Have you ever bought a car that you dreamed of driving into your old age, but then ended up having to scrap it after only like a year? It’s tough to separate the brands that hold up from all the hunks of junk on the road these days. BUT FEAR NOT! We’re going to take you through some of the worst car brands that you should nevereven THINK about buying.
We’re going to give you the scoop on which cars could put you in danger of getting blown to kingdom come by an explosive airbag, and which cars could leave you in a roadside ditch due to sudden steering problems.
Here’s 8 car brands that you should avoid at all costs.
Hyundai: Epileptic Engines
This Korean manufacturer, the parent company of Kia and Genesis, is notorious for producing cheap vehicles with engines that seize more than an epileptic in a European techno club.
Hyundai has had such a problem with engine seizures that Hyundai and Kia had to recall an embarrassing 1.2 million vehicles in 2017 due to a faulty engine bearing that they threw into 4 different models. That’s like if McDonald’s found out after selling a million Big Macs that they shouldn’t put rat poison in their sauce. Don’t worry, there’s no poison in Big Macs. I checked! But for a second there you were ready to Google it.
Anyway, it was only after they’d sold over a million of these vehicles did they realize they’d been rolling out death traps. And among these models was the notoriously awful Hyundai Sonata, which if you think about it makes sense, since Sonata is actually short for So-Not-A-Car-You-Should-Drive-If-You-Value-Your-Life.
These rickety rigs have some of the most unreliable engines in the industry, and driving one is basically as safe as driving with your eyes closed. If you’re reading this and you own a Sonata, please don’t throw away all hope and start driving with your eyes closed. Just get a different car, but absolutely do not buy another Hyundai.
Nissan: A Robbery Waiting to Happen
The Nissan Altima is a thief’s best friend. In 2019, they recalled over 300,000 Altimas due to a problem with the door latch not locking, and even randomly opening in some cases. And you might say: “Oh, maybe they just overlooked the door latch once and then fixed it later.” Nope. Nissan issued a recall that was for the exact same problem in 2017.
Really? You can’t even get a door to lock properly? Do better, Nissan. And faulty doors aren’t the only problems with Nissan vehicles.
Nissan drivers have been complaining for years about cracked radiators destroying their transmissions, and the CVTs themselves being faulty. As if owning a CVT wasn’t bad enough…
And rather than doing anything to address the problem, Nissan has continued to roll out certified piles of garbage. There are even reports of Nissan sunroofs exploding seemingly at random. Congratulations, Nissans have actually defied all laws of the universe in their quest to become the most terrifying cars on the market.
So unless you’re into the idea of shards of glass raining down on you at any moment, don’t pick up the keys to a Nissan.
Jeep: Get Stranded
Jeeps have become a fashion statement for middle-aged mothers and suburban teens, but anyone who’s serious about buying a reliable ride knows that a Jeep’s going to end up in the trash heap.
Probably the worst of all Jeep vehicles is the Cherokee, which had a recall in 2019 due to a defect in its fuel-supply tubes that posed a serious fire risk. And whether or not you want to have flames custom-painted on the side of your Jeep, I think we can all agree that having your engine burst into flames is not cool. And if you bought your Jeep because you wanted to take it off-roading, this defect could end up causing a full-blown forest fire. What would Smokey the Bear have to say about this, Jeep?
And for a company that builds cars meant to take on any terrain, Jeeps have entirely too many problems with their suspensions. Jeep owners have even coined a phrase to refer to the feeling of driving a Jeep with a shotty suspension: the “DEATH WOBBLE”! That’s right, these so-called “off-roading rigs” are known for their lousy front axles that cause the car to shake so violently that you’ll probably need a barf bag.
So forget the fashion statement, Jeep is cheap, and maybe Jeep is a HEAP!
MINI: A Cute Little Crash Machine
MINIs may look all cute and innocent, but DON’T BE FOOLED! These little devils are a crash waiting to happen.
The number one problem reported with MINIs is the power steering pump. And steering, you know, is pretty important when it comes to driving a car. MINI actually had a recall on MINI Coopers in 2015 because the faulty power steering components continually caused fatal and near-fatal accidents! MINI Cooper’s are like raccoons, they may look all cute and cuddly, but they’re truly evil when you get to know them. Sorry raccoons, not sorry MINI.
