What Are The Most Unreliable Cars Ever?

Cars weather a great deal on a daily basis and are expected to keep working with barely any faults for years on end.

To their credit, most cars actually do this admirably, with cars ranging from the cheerfully simple Skoda Kodiaq to the more obviously dependable likes of the Volvo XC40.

On the other side of the spectrum, you have cars that have, either fairly or unfairly, developed an infamous reputation for unreliability. From simple trim issues to requiring an engine rebuild every time you turn the ignition, here are some of the most unreliable cars ever.

Triumph Stag

British Leyland, by virtue of being a bizarre conglomerate of nearly every UK car manufacturer of the 60s, made a lot of cars and developed a rather infamous reputation for unreliability.

In most cases, assuming there wasn’t a strike that affected the production line this wasn’t the case, but it absolutely was for the Triumph Stag, a great looking and awesomely named car ruined by one of the most bafflingly designed engines ever made, effectively sticking two slant-4 engines together.

The timing chains would break, the cylinder heads were made of aluminium and were prone to warping, and in many cases, the engine would blow and send bits of the piston through the bonnet.

Ford Pinto

A car so unreliable it was accused of being a deathtrap, with a leaked memo from Ford suggesting the executives thought a human life was worth less than an $11 part, the Ford Pinto has become one of the most infamous unreliable cars in history.

The car itself was relatively good, but the problem was that a relatively light rear-end collision could lead to a ruptured fuel tank, which turned out to quickly burn and cause several fatalities.

This tragic affair and the many lawsuits that followed did lead to a bigger conversation about car safety.

Maserati Biturbo

By the 1980s, many legendary sports and supercar manufacturers were trying their hand at selling more affordable cars, often to terrible results. The initial Ferrari Mondial 8 suffered through poor performance and woefully bad electricals, but Maserati had it even worse.

With the legendary racing company having been passed around several different owners at this point, the Biturbo was a roll of the dice to make a more affordable car. And it landed on snake eyes.

It was overly expensive, unreliable and slow, everything Maserati hadn’t stood for in the past.

Alfa Romeo Arna

One of the most reprehensible cars ever made and among the most baffling business decisions in the history of automotive engineering, Nissan and Alfa Romeo, known for reliable small cars and heartbreakingly beautiful design respectively, joined forces on a car.

The problem was they each got the wrong jobs, with Alfa Romeo bolting barely functioning electrics from the Alfasud onto a Nissan Cherry, one of the ugliest cars ever made by a company that to this day still sells the awful looking Qashqai.

It was hopeless and sold so badly that only three are still in existence in the UK.

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