2. Ford Pinto
Domestic car manufacturers addressed the popularity of compact cars with several homegrown models, all of which were quite bad. And one of those cars was the Ford Pinto, which Ford introduced in the early ’70s. At first, the Pinto was popular due to its low price, fairly nice design and long list of options. It came with economical four and six-cylinder engines, and the overall quality of the car was decent.
So, what was the problem? While engineering the car, Ford “forgot” to put protection on its rear-mounted fuel tank. The fuel tank was below the trunk and just behind the rear bumper. In most models, there is a strong cross-member that protects the fuel tank in case of a crash. However, the Pinto lacked this feature.
It became apparent when people started getting killed in fiery crashes due to leaking fuel tanks. The families of people killed or hurt in such incidents sued Ford and they spent millions settling many court cases. Despite improving the design of the Pinto afterward, they soon discontinued the model. The Pinto went into the history books as the “car of death.”