At the beginning of the 1960s, auto manufacturers started to fight for a piece of the market with intense cutthroat competition leading to faulty components putting car owners, their family, and their friends at risk.
Auto manufacturers and their vehicles not only posed risks to passenger’s life in a car accident but also created uncertainty about their future by putting corporate interests first.
Recently in 2021, a limousine caught fire carrying a bridal party in Las Vegas without any reports on what caused the fire. This is not the first but one of many incidents that have damaged passengers.
Carriage and Limo Accidents Can Quickly Result in Death: Here are Some of the Most Important Recalls in History
Gasping for Fresh Air in a Lincoln
In 2013, an old limousine burst into flames on Malteo Bridge in California, killing five nurses. The vehicle was carrying nine women, one more than the legal limit of passengers allowed in a limo. The passengers kept informing the driver of smoke in the back of the car. Due to a loud radio, the driver was unaware of the incident for 45 seconds, during which time four women made their escape. Still, unfortunately, the other five women faced death from smoke inhalation.
Owned by Accubuilt, the company converts standard Lincoln cars into stretch limos, renting them out to individuals. Soon after the incident, Accubuilt informed vehicle owners of the same fate due to the rear suspension failure that could happen with their car if no repairs were done. The company recalled vehicles older than ten years, covering more than 970, but there is still no information on how many cars had issues.
What caused chaos was how Accubuilt did not know how many vehicles were on the road and who owned these vehicles requiring help from the local government and previous owners to provide details.
Political Parties Question the Safety of Ford
You would want to believe that the Presidential limo would be the safest vehicle on Earth, but that proved wrong when Ford decided to build its first Presidential limo, a convertible for President John F Kennedy.
In 1963, however, the sight of the elegant limo that caught people’s attention was not the only thing that stunned the audience.
Upon the assassination of John F Kennedy, there was a need for a protective roof and a vehicle recall where the car manufacturer upgraded the safety aspects of the limo, getting it ready for the next president, Lydon Johnson.
Fire at a Funeral
Nobody wants a fire at a funeral, but that is precisely what happened in 2015 when the Ford MKT hearse caught fire due to a wiring short in the vacuum pump relay. However, the recall came for something much different.
The company recalled more than 210,000 vehicles of different models for loose seatbelts and faulty door handle repair springs. These springs would open the door during a side impact collision exposing the passengers to the risks and dangers of a car accident.
Ford Pinto: A New Hope?
During the 1970s, there was tough competition between auto manufacturers, with many taking out newer and cheaper models to please the public. Ford followed the strategy by releasing the Pinto in the early 70s. This vehicle cut out on many engineering components resulting in a car with a vulnerable fuel tank from rear collisions. At the time, the Pinto was also used as a funeral hearse car.
The company stated that it would be cheaper for the brand to pay lawsuits rather than recall vehicles and fix the issues, which was a devastating statement impacting the auto manufacturer. But by 1978, it had to recall 1.4 million units of the Pinto while paying millions of dollars in lawsuits.
Largest Recall in History
In 1980, Ford made the largest recall in the history of vehicles in the country and the world. The auto manufacturer, whose vehicles also got converted to limos and hearses, had to call back 21 million cars between the period 1970 to 1980 for transmission slippage. In 1980, reports suggested more than 1,700 injuries and 98 dead people due to transmission slippage.