The human race has come a long way in terms of how we travel on land, seeing as at one point in time, the only way we could get from one place to another was by using our own feet to walk there; which as you all may well know, can be a lengthy and tiresome endeavor. Through ingenuity though, we went from using only our feet to using horses, and then using animal driven coaches and carriages, to then using trains. The biggest innovation though came in 1886, when a German inventor by the name of Karl Benz created what is likely one of the most important and essential inventions in all of history: the modern car.
The modern car may have come into being during the 19th century, but it was not until Henry Ford built the famous Model T, that cars truly became accessible to the masses, and in the 108 years since then, the car has undergone several physical and aesthetic changes. There are now dozens of car manufacturing companies in the world, and each one specializes in some type of vehicle, whether it be passenger cars, vans, jeeps, trucks, or sports and luxury cars; and in most cases these cars are safe for both the driver and other occupants.
With that being said though, not all cars that have been built and sold to the public were safe, in fact there are several cars which are so dangerous, that you question why they were even allowed on the road in the first place; and this list will showcase 15 of the most dangerous cars ever built.
15. Ford Mustang
The Ford Motor Company is a truly historic automaking company, which has been manufacturing and selling cars ever since it was founded by Henry Ford in 1903, and in its 113 year history, the company has produced several different car models. The Ford Mustang is one of these models, and along with it being one of North America’s most iconic muscle cars, it also possesses a healthy fanbase within the car community, a community that has endured since the 1960s. The original Mustang was built in 1962, but the more recent model seen today is a continuation of the true mustang model which was built in 1965. Now the Mustang, unlike other cars on this list, is fairly safe as it has no real prominent mechanical, electrical, or body issues, but despite this, people are still four times more likely to get into an accident with it. The reason why this car is dangerous, is because you can easily find and buy one, meaning that a lot of young and inexperienced drivers get ahold of them, drivers who like to go fast, and who have likely never driven such a powerful car with Rear-Wheel-Drive.
14. Toyota Yaris
We have all had to deal with the sometimes outrageous prices at the gas station, especially in the past decade, and although we may not like it, those of us who do not have an electric or solar powered car have little choice in the matter seeing as our car needs the gas in order to get us where we want to go. It is because of high gas prices that smaller and more fuel-efficient cars have flooded the market; cars like the Toyota Yaris, which may in fact save money on gas, but which are also more likely to injure a person. The Yaris was in fact a rather inexpensive car, and became quite popular, but as it turns out, for every 1,000 that were sold, there were on average 29 official injury claims made, which is rather high for a sample size of only 1,000. The reason behind this was due to the Yaris’ small size, which made its crumple zone far less effective than that of a larger car; and as a result, anyone inside the Yaris during any sort of collision would be more likely to feel the impact or be crushed.
13. Chevrolet Corvette (1984-96)
Chevrolet has been around for almost as long as Ford, and in that time, just like Ford, they are also responsible for creating and producing one of the most iconic cars ever made; and that car happens to be the Corvette. The Corvette first rolled off the production line in 1953, and continues to be sold today, but in the sixty years since its initial release, it has gone through multiple changes over seven different generations; as evidenced by the fact that the first corvette was a convertible, while the one sold today is a sports car. Over the generations, this car has had problems associated with both its engine and power, but it was during the fourth generation (1984-96) that this car was the most dangerous. In this generation, the Corvette possessed surprisingly low power, as its engine only possessed about 250 horsepower, but people still drove it as if it were meant for speed, which would cause people to lose control more easily. At one point during this generation, people were five times more likely to die in a Corvette than any other car.
12. Hyundai Pony
Hyundai is a South Korean car manufacturer which has been selling cars all over the world for almost fifty years now, and the company has made its name by offering cars to the public at low and more affordable prices. One of these very affordable cars was the Hyundai Pony, which the company produced from 1975 up until 1990, and it became incredibly popular amongst consumers all around the world due to how cheap it was compared to other cars. For Hyundai, and South Korea, the Pony was a real milestone, as it was the first mass-produced car to come out of the country, but like all things that are mass-produced, the quality tends to not be the highest. The reason why the Pony was so cheap was because the materials used to make the body and chassis were very cheap, which meant that the car did not offer the occupants nearly as much protection as needed in the event of a crash.
