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Oops! The Great Mechanical Recalls Quiz
by Staff
Some of the most notorious product recalls have involved medicines, such as Tylenol and Vioxx. But the makers of cars, coffee makers and computers sometimes have to offer mea culpas, too. How total is your recall on these factory flaws?

Before he ever ran for president multiple times, Ralph Nader was busy writing this book, published in 1965, which inspired product safety recalls.

  • "In Cold Blood"
  • "Silent Spring"
  • "Unsafe at Any Speed"

In 1972, this manufacturer was forced to recall 3.7 million cars because of faulty windshield wipers.

  • Ford
  • Pontiac
  • Volkswagen

An airbag deploying in a non-crash situation is never a good thing. Which car maker was forced to recall close to 1 million cars in 1998 for just such a problem?

  • Ford
  • General Motors
  • Toyota

Which U.S. government agency investigated the "unintended acceleration" that affected Toyota vehicles in 2009 and 2010?

  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • NASA
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

When U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) officials conducted an independent study of the same problem in Toyota vehicles, they came to a surprising conclusion. To what did they attribute the problem?

  • sticky gasket
  • throttle valve
  • user error

How many vehicles did Toyota recall in 2009 and 2010 to fix faulty gas pedals that might get stuck?

  • 9,000
  • 90 million
  • 9 million

In 2006, Segway Inc., recalled all of the scooters it had manufactured since 2002. What problem did some scooters have that led to the recall?

  • sudden acceleration backward under certain conditions
  • sudden acceleration forward under certain conditions
  • sudden and uncontrollable vibration at certain speeds

The Segway recall involved something known as a "speed limiter." What was it?

  • a compressed air brake system mounted to the rear axle
  • a governor that regulated the scooter's supply of gasoline
  • a piece of software that kept the scooter under 12.5 mph (20 kph)

This combination of vehicle and tire resulted in 200 deaths in the 1990s.

  • Dodge Durango and Dunlop
  • Ford Explorer and Firestone
  • Mercury Tracer and Michelin

During the 2001 Ford recall of its SUVs, what was the problem with the tires installed at the factory?

  • off-center belts
  • sidewall defects
  • tread separation

What other tire maker produced tires for light trucks that led to injuries and deaths?

  • Goodyear
  • Pirelli
  • Yokohama

In 1978, Ford recalled 1.4 million units of this vehicle model, which tended to erupt in flames during a rear-end collision.

  • Granada
  • Mustang
  • Pinto

How did Ford execs arguably make their 1978 recall problems worse?

  • They decided it would be cheaper to settle claims than fix the problem.
  • They offered to fix the problem as long as owners paid for the repairs.
  • They tried to pass the blame to the supplier that made the fuel tanks.

Recalls of the Audi 5000 in 1987 to fix runaway acceleration problems led to what safety feature now common on all vehicles?

  • airbags
  • automatic seatbelts
  • shift interlock system

Why did Braun recall its models E200T and E260T espresso/cappuccino makers in 1992 and then again in 1996?

  • The units' glass carafes had the potential to break.
  • The units' thermostats couldn't regulate temperature.
  • The units' water reservoirs cracked spontaneously.

In 2006, an alarming number of laptops seemed to succumb to spontaneous combustion. Which Sony product was responsible?

  • AC adapter
  • LCD display
  • rechargeable battery

How many Nokia cell phone batteries were recalled in 2007 when the company discovered the batteries could overheat and cause injury?

  • 4 million
  • 46 million
  • 150 million

In 2006, this company fell under scrutiny for issuing a "silent recall" of rechargeable batteries powering its laptops.

  • Apple
  • Dell
  • Lenovo

Honda was forced to recall 200,000 model-year 2004-2005 FourTrax all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) for fear that users could die or be seriously injured. What was the problem?

  • steering rod separation
  • throttle cable rupture
  • winch mount plate failure

In 2011, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled almost 2.5 million of these units due to fears that they could lead to house fires.

  • cordless irons
  • fireplace inserts
  • space heaters