It’s hard to be a Chevy or a Ford man when your company is accused of building cars that kill people. There’s nothing quite like the love millions of gearheads around the world have for their cars, but nothing brings a conversation about cars down to earth faster than allegations of coverups and criminal negligence.
Despite the countless debates over whether a certain car has soul or personality, the truth is that car manufacturers are businesses, and they’re looking for ways to maximize profits and reduce operating costs. Sometimes this happens at the benefit of the customers, and sometimes the results are catastrophic.
Whether it’s “just business” or a legitimate safety issue, car companies have been bending laws and regulations since the industry began, and with 2014 being the worst year for recalls in automotive history, that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest scandals in automotive history have usually dealt with safety, but there have been others that were so audacious they made national headlines. From the annals of automotive history, here are 10 of the most infamous automotive scandals of all time.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with new information.