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    10 Of The Scariest Auto Defects

    Are you driving around in a death trap?

    Many of us are so used to driving around in our cars that it is easy to forget that we are cruising around in potential death traps at high speeds. This is especially true if the car has a deadly defect that you might not know about. After reading about some of the scariest defects below, you may be afraid to get behind the wheel ever again.

    1. You Put Your Car in Park, But You Meant Reverse, Right?

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    Ford cars of various models from 1966-1980 had what was known as the “park-to-reverse” design flaw. This means, you would put the car into park, start to walk away, only to have the shifter slip into reverse, and the car would start backing up on its own. Instead of replacing the transmissions, Ford mailed stickers to those with affected vehicles to remind them to put the shifter into park extra super-duper hard.

    2. My Lexus Won’t Stop

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    Having your car accelerate is a useful feature, but not when you can’t stop it. Unfortunately, if you owned one of the Toyota and Lexus vehicles affected by one of the three recalls from 2009-2011, you had a gas pedal that tended to get stuck in full acceleration position. Toyota spent years blaming the floor mats and user error, but many still believe the issue was a faulty electronic throttle system.

    3. Neither Will My Chevy

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    Several GM models of the 1965-1970 model years had a similar issue, but the culprit this time was erosion to the rubber engine mount, which would cause the engine to separate and lift, increasing the throttle. Instead of spending the $50/vehicle to replace the engine mount, GM “fixed” the issue by installing a bracket and cable to restrict the movement of the engine, at only $1/vehicle.

    4. Your Hood is Supposed to Stay Closed When You’re Driving, Right?

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    Many 2013-2018 Nissan Altimas have a faulty hood latch that may cause your hood pop open or even fly off while you’re driving down the highway. What makes this defect extra scary is the fact that Nissan still has no idea how to fix it. They are still working on a solution that should be available mid-2021.

    5. Your Tire Asplode

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    The Ford Explorer was one of the first popular SUVs in the 1990s, and the Firestone tires on the vehicles had a tendency for the tread to separate, causing the tires to blow out while driving. Both Ford and Firestone blamed each other while hiding the safety issue from consumers for years. Eventually, Congress got tired of them both, passing the TREAD Act in response to tighten regulations on vehicle safety recalls.

    6. Your Gas Tank Also Asplode

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    Late 1990s-2000s Jeep Cherokee and Liberty models were more than twice as likely to have their gas tanks explode in a crash than other vehicles in their class, causing hundreds of deaths from accidents which otherwise would have been minor fender-benders. Fiat-Chrysler kept the issue hidden from consumers for over a decade until the highly publicized death of a child in 2012 brought public attention to the issue.

    7. Your Airbag Asplode Too

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    Your airbag is supposed to save your life in an accident, right? Not if it ruptures and sprays you with shrapnel and chemicals, or if it spontaneously inflates while you are driving. These issues were common with Takata airbags, which were installed in millions of vehicles by 10 different auto manufacturers from 2000-2008. These poorly made airbags caused several deaths and hundreds of injuries, including one man who literally lost an eye.

    8. Oh, You Wanted Your Car to Stay On While You’re Driving?

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    If you think that having your car stay on while you’re driving should be a standard expectation, then I hope you don’t own an early 2000s GM. Many Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Saturn models have a faulty ignition switch that can cause your car to turn off while driving. That means no acceleration, no brakes, no power steering, no airbags, and no way to prevent a collision.

    9. And You Wanted to Be Able to Steer, Too?

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    Not being able to steer is probably a problem, right? Well, a number of GM vehicles in the late 1970 to early 1980s of various makes and models had this exact problem. Bolts in the rear suspension had a tendency to loosen over time, eventually falling out and causing the car to spin out of control.

    10. Is That Your Ford on Fire?

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    Ford had not one, not two, but four separate recalls for their vehicles catching on fire too easily.

    In the 1970s, the gas tanks on Ford Pintos could rupture and burst into flame if the vehicle was rear-ended.

    Then, in the late 1980s through the early 2000s, various models had an issue where the car would start on its own while in park, shorting out the electrical system and sometimes melting the steering column.

    And then, several 2009 models had a faulty cruise control that would stay on even when the engine wasn’t running, causing fires under the hood.

    Finally, 2013 Escapes had fuel lines that were prone to cracking, spilling hot gas on the engines and causing--you guessed it--more fires.

    Now I Will Never Feel Safe In a Car Again

    A little scary to think that we are literally trusting our lives to what could be faulty machinery, isn’t it? If you don’t know whether your vehicle has a recall, I’d find out if I were you.