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10 Most Terrifying Vehicle Manufacturing Defects


1
Ford's Most Famous Fires
The 1971 to 1975 Ford Pinto was recalled in 1978 because the gas tank could rupture in the event of a rear-end collision. Mardis Coers/Contributor/Getty Images
The 1971 to 1975 Ford Pinto was recalled in 1978 because the gas tank could rupture in the event of a rear-end collision. Mardis Coers/Contributor/Getty Images

When you look at this list, you realize Ford and fire have been fighting it out for decades. One of the most famous recalls of all time involved the 1971 to 1975 Ford Pinto (and don't forget its friend, the nearly identical Mercury Bobcat!), which was recalled in 1978 because the gas tank could rupture in the event of a rear-end collision. That's terrifying enough to make this list, but the truly terrifying thing was the attitude of Ford brass at the time. They crunched the numbers and realized it was cheaper to pay settlements to people who were injured or killed by the defect than it was to redesign the fuel tank and do a recall to replace it. They probably didn't figure in the cost of public outrage in that meeting.