Skip to main content

From the potential of a car catching fire to being uncontrollable on the road, some cars shouldn’t have made it off the assembly line. Automakers have made huge strides in car safety, but these advancements didn’t come without some of the most dangerous cars in history. Thankfully, most didn’t last very long, but some did.

Here are five of the most dangerous cars in history, according to WatchMojo. These cars shouldn’t have made it to the assembly line, but many were popular choices during their time.

Woman leaning on a Ford Pinto with a warning of the dangers of hitting this  car's rear.
Woman Leaning on Ford Pinto with Warning Sign | Bettemann via Getty Images

Pontiac Fiero

The Fiero was aptly named with a name that sounds like fire. The Fiero was a popular two-seat, low-slung sports car of the 1980s known for exploding and catching fire due to the malfunctioning connecting rods. The rods would break if the car was dangerously low on oil or driven recklessly. This meant complaints, injuries, and fires.

Chevrolet Corvair

When performance trumped safety, the Chevrolet Corvair stood tall. This Chevy was easily one of the most dangerous cars in history as the subject matter of Ralph Nader’s book “Unsafe at Any Speed” shows how car companies put performance first. The design of the Corvair caused rollovers, and the rear-mounted engine caused handling issues.

Ford Model T

The Ford Model T, made before automakers became concerned with car safety, faced serious driving challenges. This car’s gas tank, located under the seat, made it a ticking time bomb just waiting for a puncture. The windshield’s sharpness could leave drivers and passengers in bad shape in crashes.

DeLorean DMC-12

This iconic car that only became truly popular with the “Back to the Future” movie franchise is terrible to drive. This car had serious alignment problems causing excessive tire wear. It also has poor alternators and a fiberglass frame never designed to handle a high-speed accident. Overall, the DMC-12 is a death trap, locking passengers inside during a rollover.

Ford Pinto

One of the most dangerous cars in history was also one of the most popular during its time. The dangerous aspect of the Ford Pinto is the location of its fuel tank, which was in the rear of the car. A rear-end collision often caused the Ford Pinto burst into flames, making it a fiery death trap. The suspension and brakes were also problematic, making it difficult to drive and control this Ford.