3. Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Diesel
In the late 70’s, American manufacturers were all about fuel efficiency and downsizing. The era of big cruisers and powerful gasoline engines of the 60’s was gone. Everybody was busy trying to find a way to introduce new and innovative automotive technologies.
Oldsmobile was on the forefront of this new trend with the introduction of the diesel engine in their passenger cars. In those days, American buyers were unaware they could use diesel fuel for their automobiles. European customers already had a couple of diesel cars on the market, but for America, this was new.
So Oldsmobile introduced the 4.3-liter V8 diesel engine as an option for the Cutlass line. Soon this model was subject to an enormous amount of recalls and engine swaps. Simply, the 4.3-liter had the tendency to explode and shatter during normal driving.
The passengers weren’t hurt, but the car was unusable and good only for scrap. Oldsmobile later introduced the 5.7-liter diesel which was somewhat more durable, but the 4.3-liter is probably the worst diesel engine in history.