Top 10 Most Infamous Car Recalls Ever

Every year, motorists experience minor car problems that force them to return to the dealership and get their vehicles fixed. Sometimes, a large number of people experience the some serious problems, forcing automakers into mass recalls that not only cost the car manufacturer money, but also tarnishes the company’s image.

Steering wheels falling off, inadvertent acceleration and engine fires are just a few of the problems that plagued drivers, forcing automakers to recall their vehicles. Here are some of the worst car recalls.


10) 2013 Ford Escape

The most current major recall on this list, Ford Motor Company is recalling 11,500 2013 Ford Escape SUVs for the minor issue of engine fire. The problem is some of the vehicle’s fuel lines are cracking and having gasoline spill onto the engine. Luckily no one has been injured due to the fires.


9) 1971 – 1976 Ford Pinto and Mercury Bobcat

Although the cars had been on the market for years, the actual recall did not take place until 1978, when Ford finally acknowledged that the Pinto’s gas tanks would rupture and burst into flames when a rear-end collision occurred. While the company knew of the problem, they decided it was too expensive to redesign the fuel tank than pay settlements for injuries and deaths caused by fires. Eventually, Ford ended up recalling more than 1 million Pintos and the identical Mercury Bobcat to adjust the gas tanks. The recall cost the company millions in settlements.


8) 1995 Honda Motor Company vehicles

In the early ’90s, 3.7 million Honda vehicles gave a little too much protection with their seatbelts. That’s because owners weren’t able to actually take off their seatbelts because the release button would crack and become unusable. This would be a scary situation if you were in an accident and a huge inconvenience if let’s say you came home from a long day of work and you just wanted to get into bed.


7) 2010 Toyota Corolla

Known more as a dependable car company, Toyota had its own recall problem with the 2010 Corolla. The issue was a defect in the gas pedal that caused it to stick down while in full-throttle acceleration. As a result, the driver couldn’t stop, which led to to 31 deaths and 9 million cars recalled. The issue caused Toyota to spend millions over two years to fix the problem.


6) 1981 General Motors Chevrolet Malibu and other vehicles

When recalls occur it’s generally because of a glitch or some faulty wiring, but in 1981 some of General Motors vehicles experienced a more frightening experience. A loose suspension bolt was causing car’s steering columns to become disabled, which caused the driver to lose control of their car. A total of 5.8 million vehicles were recalled with the Chevrolet Malibu being the most affected.


5) 1996 Ford Ranger and other vehicles

Normally when you turn off your car, you don’t have to worry about anything except locking the vehicle. However, in 1996 several of Ford’s vehicles experienced a glitch in the ignition system after owners put the car in park that caused the autos to go into flames. Several homes burned down as a result, but fortunately no one died. In total, 8 million vehicles were affected.


4) 2000 Lincoln Navigator and other vehicles

Cruise control is supposed to be a convenience for drivers, but that convenience turn into something much worse for some Ford drivers in the ’90s and 2000s. In some vehicles the cruise-control device suffered a glitch, which would cause the engine to overheat and burst into flames. The Lincoln Navigator was the most recalled of the Ford vehicles, but in total 8.6 autos were affected.


3) 1971 General Motors vehicles

Such as simple part, but very essential, the engine mount connects a car engine to the car frame and is usually made of rubber or metal. Unfortunately for some General Motors drivers in the ’60s, their engine mount somehow separated due to the rubber eroding. As a result, vehicles would uncontrollably hit high speeds, resulting in 63 accidents and 18 injuries. Luckily for majority of the 6.7 million car owners affected, all they had to do was pay $30 for a quick fix.


2) 1991 – 2001 Ford Explorer

During the ’90s, the Ford Explorer was one of America’s best selling SUVs. However, it had a minor issue. The car tended to roll over in emergency situation thanks to the tread problems of the the vehicle’s Firestone tires. Countless parodies were made about the tires, but the issue was not as funny. By 2001, more than 200 deaths were caused due to the tires, according to The Wall Street Journal.


1) 1970 – 1980 Ford vehicles

Although no recall technically happened due to an agreement between the Department of Transportation and Ford, had there been one, it would have been the biggest recall in history with an alarming 21 million vehicles affected. Called the “park-to-reverse” automatic transmission defect, Ford vehicles had a defect that allowed cars to appear in park, but only to slip into reverse. It wasn’t until 1980 did the government threaten any action, after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received more than 23,000 complaints, 6,000 accidents and 1,710 injuries, with 98 attributed to the defect.


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