Count yourself lucky if you’ve never owned any of these fault-ridden cars
From cars that exploded when they were involved in a crash, to faulty hand brakes that resulted in parked cars rolling down hills, car faults can be incredibly dangerous. Unfortunately, there’s been plenty of them in recent motoring history and with manufacturing giants only looking out for their bottom line, they weren’t often addressed immediately.
However, eventually these severe faults were addressed and lead to a recall, resulting in hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions, of cars being recalled. So, here are some of the worst:
Toyota’s Phantom Acceleration
One of the most famous recalls consisted of around 9,300,000 Toyota vehicles being sent back to the manufacturer. In the 2000s, a wide range of Toyota vehicles were being reported of having a fault that made the car accelerate on its own accord.
Whether you’re sitting in traffic, going around a bend or coming to a stop, random and uncontrollable acceleration is never a good thing. It is reported that 89 deaths can be attributed to this fault and Toyota seemed to palm the blame off by saying it was either faulty floor mats, sticky accelerator pedals or user error that caused thousands of cases of sudden unintended acceleration.
General Motors’ Faulty Ignition
Over the pond in the US of A, General Motors were forced to recall almost 5 million vehicles to be recalled. The reason why? The engines were cutting out whilst driving, leaving drivers without power steering, braking, airbags and basically every other function you need to drive.
303 deaths have been attributed to the millions of GM cars that had faulty ignition switches installed in them. This malfunctioning part was installed in GM cars from 2003 to 2011 and only 2.6 million were successfully recalled, with a notice being put out for a total of over 5 million affected cars.
Renault’s self-applying handbrake
Although it didn’t affect millions of vehicles, this particular defect is just as deadly as the others. Renault Scenic II models produced between 2003 and 2005 had a defective handbrake that had the potential to randomly activate. Now, whilst driving at speed, this can be very dangerous as sudden application of the rear wheels will almost definitely lead you to spin out if it happened whilst you were turning.
This impromptu drift mode was taken very seriously by Renault and just under 67,000 Scenic II’s were recalled. The problem was also found to not be with the handbrake itself, but rather it came down to battery cables that were fitted incorrectly to the vehicle’s ECU. This caused the automatic, electronic handbrake to activate randomly in error.
BMW diesel fires
Now, diesel fuel is actually a lot less flammable than petrol is. That being said, BMW had to recall around 295,000 of their diesel cars due to risk of fire.
BMW feared that glycol leakage from the engine’s exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) cooler could result in burning soot deposits when combined with the high temperatures inside the EGR system. In layman’s terms, there was something burning inside of the car that shouldn’t be burning. Not good.
The problem was being dealt with in 2017 but the recall is still ongoing, with BMW extending their recall in October 2019 to include 27,000 more vehicles.
Even the Ford GT isn’t perfect
Although it’s not all that strange for supercars to catch fire, you still wouldn’t want it to be known fault in yours. The Ford GT may be known for its exclusivity, sheer power and ridiculously optimised aerodynamics but one thing Ford didn’t want their flagship supercar to be known for was catching fire.
Fluid from the wing actuator was reportedly leaking and dripping the exhaust. When running hot, the fluid is superheated and has a chance of setting the car on fire, basically. One case of a GT in Germany being engulfed in flames was reported back in June of 2018 and since then, Ford’s been on the case with the recalls, recalling 194 GTs. This may not sound like a lot, but less than 700 have been produced to date.
Have you ever had a recall for your car? If you’re unsure about your current vehicle, you can check for recalls on the government website here.
If you enjoyed this, we bet you’d also like to read about Jeep’s kind of awful safety ratings.
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