8. Audi 5000
Today, Audi is one of the leading luxury brands of the American market. But in the late ’80s, the company was almost gone from US shores. This was due to unintended acceleration and numerous crashes that resulted from that (via AutoSafety). In 1986, “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 aired, the car community was buzzing. Audi’s reputation was severely 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. Even though “60 Minutes” published a false story and it was proven that Audi didn’t have acceleration problems, the damage was done. It took the company two decades to recover. It’s still unclear why CBS aired this feature. Was it another rival car company behind it?