56 of the Worst Cars of All Time

Cadillac 1981Photo by douaireg


36. 1981 Cadillac Fleetwood V-8-6-4

The Cadillac Fleetwood V-8-6-4 was a pretty reliable, well made car, with the exception of one thing: the cylinder deactivation technology. Here in 2015, cylinder deactivation is a stellar idea. When the engine is under light load, the on-board computer deactivates a cylinder bank and the car saves on gas mileage. In 1981 however, on-board computers were still in their beta stages. The V-8-6-4’s cylinder deactivation was anything but smooth. The ECM lacked the programming and processing power needed to manage the system efficiently. The car would jerk, buck, stall, shudder, and in extreme instances fail. Cadillac issued thirteen updated PROM chips for the ECM to correct the issue, but it still wasn’t enough. Luckily the vehicle could be taken to the dealer to have the system deactivated.


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