Drive – 3 Unexpectedly Dangerous Cars

Three  Unexpectedly Dangerous Cars

Cars have on the whole become faster, more laden with technology and safer for passengers and pedestrians alike. Car companies spend billions on research and development to make cars faster, more convenient and to meet ever stricter safety and environmental requirements. Sometimes though engineers haven’t always gotten things right or been able to foresee every potential issue. Below are three examples:

1.Ford Pinto

ford pinto

During the 70’s with oil shortages and an invasion of Japanese and European economy cars entering the United States;  American manufacturers needed to build competing vehicles. Ford’s answer was the Pinto and whilst it was economical due to it’s small size and small engine, it did suffer from a rather fatal design flaw. The fuel tank in rear was located in such a way that a rear end collision would potentially cause the fuel tank to rupture and lead to fires.

2. Nissan 350Z

nissan 350Z

The Nissan Z car is long and distinguished line of sports cars from the Japanese manufacturer. The cars have during each of their generations won accolades from motoring press and racing series. The 350Z was produced  from 2002 to 2009 and following a report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety became infamous as the vehicle with the highest deaths per million during the 2005-2008 model years. IIHS recorded 143 deaths per million registrations for Nissan 350Z drivers during the study period, with 90 deaths per million registrations occurring in single-vehicle crashes. While the car is engineered for performance and handling the high number of single car crashes seems to hint more at reckless behaviour and course with a small car there is less between you and whatever you are hitting.

3. Ferrari 458 Italia

ferrari april

Ferrari’s are known for their beauty, technology and racing prowess. These supercars are often considered the pinnacle of automotive engineering, but they too aren’t immune from incidents.  In 2010 the 458 Italia was sold to much hype and fanfare but by August of that year the BBC reported that 10 vehicles had either crashed or caught fire within a three month period. Ferrari investigated and by September issued a recall for 1248 vehicles that had been sold to date. It turns out that when driven hard (as such thoroughbreds should be) a certain adhesive in the wheel arch assembly would over heat, smoke and possibly catch fire, thus reducing the Ferrari to a smoldering pile. Ferrari promptly solved the issue and in cases where this was the reason for a customer’s car to be destroyed the vehicle was replaced.