Whenever I find myself shopping for a new car, I always take the time to browse the latest automotive recalls. Although a recall is not funny in the least bit, I find the lack of quality assurance in these cases to be incredibly laughable. Moreover, these recalls help me to narrow down the field, avoid possible lemons and ensure that my vehicle is among the safest on the road. Here are a few that were quite disastrous, to say the least.
Ford Ignition Switches
Achieving second-place for Ford’s largest recalls, the ignition switches used by Ford were recalled in 1996 on account of faulty ignition switches. The hardware was so troublesome that these ignition switches could lead to short circuits, overheating and even fire. Moreover, these problems could occur whether or not the vehicle was even running.
Affected vehicles included the Aerostar, Bronco, Crown Victoria, Escort, F-Series trucks, Grand Marquis, Lincoln Town Car, Mustang and Topaz models dated between 1988 and 1993. Things didn’t get better for Ford, as just a few years later, owners of the 1999 F-Series experienced fuel system failure.
Various Toyota Recalls
Toyota went through a rough year in 2009 when the potential for pedal entrapment, as well as the risk of unintended and increasing acceleration, was uncovered in nine million different vehicles. Making matters worse was the fact that the recall affected several popular models, including the Avalon, Camry, Lexus, Prius, Tacoma and Tundra.
By the time it was all said and done, Toyota was issued more than $1 billion in fines.
Ford Vehicle Fires
Only a few short months after recalling millions of vehicles due to faulty ignition switches, the Detroit-based manufacturer was forced to recall an additional 14 million automobiles on account of defective cruise control switches. More specifically, the switch that was used to put a vehicle into cruise had the potential to start a fire. This oversight cost Ford nearly $300 million.
While this isn’t the only time Ford has made our list, it’s the largest and most widespread recall the manufacturer has ever issued. In fact, the 1981 recall, which was based on faulty powertrain and transmission systems, included approximately 21 million different vehicles from Ford, Mercury and Lincoln.
The most commonly cited problem was the fact that cars would sometimes slip out of park, which could be a serious issue depending on the circumstances.
By far the biggest and most substantial recall in automotive history involves vehicles that use Takata airbags. Beginning in 2013 and still continuing to this date, this specific recall involves more than 24 different automobile manufacturers and more than 100 million vehicles.
Some of the most popular brands affected include Honda, Fiat Chrysler, Mazda, Nissan and Toyota, all of which have been known to install airbag inflators that are capable of rupturing or bursting.
Staying Safe on Our Nation’s Highways and Avoiding Recalls
To put it bluntly, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to automobile recalls in the United States. While there is little you can do to avoid recalls that haven’t been issued yet, those that have are always highly publicized. After all, it could be a matter of life or death.