Aside from their shortcomings in the steering department, MINIs also often have trouble keeping their timing chains tight. Now, I’ve had the same bicycle since I was a kid, and it’s chain still works perfectly fine. So why can’t MINI make a chain that doesn’t slacken and ravage your engine from the inside out?
Ford: Low-Grade American-Made
Ford’s marketing M.O. has always been to convince you that they’re the standard of American production quality. But Ford time and time again has shown how many corners they’re willing to cut to save an extra dollar, putting drivers’ lives in DANGER.
Driving a Ford Explorer is about as safe as exploring the Amazon with nothing but a broken compass. In 2018, around 1.3 million Explorers were recalled due to carbon monoxide leaks. So unless you like being slowly poisoned on your drive to work, I would suggest staying far away from these rolling bioweapons.
And that’s not all. In 2019, Ford had to recall the Explorer again, this time because of fractures in the rear toe link. Essentially, there were 1.2 million Explorers honking around that couldn’t steer properly.
For a company that claims to be the All-American make, Ford sure seems to have the safety of the American public pretty low on their priorities list.
In fact, even some of Ford’s safety features have been known to do more harm than good. Starting in 2019, Ford had to recall 5 different models due to exploding airbags. It’s a little concerning when something that’s supposed to keep you safe might blow up in your face.
So let’s see, ticking-time bombs, unsteerable transmissions, and poison gas. I think it’s best that we all just forget about Ford.
Dodge: Chrysler-Fiat Crap Heap
Another car brand with an oh-so-fitting name! Because what you should do is DODGE these death traps at all costs if you see them on the highway or on the sales lot.
Dodge, like Jeep, is owned by parent company Chrysler-Fiat, so it should come as no surprise that Dodge trucks are also known to get the dreaded “DEATH WOBBLE“. And what’s even scarier is that this wobble starts up only when Dodge trucks are moving at highway speed, meaning that by the time you feel your truck start to shudder, you’ll already be moving too fast to stop safely.
And as if that weren’t enough to give you nightmares about driving a Dodge, they also had a problem with oil sludge buildup causing engines in models from the early 2000s to fail spontaneously.
Many of these same engines had problems with leaking coolant as well. So unless you fancy a car-destroying cocktail of oil and coolant mummifying your engine, do yourself a favor and dodge… a Dodge.
RAM: Dodge’s Devil Spawn
And that brings us to Dodge’s little trucking-making devil child, RAM. Originally a spin-off of Dodge, RAM became its own brand in 2010. But it’s clear that the two companies still share a passion for making subpar pickups.
In 2019, the RAM 3500 was rated the least reliable vehicle that you can buy on the U.S. market. And after hearing about all of the other unreliable rides on this list, this should scare the hell out of you. Despite having been recalled more times than we care to keep track of, the 3500 has had repeated transmission problems ranging from full-on breakdowns to faulty seals and filters. Seriously, these pickups have more fluid leaks than your bed-wetting little brother.
And RAM, like Ford, was also wrapped up in the exploding airbag scandal.
RAM trucks are marketed as being durable, powerful trucks for the working man, but in reality, they’ll have you running back and forth to the mechanic over their short lifespan, and they might even end up blowing your face off.
So get rid of that RAM, it could end up saving your life, or at least a pretty penny.
General Motors: Generally Unreliable Motors
With several of the most unreliable brands in the world like GMC, Chevrolet, Buick, and Cadillac, General Motors is a conglomerate of crap.
In 2019, the automotive giant had to recall a whopping 3.5 million trucks and SUVs due to failing brake pumps. And I know that some of you may have the philosophy of all gas, no brakes. But regardless of how much of a speed demon you are, you’re going to want your brake pumps to work the way they should.
And GM vehicles have had serious problems with their transmissions that have resulted in lawsuits. Some of the vehicles involved in these lawsuits include well-known models like the Chevy Silverado, Cadillac Escalade, and GMC Sierra.
Some people think that GM has been making crap cars ever since they decided to move a large part of their production to China, and whether or not that’s true, there sure has been a huge drop-off in their quality control in the last decade.
It can be difficult to avoid GM vehicles, since they hold 17% of the U.S. market share, but it’s definitely worth taking the time to find out if the car you want to buy was made by GM, which might as well stand for Garbage Manufacturer.