What Are the 6 Strangest Car Recalls in History?

We’re used to safety issues with cars that cause recalls to be issued. As new car technology increases, using the VIN lookup feature to learn more about recalls is becoming more commonplace. What you might find strange is some of the recalls issued by automakers and the NHTSA. Here are some of the strangest car recalls ever issued.

Spiders created one of the strangest car recalls, and it wasn’t too long ago

Blue 2012 Mazda6 Posed on a Dirt Road
2012 Mazda6 | Mazda

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If spiders are a problem in a car and create a recall, you might expect it to be from a time when the frames were made of wood. Strangely enough, this arachnid-based recall was issued by Mazda for the 2010-2012 Mazda6. This issue impacted 42,000 models.

We learned from this experience that the Yellow Sac spider is attracted to hydrocarbons in the vent lines. These spiders began to build webs, causing a negative pressure reading in the fuel tank. This pressure could have caused the tank to crack or the vehicle to catch fire.

Some Subarus would randomly start on their own

Orange Subaru XV Driving on a Road
Subaru XV | Subaru

No, it wasn’t a robotic uprising of the machines, which some people fear; it was a strange occurrence in Subaru models. USA Today tells us about this problem that could remotely start a Subaru if the key fob was dropped.

The models impacted were the Legacy, Outback, Impreza, and XV, equipped with the Audiovox remote engine start feature and automatic transmission. A dropped key fob could transmit the engine start request even though the button wasn’t pushed. This was certainly one of the strangest car recalls in automotive history.

The 2013 Honda Odyssey recall was both strange and stupid

Red 2013 Honda Odyssey posed
2013 Honda Odyssey | Honda

One of the strangest and most unnecessary car recalls in auto history involved the 2013 Honda Odyssey. The “Odyssey” badge for the rear was placed on the wrong side, creating this recall. This has nothing to do with safety or strange arachnids crawling around in the car. Everything about this recall was self-serving because Honda feared the badge on the wrong side would impact resale value.

Your spilled drink could have caused serious problems in the Toyota Corolla

Blue 1995 Toyota Corolla parked
1995 Toyota Corolla | Wiki Commons

The Toyota Corolla experienced a large and unusual recall in 1995. We’re familiar with airbags that caused trouble for many automakers, but this recall involves the potential of a spilled drink. Toyota recalled 627,858 Corolla models because the area under a drink holder could cause the airbag warning light to illuminate if someone spilled a drink.

This area should be spill-proof or sealed to ensure this doesn’t happen, but Toyota failed to do this. Worse than the airbag light turning on, owners were at risk of the airbags inadvertently deploying. This was certainly one of the strangest car recalls that could have been extremely dangerous for some drivers.

VW offers one of the strangest car recalls that literally puts your pants on fire

Black 2004 Volkswagen Jetta Parked
2004 Volkswagen Jetta | Wiki Commons

You don’t have to be a “liar, liar” for your pants to catch fire in a Volkswagen Jetta. Some of this car’s 2002-2004 models had malfunctioning seat heaters. These heaters could continue to heat to unbearable temperatures, possibly catching fire. There’s a point when having warm buns is much less appealing than it sounds.

The Holden Commodore Ute offered easy rear access

Purple 2010 Holden Commodore Ute Parked at a farm
2010 Holden Commodore Ute | Holden

Holden is an Australian automaker and was a partner of GM for many years. In 2010, Holden recalled 34,379 models of the Commodore Ute because of a faulty latch on the rear hatch. This latch could let loose and allow the rear to swing open whenever and wherever. This means you might leave your groceries on the highway while finding a good place to pull over. This is one of the strangest and most frustrating car recalls for owners of this Holden SUV.

Next, check out the five worst-made Chevy cars, or watch some of the worst car recalls in the video below:

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