So we had a bit of a water cooler chat the other day, over here at the palatial Hooniverse Towers HQ, about the desirability of Volvo’s boxy but good 850 models. Those who had never owned one waxed misty eyed at the possibility of buying one, and how cheap they seemed to be. Others, who are – in the immortal words of Jimi Hendrix – “experienced” asked whether or not the prospective purchase had working A/C. Well, no it didn’t, but how hard could that be to fix?
As it turns out, these cars are notorious for dropping their A/C evaporator at a certain point in their life, and no one ever fixes them because it requires the extraction of the dash. That’s a task that could potentially: A. break the dash, B. loosen the disparate dash elements enough to cause EVEN MORE rattles in what is already a notoriously jangle-ridden car, and C. costs more to do than the car will ever be worth. This is something for which these models are known.
What other single model catastrophes do you know of that have become legend? Oh sure there’s the old saw about Corvairs throwing their belts due to the weird angle they are asked to accommodate, and the rumor that the Edsel’s grille is a portal to Hell, but that last one is unsubstantiated. What I want today are the cars that – like the Volvo 850 – are tainted by a single fatal flaw, the notice of which should be emblazoned on their side, like a Surgeon General warning on a pack of Camels. What do you know to be a notorious single model failure?
Image source: ExplorerForum