There are many reasons for a motor vehicle to be recalled by its manufacturer. These can include a faulty air conditioner, or floor mats that don’t fit as they should. There are recall notices issued all the time, and, usually, people are unaware of them. But every once in a while there is a notorious car recall that attracts media attention and generates a fair share of controversy. This is typically because the problem with the vehicle being recalled could lead to a fatal crash and also because the recall involves a large number of vehicles. Here is a list of the 10 most infamous car recalls in automotive history.
10. General Motor Engine Mounts
General Motors was the biggest of the Big Three American automakers in the 1960s. Their vehicles were ubiquitous on U.S. streets and highways. And General Motors enjoyed a sterling reputation among motorists. That is, until 1969 when General Motors cars were the subject of a massive and serious recall. It turned out that General Motors cars made between 1965 and 1969 that were equipped with a V8 engine had a fairly significant problem—the rubber parts in the vehicles’ engine mounts would give out, causing the engine to break free and pull open the throttle. This led to rapid, unexpected and uncontrollable acceleration. Worse, this problem would also disable the brakes on the cars, making them almost impossible to stop as they accelerated out of control. By 1971, 172 cases of engine mount failure had been reported across the U.S., causing 63 accidents and 18 serious injuries. General Motors initially resisted the recall. General Motors’ President at the time, Edward Cole, actually said that the failing engine mount issue was no more serious than a flat tire. Government officials strongly disagreed and forced General Motors to issue a recall for nearly seven million vehicles.