Cars That Are Notorious For Being Unreliable

Cars That Are Notorious For Being Unreliable


There are plenty of variables that dictate a car’s reliability. While many claim the Ford Model T was the most reliable car ever made, its laundry list of problems would never make it through the first stage of safety checks today. These days we generally deem a car unreliable if the clock light goes out every once in awhile, or if the power locks, windows, or seats do not work to our liking. Whether accurate or somewhat funny, here are some of the most notably unreliable cars of all time.

Zastava Yugo

Oh the Yugo! Many would swear by this 1,800-pound car because of its decent gas mileage, small size, and cheap price. IT was marketed as an alternative to purchasing a used vehicle, and was sold for a mere $3,990 new. Well, you get what you pay for, and this little baby earned a terrible reputation when it was blown off of Michigan’s Mackinac Bridge in 1989, killing a 31-year old woman. Apparently it was extremely windy that day, and the woman panicked, and stopped her car on the bridge; this lack of downward force supplied by forward motion was all the airstream needed to toss that Yugo over the edge.

Toyota Prius

There is so much to say about the most recent failures of the car industry. We can’t tar and feather Toyota right away, every company has severe car problems, but they just happened to get caught, and at a terrible time. That’s not to say that their safety issues are something you can brush off and forget about. A software glitch in the braking system caused the recall of a few hundred thousand Toyota Priuses in February of 2010, leading consumers to begin questioning the legitimacy of all Toyota cars. Though they generally set the issues straight right away, this was one of the biggest, and most potentially dangerous safety issues and recalls for many years. With the efforts of the dealers, many Toyota owners were able to receive repairs to their car instead of having to go to an auto repair specialist in San Diego.



Few of us remember this old, tiny car that was once extremely popular. With many different models, the French company was able to tap into a quiet, low-key market. Many Renault owners, namely owners of the Safrane, know quite a bit about the issues of the French car manufacturer. From faulty frames, to terrible transmissions, this car caught a pretty bad rap. However, the sheer volume of Renault models and cars sold denotes its wild success for many drivers. It has recently entered an alliance with Nissan and is all but absorbed and dissolved.


Unfortunately, luxury cars are not always able to escape the trend, and many of these big price tags prove to be quite unreliable after all. The Jaguar is a perfect example of this, and Hyundai is considering absorbing them in an effort to streamline their reputation, branding, pricing, and quality. The S-Type and X-Type Jaguars are most notably unreliable. Brakes, power equipment, body integrity, fuel systems and transmissions of these models have come under fire for their failure to measure up. Even San Diego car service on a Jaguar can be excessive.

Range Rover

Land Rover

This lovely luxury car earned the lowest possible JD Power dependability score on account of its electrical system, brake system, and power equipment. On a more positive note, apparently they took home an “average” score for their exhaust system. Well, that’s something to be thankful for; at least we will not breathe in a lot of carbon monoxide emissions, while soaring straight off of a hill into the ocean with all of our windows closed and doors locked. Good thing electrical, power, and brake systems do not control anything important like power steering, or the ability to stop. While you may not fail your San Diego smog test, you may end up paying exorbitant amounts for other repairs.

Whether many of these reputations are accurate or not, it just goes to show that reliability may only be as important as reputation management. Weigh them both before making your next purchase. Make sure to choose a reputable mechanic like the ones at

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  1. Frankly, I would rather buy a used car than a Yugo. I can’t believe that it got blown of a bridge :)!!!