Skip to Content
MIT Technology Review

The Biggest Technology Failures of 2016

From algorithms that spread fake news to glowing plants that don’t glow, here are our picks for the worst technologies of the year.

December 27, 2016

Volkswagen’s “defeat device”

Volkswagen created what may be the most expensive few lines of code ever written. The software, called a “defeat device” and cooked up by the German automaker to fool U.S. emissions testers, concealed that its diesel cars emit as much as 40 times the allowed pollution. Even though the scandal broke in 2015, the cost to Volkswagen of their “innovation” is only now becoming clear. In June, the German automaker agreed to pay $14.7 billion to cover legal penalties and the cost of replacing or fixing 475,000 automobiles in the U.S.  

Next in Worst in Tech <