The Car Curse refers to the pattern where no Survivor contestant who obtained a car after winning a Reward Challenge has gone on to the win the game. It was most popularized after the events of Survivor: Fiji.
Some assume that cars are no longer offered as rewards because of the deal made between Yau-Man Chan and Dreamz Herd in Fiji, due to the use of the car as a way to bargain.
Another possible reason for the lack of a car reward in later seasons is that according to U.S. law, the winner of the car reward has to pay taxes on the car by April 15 of the next calendar year, despite the castaways not receiving their winnings until the season finale airs, which is in May for even-numbered seasons. In Fiji, Dreamz received the car reward from Yau-Man, but was unable to pay taxes on it, resulting in the truck being repossessed.
Amber Brkich, the winner of All-Stars, was rewarded with a Chevrolet Malibu after being picked to go on the reward by Rob Mariano. However, she did not win the car herself, and the one she received was not the same one shown at the Reward Challenge.
Rob Mariano is the only contestant to win the car and also win the title of Sole Survivor, although he won Survivor in a different season than when he won the car.
The car curse also made an appearance in Australian Survivor (2017). Michelle Dougan won a Holden Trailblazer as a reward for winning the final five Immunity Challenge. She would be eliminated in the final four.