In November 1986, a segment on 60 Minutes focused on allegations of sudden acceleration in the Audi 5000. Multiple lawsuits from owners alleged deaths and injuries from the problem, and the German automaker received tons of bad press.
However, when government safety organizations began investigating the problem, they couldn't find a mechanical fault. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a report citing human error as the reason for the sudden acceleration. The Audi 5000 had its brake pedal near the accelerator, and both pedals had a similar shape. This made it possible for drivers to step on the wrong one.
As a result of the scandal, Audi's sales in the U.S. plummetted and took years to rebound.