Tagged: 10 cars with bad reputations

Hagerty Insurance asked its customers, mostly car collectors, to name the "Most questionable cars" of all time. These are the top vote-getters.

Ford Pinto
Tagged: Dangerous
Ford Pinto
Life span: 1971-1980

Images of flaming Pintos are so seared into the public consciousness that it's probably hard for most people, unaided by a photograph, to conjure a mental image of the car while not on fire.

The issue wasn't just the car itself, however, but the alleged decision-making process within Ford Motor Co. Media reports at the time drew a picture of a company virtually psychopathic in its disregard for human life and suffering. Ford was willing, it seemed, to let a certain number of people - company officials even estimated how many it might be - be burned alive rather than spend a few dollars per car to stop it. (Ford defenders have said that at least one company memo central to this thesis was taken out of context and misinterpreted by the press.)

Once the allegations became widely known, Ford's defensive public response tainted consumer perceptions of the Pinto and all Ford products of the time, according to Douglas Brinkley's biography of Ford Motor Co. "Wheels for the World." It was 1978 before Ford, faced with public hearings into the matter, finally recalled the Pintos it had built up to 1976.

In one trial Ford Motor Co. was even held criminally liable for deaths in a Pinto fire. Ford won that case.

In retrospect, it turns out that about as many people died in fiery crashes in Pintos as in other popular cars of that time, although crash tests indicated the gas tank problem was genuine.


Nerdy

Unreliable

Dangerous

Ugly

Unreliable

Nerdy

Dangerous

Boring

Ugly

Pathetic
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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.