4. Audi 5000
Today, Audi is one of the leading luxury brands in the American market. Still, in the late ’80s, the company was almost gone from US shores due to the news of unintended acceleration and numerous crashes as a reason for that. In 1986, a popular CBS TV show “60 Minutes” ran a feature about Audi’s unintended acceleration on the popular 5000 model. The viewers didn’t see that the car was rigged and that the acceleration featured in the show wasn’t genuine. After the show was aired, the car community was buzzing, and Audi’s reputation was badly damaged.
Audi responded by publishing numerous tests and videos showing that the only possible way of something like this happening is if the driver’s foot slips from brake to accelerator pedal. Still, it didn’t help, and sales hit rock bottom. Despite the fact that “60 Minutes” published a false story and it was proven that Audi didn’t have acceleration problems, the damage was done and it took the company two decades to recover. It’s still unclear why CBS did this feature. Was another rival car company behind it?