The Jugo GV (that was meant to be short for 'good value!') was a very cheap car. That was it's downfall. It was cheap because it was based on a totally obsolete design, made out of the cheapest possible materials, and built by people who, apparently, had no interest whatsoever in the quality of the work that they were producing. Many commentators have claimed it was the worst car of all time, with only the Trabant as a possible competitor.
It was a dangerous car to drive because it was so awful. People who were unfortunate enough to own one found that one of the few advantages was the ability to swap horror stories with other owners, such as:
- Parts falling off whilst driving down the road
- Keys breaking off in locks
- No power
- failing hatchback door supports
- Horrible steering and roadholding
- Doors that either wouldn't open; or wouldn't close
- Gear shift levers that came away in the hand
- Seats falling apart
- Mirrors falling off
- Windshields cracking owing to body movement
- Door handles falling off
- Carbon monoxide fumes from the engine affecting drivers and passengers
- Gearboxes sticking in gears
- Engines that refused to turn off
- A basic inability to get around corners
- A tendency to get airborne on a bumpy road
- Seat belts that unbuckled themselves
Perhaps the most disturbing accident involving a GV happened to a lady who, it was claimed, stopped her car on a bridge in America. Unfortunately she stopped over a metal grating; and the wind blew her car, and her in it, right over a three foot high railing into the river below. Did it really happen that way? Well the car's reputation for instability was so bad that many believed it.
Fair enough, the aim was to produce a cheap car, selling for around US$4000 in 1980, at a time when the next cheapest cars cost around US$7000. However it's quality was absolutely awful. It was perhaps a kindness when the plant in Yugoslavia that made it was bombed by NATO in 1999, mistaking it for an armaments factory. It was unstable, unreliable, tatty, prone to falling apart at the wrong moments, and lacking in the most basic safety features that could actually be relied on to work. Perhaps it really was the worst car ever produced.