7 Crappy Automobiles, That Would Eventually Become Decent

CarComplaints.com has been taking notes of what customers have been saying about their vehicles for the last decade. Here are seven of the biggest pieces of crap, that would eventually become a half decent vehicle to buy today.

7. The Ford Focus is a decent car today, but if you purchased one in 2000, you probably wouldn’t know it. The 2000 Ford Focus had problems with noise, cheap interior parts, and a horrible climate control system. Eight faulty recalls round out the list of problems it is known for, with a throttle cable that could potentially become stuck in the open position (unintended acceleration), as its biggest (and deadliest) gremlin.

6. The Honda Civic is a very popular car today, but in 2001, transmission problems were a definite downfall. Loud noises and jerking motions were a dream come true, compared to just breaking down in the middle of the road, which is what most unhappy buyers complained about. Honda recommended changing the transmission regularly to avoid any problems, but you’d still be living on a wing and a prayer.

5. The 2000 Chevrolet Malibu had problems with its engine, cooling, electrical components, and brakes. Isn’t the most important function of any vehicle, to “go” and then “stop”? This leaves the Malibu with not even one of the two necessities, which lands it in the middle of this list. Electrical problems were quite common (anti-theft, turn signals), but the worst complaint was the car just shutting off while driving.

4. Electrical, transmission, and suspension problems were common for the 1999 Dodge Durango, with most of these starting soon after the 50,000 mileage mark. The most common comment among unhappy owners was “It’s falling apart!” If you smell anything foul coming from this engine… sell it, trade it in, or drop it off at the nearest dump!

3. As much as we’d hate to burst the Honda Accord bubble, they weren’t all good. In 2003, the Accord had problems with its transmission, brakes, and interior. The build-up of heat in the transmission was proven to cause premature failure, and a recall was put in place in 2004 for fluid that appeared discolored or foul smelling. Honda has done a fantastic job covering up the problems, and most of their loyal customers have already forgave them.

2. The 2002 Chevrolet Impala had its share of electrical Gremlins. It features a theft alarm that was so good, sometimes not even the rightful owner could start it. The next most common problem was a traction control system that had a mind of its own, turning off and on at its own whim. The battery drains easily on these cars, and similar to just about every other car on the list, the transmission was weak and unreliable.

1. Transmission failures and premature wear (crumbling and falling apart), were the biggest complaints for the 2002 Ford Explorer. The only way to protect yourself from these lemons was just not buy one. Most any mechanic will tell you that you would be lucky to reach 100,000 miles on the odometer, without either an engine or transmission re-build.