14 (Xinhua) -- The number of German vehicles affected by recalls in 2018 rose seven percent compared to 2017, according to a response of the German transportation ministry (BMVI) to a parliamentary inquiry by the Green Party.
The German Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) ordered 383 recalls last year, which affected 3.7 million cars in Germany, according to the ministry response seen by Xinhua on Thursday.
Between 2012 and 2018, the number of safety-relevant recalls, which mostly concern vehicle components such as steering, braking systems, airbags or engines, had quadrupled from 93 to 366, according to the KBA.
Last year, around 3.5 million passenger cars in Germany had to be repaired because of safety problems, an increase of almost 20 percent compared to 2017. In 2012, the number was 824,000.
There were many reasons for the sharp increase in recalls, said Oliver Krischer, deputy leader of the German Green parliamentary faction.
"New models are being launched faster and the same parts are being used in more and more vehicles. At the same time, cost pressure is increasing among suppliers. This quickly leads to material savings or less extensive testing," Krischer commented.
New cars constantly get more and more functions, including navigation systems, telephone functions and internet access, according to Germany's General Automobile Club (ADAC).
"The greater the number of functions, the greater the probability of failure for the overall system," said Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, traffic scientist at the University of Duisburg-Essen.
Mercedes Benz, with 972,803 recalls, and the Volkswagen group, with 859,490 recalls, had the highest number of recalls for affected vehicles in 2018, according to the KBA.
The KBA specifically ordered the brands Audi, BMW, Mercedes and VW to recall more than 218,000 passenger cars last year for "emissions-related" reasons.
Many German carmakers had failed to ensure the new Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) certification was installed in their fleets on time.
"Particularly the recalls because of the non-functioning exhaust gas cleaning in diesel passenger cars are annoying, because the manufacturers deliberately did not install sufficient technology," stated Krischer from the Greens.