In 1969, owners of V-8-powered General Motors cars began experiencing a small problem. The rubber parts in their vehicles' engine mounts would give out, causing the engine to come free, twist upward and pull open the throttle, resulting in rapid acceleration. It would often disable brake assistance, making it harder to stop the car.
By 1971, 172 cases of engine-mount failure had been reported, resulting in 63 accidents and 18 injuries. GM initially resisted a recall, with Edward Cole, GM's president at the time, claiming that a failing engine mount was no more serious than a flat tire. The government disagreed and GM issued a voluntary recall of 6.7 million vehicles.