11. Audi 5000
The German automaker Audi, has been making cars since 1910, but it was not until the 1960s, that the company really started making a name for itself when it started producing the fairly expensive yet very appealing luxury cars that they are known for today. The Audi 5000 was first produced in 1968, and continued to be made until 1994, and for the most part, this car and its various models caused minimal problems, but between 1982 and 1987, Audi was forced to make several recalls. As it turns out, the Audi 5000 models at the time contained a faulty system which caused the car to rev up and roll forward unexpectedly while the car was temporarily stopped or inactive. This sudden movement, would shock some drivers, so much so that some would accidentally press on the accelerator as a result; and because of this, the faulty system was linked to the probable cause of six deaths and nearly one thousand accidents.
10. Ford Explorer
The Hummer may not be manufactured anymore primarily due to the fact that it consumed an absurdly high amount of gas, but for those who do remember the Hummer, you know that there was a chance that the car could roll/flip over if it took a sharp turn; and that is a problem that other cars have shared as well. The Ford Explorer is probably Ford’s best seller right now, and they have been making the full-size, sport utility vehicle since the year 1990, and early the Explorer would also roll over sometimes when making a tight turn. This obviously caused several accidents, and the Company responded by telling drivers that this problem could be avoided by lowering the pressure in their tires; but all that did was make things worse, as not only did it not stop the cars from rolling over, it also caused tires to lose their tread much faster, which led to a loss of grip and even more accidents.
9. DeLorean DMC-12
The Back to the Future series remains one of the best movie franchises ever, as its popularity continues to this day, thirty days after the first movie’s initial release; and the movies did more than just make Michael J. Fox more famous, they also made the DeLorean one of the most iconic cars in all of movie history. The DeLorean DMC-12 was produced by the DeLorean Motor Company between 1981 and 1983, and although it may be a famous car, there were less than 9,000 ever made, and the reason for that was because the car’s famous gull-wing doors made it incredibly dangerous for the driver and passengers. Due to the actual design of the doors, and the fact that they came with no safety-release mechanism, the doors could easily become jammed in the event of a crash or if the car somehow flipped over; and since the windows were too small for a full grown person to fit through, everyone inside would be unable to escape from a possibly life-threatening situation.
8. Ford Bronco ll
With this entry, we once again see a car that was made by Ford, and as it happens, the Ford Bronco ll is the predecessor of the previously mentioned Ford Explorer, and they actually possessed the same problem. This car was manufactured from 1983 to 1990, and ended up being built very top heavy, which caused the car to roll over in the same way the Explorer did, but unlike the Explorer, the Bronco ll also had a faulty suspension which increased the likelihood of the car rolling over when making a tight turn at speed. As a result of these two factors, the Bronco ll was involved in many accidents, which led to the death of an estimated 260 people. This car ended up costing Ford a boat load of money, as the manufacturer was hit by numerous lawsuits which ultimately and rightfully cost the company over $2 billion in damage settlements.
7. Chery A15
China makes a lot of things, including cars, and in 1997, the car manufacturer known as Chery was founded, and in its nearly twenty years, it is known for producing SUVs, minivans and passenger cars. The Chery A15 is a subcompact car which was manufactured between 2003 and 2010, and these cars could only be found on the roads of Russia, Ukraine, and parts of both Asia and South America. Most of Europe and all of North America did not want this car on the road for a very good reason: because it came with tremendously bad safety features. When safety tests were conducted on the Chery A15, it was discovered that the car’s body would completely crumple in the event of a collision, meaning that it would barely absorb any of the impact from a collision. To get an idea of just how dangerous this car was/is, crash-test dummies had to be dismantled prior to being removed from the car because of how extensive the damage to the car was.
