There are many aweful cars that have been made.  Some cars had poor handling, while others had questionable styling.  Some cars were heavy and underpowered, and other cars were just unreliable and constantly broke down on the road.  Some cars were just not safe to drive. The worst car ever made was slow, ugly, unreliable, unsafe, and had a fatal flaw.


The worst car ever made could not survive a rear-end collision.  This car structural design allowed its fuel tank filler neck to be broken off and cause the car catch fire.  According to a Mother Jones article in 1977, at least 500 burn deaths were caused by the design flaw.  The case was in my engineering ethics book.  The company that made this car could have recalled the vehicles and fixed the problems.  The company looked at the cost for casualties and the cost to fix each vehicle.  The company calculated that it would cost $137 million to fix the problem and only $49.53 million to cover the costs of deaths and injuries and burned out vehicles.  The company valued money over human life.

Not only was this car a death trap, but it was very slow.  The best this car got was 102 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque from a 2.8L V6.  It went from 0 to 60 mph in 11.4 seconds and had a top speed of 102 mph.  Even by 1970’s standards it was slow.

The worst car ever made is the Ford Pinto.  It is slow, an eye sore, and a death trap.  This car was a PR nightmare for Ford.  A company should never chose money over the life of a human.  This goes against the ethics code for engineers.  Ford’s “Pinto” memo showed that it cost $11 dollars to fix each vehicle, but there were 12.5 million vehicles that had to be modified.  The total cost to fix these vehicles was $137 million.  The memo also estimated 180 burn deaths, estimated $200,000 per burn death, 180 serious burn injuries, estimated $67,000 per injury, and 2100 burned out vehicles, at $700 per burned out vehicle, resulting in $49.53 million cost not to fix the fatal flaw.  If you value your life, do not get into a Ford Pinto, let alone buy one.


If you see this car for sale, DO NOT BUY.  It is a death trap

Ford has greatly improved its quality its vehicles.  The F150 is one of the best trucks on the market.  The Mustang has been an automotive icon for several decades.  The subcompact Fiesta is one of the best cars in its class.  Motor Trend named the Ford Fusion its 2010 Car of the Year.  It took a few decades for Ford to recover from the Pinto disaster, but Ford is back and better than ever.


The Yugo is a close second.

Originally written April 30, 2011

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