The Biggest Scandals in Automotive History

Scandals occur in almost any industry, and the auto market is no exception. The infamy of these deceptions ruined reputations and dismantled companies; some saw market shares plummet and decades to rebuild. From deceptive cover-ups to blame games and corporate hostility, here are some of the most egregious abuses of consumer trust from the companies we rely on to get us from A to B safely.

Volkswagen’s ‘Dieselgate’

As one of the most recent scandals on this list, it amazes me that car companies still try to hide their shady dealings. Volkswagen famously had been installing what essentially amounted to a test mode in their vehicles so when they were tested, they met emissions standards. When driven on the road, however, the car would not be in test mode. Some cars were putting out over forty times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide pollutants. The scandal affected eleven million vehicles worldwide, half a million coming from the U.S.

At least VW was held to account for their actions, unlike the culprit in our next slide.