There are dozens of motor vehicle recalls each year. Involve relatively modest changes to a car or truck, while others are more urgent or memorable. Some of you may have a personal favorite tied to an old family car or your first car after getting a driver’s license, but these are still apparent problems that had dangerous consequences.
- Ford Pinto gas tanks: Some may remember back in the ’70s when Pintos were one of the early small economy cars. They famously had a giant hatchback but infamously had their gas tanks in the back, making them susceptible to fires when rear-ended. Ford recalled 1.5 million cars.
- Firestone tires: The tires mostly used by Ford Explorers between 1991 and 2000 were susceptible to tread separation when under-inflated. This prompted the top-heavy to roll over.
- Toyota gas pedals: Like a horror movie or bad dream, drivers found that gas pedals would get pinned down by shifting replacement floor mats. There were also instances where the gas pedals malfunctioned. Toyota ended up recalling 8 million vehicles by 2010.
- GM ignition switches: Faulty ignition switches would shut off the vehicle mid-ride if something bumped the key, causing an estimated 124 deaths. Because the engine was off, airbags did not inflate. GM paid nearly $600 million to families of victims.
- Audi 5000 sudden acceleration: Preceding Toyota’s gas pedal issues, this mid-80s phenom was recalled four times and was the center of a 60 Minutes investigation. Part of the problem was the gas pedal malfunction, and the other was that the brake pedal was much closer to the gas than many American cars, prompting drivers to hit the gas instead of the brakes when starting the car.
Sadly, automotive recalls are not a thing of the past. Whether it is Takata airbags or Tesla’s touchscreen, many car owners stuck with lemon need legal help from attorneys to make matters right.