When it comes to safety, not every car is equal. Poor designs and materials make some vehicles unsafe while others lack enough safety features. Picking the wrong vehicle can be a deathtrap on the highway in certain situations. Here are the top 10 most dangerous vehicles in the world.
10. DeLorean DMC-12
The DeLorean traveled through time in the Back to the Future movie, but you likely won’t want to travel down the highway in it. Those gull-wing doors look fancy but can jam up in a crash. The doors also lack a safety release and it’s hard to climb out of the small windows. The stainless steel body panels mounted to a fiberglass frame didn’t hold up much in crashes either. Built to be a safety sports car, it was anything but.
9. Toyota Yaris
You don’t want to be in a Toyota Yaris in a crash. With such a small car body, there just isn’t much between you and whatever you crash into. The Highway Loss Data Institute studied insurance statistics between 2009 and 2011 and found that, for every 1,000 Yaris cars insured, there were personal injury claims filed 28.5 times.
8. Hyundai Pony
People loved the price of the Hyundai Pony, South Korea’s first mass-produced car. Cheap raw materials that made up the body gave the driver and passengers little protection if the car crashed. This made it one of the most dangerous vehicles in the world.
7. Ferrari 458 Italia
It’s too far a stretch to say Italian supercars always catch on fire but in the case of this car it actually could be true. More than 1,240 cars were recalled in 2012 because the adhesive that held the inner fenders in place was highly flammable and right next to the exhaust. There weren’t any deaths involved, but it still raised questions as to why such a safety risk made it through.
6. Chevrolet Cobalt
An ignition malfunction that causes the Chevrolet Cobalt to suddenly turn off and deactivate safety systems while being driven makes it one of the most dangerous vehicles in the world. Ninety death claims and 163 injury claims had been reported in 2015. About 2.6 million vehicles were recalled after General Motors admitted that the defective switches moved from the “run” position, cutting off power to power steering brakes and airbags.
5. Pontiac Fiero
The Pontiac Fiero passed through collision testing fine but reportedly risked turning into a fireball. A manual incorrectly said the car needed 3 quarts of oil, which led to it being underfilled because it needed 4.5 quarts. Resulting engine problems caused oil to leak onto the exhaust. Add on misplaced coolant lines and faulty wiring and it added up to 260 reports of engine fires.
4. Audi 5000
A faulty engine idle caused the engine to rev in the Audi 5000. Audi said that startled drivers and caused some to slam their foot on the accelerator out of panic – an act that didn’t exactly help stop the revving of the engine. Six deaths and 700 accidents were blamed on the malfunction.
3. Ford Explorer
The Ford Explorer followed another questionable vehicle, the Ford Bronco II. Both suffered design flaws that made them susceptible to rollovers. Despite that, no changes to the design were made. Ford instead lowered tire pressure in the tires, which caused other problems including tires losing tread and stability and more rollovers. Dozens of people were killed or injured in rollovers.
2. Ford Pinto
Driving a subcompact car’s always a risk when it comes to crashes, but the Ford Pinto fared the worse. The automatic transmission had a bad habit of jumping into gear on its own, which killed at least two dozen people. The gas tank’s location in front of the rear bumper made it prone to fire in a rear-end collision. About 500 deaths and hundreds of injuries were blamed on this defect. This was made worse because the Pinto’s design let its fuel-tank filler neck break off and the fuel tank to puncture in a collision, causing fatal fires that led to an estimated 500 deaths.
1. Three Chinese Cars
Three Chinese cars, the Brilliance BS6, Chery A15 and Geely CK, tie for being the most dangerous vehicles in the world. They sell only in a limited number of markets around the world because they’re that dangerous, failing crash safety tests as the car’s bodies reportedly nearly collapse in crashes. That means your body won’t fare much better in a crash in one of these cars.