(do you like my drawing?)
The largest ever vehicle recall buyback in the United States was in 1994 when Nissan offered to buy back and destroy around 33,000 of their minivans made between 1987 and 1990. 1 The reason for the large recall was that the larger American engines and air conditioning installed in the Japanese styled van would overheat and sometimes catch on fire. 2
(it even had a little hot/cold snack box that you could put sunny d in!)
The smoke and fires began in 1987, the year the van came out. By 1994, there was 153 fires reported. From 1987 to 1994 there were five recalls about problems related to the engine compartment fires.
Once the owner of the van returned the Van to a Nissan dealership, they were offered a buyback:
The action could cost Nissan more than $200 million. Nissan said it expects to pay $5,000 to $7,000, depending on age and mileage of the vehicle. The move underscores the ever-greater lengths that auto makers must go to to maintain their image with increasingly demanding customers.
"We’re paying higher than you’ll ever get as a used car or a trade-in," a Nissan spokesman said. The company’s vice president and general manager, Earl Hesterberg, said, "This program is designed to satisfy our customers."
Under the buyback program, the company is offering to purchase all the Passenger Van XEs and GXEs at current retail value. The company will also provide all the minivan owners a $500 coupon toward the purchase of any new or used Nissan vehicle. 1
While most Nissan Vans made it to the crusher, there are a few still lingering around.
Look at the roomy interior of this one sitting in a junk yard in North Carolina in 2011. 2
1. Nauss, Donald. ”Nissan to Buy Back 33,000 Defective Minivans : Autos: All owners will receive up to $7,000. The action on the fire-prone vehicle could cost more than $200 million..” Los Angeles Times, February 4, 1994. http://articles.latimes.com/1994-02-04/business/fi-19061_1_minivan-owners (accessed February 17, 2014).
2."For $1,200, get fired up over this Nissan Van." jalopnik (blog), April 11, 2011. http://jalopnik.com/5791884/for-1200-get-fired-up-over-this-nissan-van (accessed February 17, 2014).