Top Deadly Cars Throughout Automobile History - Part 1

by IndianAuto Team | 17/08/2020
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Have you ever wondered what are the deadliest cars in automotive history? Check out our article here to know about them!

Cars are always tested many times to ensure the drivers’ safety. However, throughout history, there have been deadly cars that bring devastating accidents, especially to their drivers. To grab some information of those cars, follow this article below to take a look at the first 5 deadly cars in our list.

Top Deadly Cars Throughout Automobile History - Part 1

1. 1920s Model Ts - The cars whose characteristics perfectly fit the 1920s traffic

Like the Indian cheapest car, Tata Nano, in 1908, the Model T manufactured by Ford was made to meet the standards of reliability, easy-maintenance, and cheapness, which the other cars at that time couldn’t match. The car’s sales increased insanely just a few days after its launch; and by 1927, the 15,000,000th Model T was born. Therefore, it is undoubted that the Model T was ranked 8th among the 2012 Top 10 most sold cars of all times. Interestingly, the car was named after the most influential automotive of the 20th century in the 1999 Car of the Century competition. However, the 1920s Model Ts were not actually so extraordinary. To be honest, the reason made it a success is that there were not so many cars at that time, and if there were some cars, most of them were costly and unreliable.

Driving a Ford Model T is a lot harder than you'd think!

Additionally, it is crucial to know that besides the cheapness, 1920s Model Ts did not have any other remarkable features. Instead, their designs were somehow unsafe. To be specific, the gas tank was located beneath the seat and the flat windshield made of glass could crash into pieces easily after a minor crash. And to control the car, you must be an expert in driving. That is to say, you have to use a lever to manage the throttle, and another one to control the spark advance. The complications do not end, instead of 2 pedals, the Model Ts possessed 3: a gear-changing pedal, a brake pedal, and a clutch pedal. If you want to start the engine, the hand crank is another thing you have to deal with, but be careful because it can break your arm. What a famous dangerous car! As a matter of fact, the car would be deadlier when somebody used it the 1920s when there was the absence of driving schools, seat belt laws, significant road rules, etc., but full of dummy drivers.

Also read - 10 Fascinating Facts About Seat Belts That You Might Not Know

2. Lightness is not always one of the best quality, especially in terms of automobile

Ignoring political issues, the 1980s Yugo GV (Great Value) became famous, especially in the U.S, thanks to the extremely cheap price despite the ugly appearance. As one of America's cheapest cars, it cost only $ 3,990 in 1988 (approximately equal to 622,000 INR in 2019). To attain such a low price, its manufacturer, Zastava, had to spend less on the design as well as materials. Therefore, the Yugo GV also became one of the lightest cars ever made. According to LA Magazine, an 88 kmph gust of wind blew a Yugo GV easily over the Mackinac Bridge’s edge in Michigan, resulting in a fatal accident. Moreover, it was also reported that handling this car was terrible and its speed was way slower than other cars. So if you don’t want to be blown easily or being crashed on highways, purchase the Yugo GV to go around your locals or merely for collection purposes.

Yugo car commercial 1986

3. The time bomb Pinto

Before the Yugo was made, in the 70s, there had been another cheap and light car whose name was Pinto. Pinto's company decided to make it to the market really quickly with only a two-year delivery deadline. However, despite the brilliant idea of being cheap and light, it couldn’t reach the dealerships as they found out the Pinto was a hidden death trap. In fact, its gas tank was extremely vulnerable and thus can easily be punctured by the surrounding myriad bolts. In other words, no need to collide in high-speed, a crash in normal speed was enough to damage the tank, which made fuel spill underneath the Pinto. Boom! Here comes the Pinto time bomb. In order to fix it, the engineering team estimated the cost should be $11 per car. However, the actual cost to fix all the produced cars was up to $ 113,000,000 while the cost to pay for all-car accidental death and dismemberment lawsuits was just $ 49 million. Undoubtedly, a businessman would choose the second method.

The Infamous Fireball! Crash Testing A Ford Pinto

Consequently, lives were losing as Ford released the unfixed time bomb Pinto. Official numbers deaths were recorded because of explosive fires, and twice the number of deaths caused by its horrible transmission issues. Compared to the total number of 2.2 million produced Pintos, just only a few bombs exploded; therefore, the cost for accidental death and dismemberment lawsuits is at minimal. Hypothetically, it was way cheaper than the cost of $ 113 million to prevent the random deaths.

Also read Top 10 largest car companies in India

4. The accidental stepping-on-the-wrong-pedal

As drivers, many must have accidentally stepped on the accelerator pedal instead of the brake pedal at least once. Most of the time, it could be a little surprise and we could manage to take back the control. However, there were numerous reports stating that the Audi 5000 appeared in many terrible accidents because of its poor design. The reputation of the car spread widely that 60 Minutes decided to put it on an acceleration test. They made an Audi 5000 accelerate without control, but the video was not so dramatic as the team wanted the viewers to think. Nevertheless, as mentioned earlier, the core problem is in its design. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found out that the brake and accelerator pedals were placed too close together, and this would make any driver mistake one for the other. Such frequent mistakes can lead to seconds of attention loss, and thus, unexpected accidents.

Insane Audi 5000 engine sounds

5. Drive below 30 mph and avoid turning

In response to the late 1970s’ gas shortage issue, In 1983, Ford produced the Bronco II, which turned out to be one of the worst SUVs. As a descendant of the Bronco, it must be lighter and smaller. However, as the time bomb Pinto, the Bronco II and its slightly adjusted version, the Ford Explorer, were involved in hundreds of deaths from 1983 to 2001. Truth be told, even at a normal speed (30 mph), the Bronco II still tends to roll over easily. Actually, in 1981, Ford was already informed about this incident which also appeared in one of their tests, and they cancelled the test because of the test drivers’ safety. Once again, the story went exactly the same as the Pinto’s. According to Ford engineers, the issue could be solved effortlessly if the company had widened the vehicle track by 3 to 4 inches in order to improve stability. And Ford replied being sued was far cheaper.

Retro Review: '84 Ford Bronco II

It’s the end of the first 5 in the top 10 dangerous cars throughout automotive history. Stay tuned for part 2 and other interesting stories of Indian Auto.

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