6. Geely CK
With this entry we have the subcompact car known as the Geely CK, which is the second most dangerous car to come out of China, and it continues to be manufactured today (since 2005) despite the fact that it is quite a dangerous vehicle. This car is so dangerous that it is mostly sold within China and Russia, as well some South American countries, and the reason why it is banned from being sold in North America and most of Europe is because it is completely unsafe for anyone inside of it. So far, the Geely CK has failed every safety test it has ever been a part of, as many of these cars come without any airbags installed, and as testing officials have noted, the car’s entire body has a chance to completely collapse in the event of crash, giving the passengers basically no protection whatsoever.
5. Yugo GV
This list has showcased several cars that are both fairly cheap and dangerous, and the Yugo GV is a prime example of both these aspects at their finest. Many of you born in the 1990s have probably not heard of the Yugo GV, but it was a rather small car which was produced by the European manufacturer now known as FIAT. This car was produced throughout most of the 1980s and the early 90s, and at under $4,000, it was an extremely cheap car, and the reason behind its low cost was because it was built using very cheap materials. To give you an idea of how dangerously cheap this car is, its top speed was 85mph, and the engine would likely break when reaching that speed if the timing belt was not changed by the 40,000 km mark; and it also had incredibly bad wiring. There were also instances where this car had trouble working when the weather was anything but nice and sunny; and one woman even stated that her Yugo was blown off a bridge by a wind gust of only 55mph.
4. Ford Pinto
The Ford Motor Company makes its fourth and final appearance on this list with the Ford Pinto, a subcompact car which was produced between 1971 and 1980. The Pinto may give off a classic car look, but it is actually quite dangerous as it possesses two distinct and prominent design flaws which could kill the driver and other passengers. The first of these flaws was a problem within the car’s automatic transmission, a problem which would literally cause the car to change gear without any sort of warning. The second flaw dealt with the actual design of the car, as it was built with the gas tank being located dangerously close to the car’s rear, which meant that if another driver collided with a Pinto from behind, it was possible that the gas tank could leak and start a fire. In the end, these flaws ultimately led to the deaths of 50 people.
3. Brilliance BS6
With this entry, we return to China for the third and final time with the manufacturer known as Brilliance Auto, which specializes in passenger cars and microvans, and in the year 2000, the automaker produced one of the most dangerous cars ever created. The Brilliance BS6 remained in production up until 2010, and although the manufacturer desperately tried to export this car to Europe, they failed at every attempt due to the results of crash testing determining that the car was “catastrophically dangerous”. It is not often that the word catastrophic is used to describe a car, but in this case, it is completely justifiable, as the entire front of this car, along with its sides, were completely destroyed during testing at speeds of only 40mph. As a result of this, the officials in charge of this testing, determined that everyone within this car would likely die if the car was involved in a medium speed collision.
2. Chevrolet Corvair
Like Ford, Chevrolet is an American based automaker which has been manufacturing cars for over one hundred years, which means that it too has a lengthy list of car models in its history, including the Corvair. The Corvair was produced between 1959 and 1969, and was built in order to compete with the Porsche, which is why it came with a similar rear-mounted, air-cooled engine along with a rear arm suspension. Most drivers though were unable to adjust to these new characteristics, and experienced a significant amount of oversteer, which resulted in numerous cars spinning out of control. That was not the only problem associated with the Corvair though, as it also had a faulty heater core that could cause the inside to fill up with toxic fumes; and the car also came without a front anti-roll bar, which meant that in the event of a crash, the solid one-piece portion of the steering column could impale and kill the driver.
1. Pontiac Fiero
At the number one spot on this list is the Pontiac Fiero, a two-seater sports car which was produced and sold between 1984 and 1988, and although this car may not look the part, it was actually considered to be one of the safest cars on the road in regards to collision testing. It may have been considered to be fairly safe, but the 1984 model gave the entire car a bad name when word got out that the Fiero had a chance to literally burst into flames. As it turns out, the reason behind the Fiero’s transformation into a rolling fireball was due to both a bad design and costly misprints. The car’s engine oil capacity was 4.5 quarts, but the car’s manual mistakenly said 3 quarts, which led to people under-filling their engines. This misprint led to the engine failing and breaking, which resulted in oil leaking into the exhaust and igniting; and to make things even worse, the car also had faulty wiring and terribly placed coolant lines which increased the risk of fires. In all, there were about 260 separate instances that involved a Fiero’s engine catching fire.