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Not just VW: 5 major car industry scandals

2015-09-23 09:06

GLOBAL AUTO PROBLEMS: The spotlight is off Takata's faulty airbags as Volkswagen comes under fire for its emissions scandal. Image: AP / Shizuo Kambayashi

London - With Volkswagen's admission that 11-million of its diesel vehicles globally  contain software that can rig emissions tests, the automaker joins a list of auto industry scandals that spans several decades.

Among them, Ford Pintos that burst into flames, Toyota vehicles that take off unintentionally and airbags that explode, showering a car's interior with shrapnel.

We list five major scandals in the auto industry.

Exploding Fords, deadly airbags

Read - Emissions scandal: How VW's 'defeat device' works

Takata airbags: According to the latest figures from federal regulators, approximately 23.4 million driver and passenger Takata airbags made by on 19.2 million vehicles are being recalled and need to be replaced. The airbags can inflate too quickly and explode, sending metal shrapnel into drivers and passengers. The air bags, which were used in several vehicles, are blamed for causing seven deaths in the US.

Read - Takata airbags Mitsubishi recalls for SA

169 deaths

General Motors: The automaker's faulty ignition switches have been linked to at least 169 deaths. The switch could slip out of the run position and turn the engine off while driving. Earlier in September 2015, GM agreed to pay $900-million to settle a criminal investigation over the ignition issue. GM has admitted that some employees knew about the problem for nearly a decade, yet cars equipped with the switch were not recalled until 2014.

Toyota: Toyota agreed to pay $1.2 billion in a settlement in 2014, admitting that it hid information about defects that caused Toyota and Lexus vehicles to accelerate unexpectedly. Toyota recalled more than 10-million vehicles, starting in 2009, for several issues, including faulty brakes, sticky accelerator pedals and problematic floor mats.

Firestone tyres: About 6.5-million Firestone tyres were recalled in 2000 because the tyres could shred, blow out or fail. Most of the tyres were used in Ford SUVs and small bakkies. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in 2001 that it received 271 reports of deaths and 800 injuries related to the faulty tyres.

Ford Pinto: At least 27 people died during the 1970s due to the faulty position of fuel tanks in the Ford Pinto. In some cases, the fuel tank burst into flames following a rear-end collision. Ford recalled more than 1.5-million Pintos in 1978.

More on VW emissions scandal:

Emissions scandal: Porsche head to replace VW chief?
VW chief on emissions scandal: 'We screwed up'

Seoul summons VW over emissions scandal
VW emissions scandal: What does it mean for SA?
Huge VW, Audi recall: Diesel car sales stopped
UPDATE: Huge VW, Audi recall: Billions in fines
Berlin: New emission checks from German automakers

Source: AP Archives


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