Automakers have made huge strides in car safety, but these advancements didn’t come without some of the most dangerous cars in history.
From the potential of a car catching fire to being uncontrollable on the road, some cars shouldn’t have made it off the assembly line. Often, the dangers of these cars came from a small design flaw or safety item that was simply overlooked. Unfortunately, these cars didn’t show the potential for being dangerous until they were out of the testing phase and on the production line. Thankfully, most of them didn’t last very long, but some did.
The Fiero was aptly named with a name that sounds like fire. Although Pontiac used the tagline “We build excitement” this car should have had a different tagline. The Fiero was a popular two-seat, low-slung sports car of the 1980s that was known for exploding and catching fire due to the malfunctioning connecting rods. The rods would break if the car was dangerously low on oil or driven recklessly. This meant complaints, injuries, and fires. This Pontiac sports car might have been dangerous, but it was still a popular choice whether sold as a new or used model.
When performance trumped safety, the Chevrolet Corvair stood tall as the car that showed safety should be an important factor. This Chevy was easily one of the most dangerous cars in history as the subject matter of Ralph Nader’s book “Unsafe at Any Speed” showed how car companies put performance first. The design of the Corvair caused rollovers, and the rear-mounted engine caused handling issues. Finally, if the car were to rollover, there would be little to no protection for passengers.
Ford Model T
The most popular car of all time, at least until the VW Beetle came along, was also a troublesome car to drive. The Model T was made before car safety was a concern of any automaker. This car had a gas tank located under the seat, which made it a ticking time bomb just waiting for the tank to be punctured. Additionally, the windshield was sharp, leaving drivers and passengers in bad shape in crashes. You might see this car on the road or at a classic show, but most aren’t driven any longer.
The BMW Isetta was so small it’s hard to think of it as anything but one of the most dangerous cars ever to be made. This little “bubble car” used a single-cylinder motorcycle engine and a front-hinged hatch that was extremely small and thin, making it a terribly unsafe car to drive. Drivers must pay close attention to what this car has and how it drives. Any accident was detrimental to drivers of the BMW Isetta, making it an easy choice for this list.
The dangers of driving the DeLorean DMC-12 is a long list. This iconic car that only became truly popular with the “Back to the Future” movie franchise is a terrible car to drive. This car is plagued with alignment problems that cause the tires to wear excessively. It also has poor alternators and a fiberglass frame that was never designed to handle a high-speed accident. Overall, the DMC-12 is a death trap, locking passengers inside during a rollover. Thankfully, the DMC-12 isn’t fast or powerful.
Before the car ever hit the market, we knew it was bad. That didn’t stop this terrible little car from being sold and driven on many roads. The attraction of the Yugo GV was its low price, but cheap is all you got, not value. The timing belts had to be replaced every 40,000 miles, and without this, the engine would seize. The GV was slow and unreliable with control issues and corner cutting everywhere. Thankfully, this car never became popular and was quickly deleted from the American automaker in 2008.
One of the most dangerous cars in history is also one of the most popular while it was being built. The Ford Pinto was a popular car that many drivers used for several types of transportation and driving situations. The dangerous aspect of the Pinto is the location of its fuel tank, which was in the rear of the car. If this car was hit in the rear, it often burst into flames, making it a fiery death trap. Additionally, the suspension and brakes were problematic, making it difficult to drive and control this Ford.
These seven cars are among the most dangerous cars ever made. Thankfully, the automotive industry has come a long way since these vehicles were built.
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