The Biggest Scandals in Automotive History

The Tucker 48 ‘Scam’

Back in 1948, American car manufacturers were still stuck in prewar designs. Preston Tucker decided to change up the auto landscape and presented the world with the Tucker ‘48. His futuristic sedan design featured a flat six rear-mounted engine, independent suspension on all corners, a padded dash and seatbelts. To finance his new company, Tucker solicited parts and options for the vehicles before they were ever produced. As marketing ramped up for the 48, the design changed several times, and before long, Tucker and his company’s top tier was being indicted for mail fraud, conspiracy to defraud and failure to follow SEC rules. The SEC believed that Tucker had no intentions of selling any vehicles. In 1950 all charges were acquitted, but the company’s reputation was irreparably damaged and soon was shut down. Conspiracy theorists have put forward that the Big Three feared competition from an innovative rival and pushed for the investigation.

If that were true, it indeed wouldn’t be the only time the Detroit Trio found themselves in a scandal. Read on to find out more.

(2 of 12)